The Toledo Rockets announced Tuesday that they have signed Tod Kowalczyk to an extension which will keep him in Toledo through the 2020-2021 seasons.
It wasn't very long ago the Rockets were one of the worst basketball teams in the MAC. The acquisition of Kowalczyk changed all of that. Kowalczyk assumed the reins of a team coming off of three consecutive losing seasons, not to mention a school worst 4-28 season.
It looked like a tough mountain to climb, but since taking over for the Rockets, Kowalczyk has posted an impressive 61-37 win-loss record, not to mention the team just concluded a 27-7 season. The mark was good for fourth most wins ever by a Mid-American Conference men's program.
At the age of 47, Kowalczyk who is now signed through the years 2020-2021, will not be looking for a new job any time soon. Receiving his third extension in three years Kowalczyk will earn a $45,000 per-year raise. Before bonuses Kowalczyk will earn $415,000 next season. UT will cover the base salary of $325,000, with the rest coming from various required Television, radio, and public appearances.
With all the buzz surrounding fellow MAC head coach Jim Christian, the Rockets wanted to be sure to lock in their prized possession who was also rumored to be a candidate for the Boston College job.
"I’m very appreciative to President Lloyd Jacobs and Mike O’Brien for the tremendous support they have provided to our program as well as the confidence they are displaying in me with this contract extension," said Kowalczyk in a statement. "We just experienced one of the greatest seasons in school history, and we're going to keep working even harder to reach our goals we have yet to reach."
Toledo won a share of its eighth MAC regular-season title, appeared in the eighth National Invitational Tournament in school history, and finished unbeaten at home for the first time since 1966-67. Other school records of mention this previous season are points scored (2,694), free throws made (643), and free throws attempted (887).
What may be most impressive for Kowalczyk is his ability to focus on student athletes finishing and earning their degree. In fact UT has displayed significant improvements across the board.
"Tod established our basketball program as one of the top mid-major programs in the country this past year, and we are extremely excited as we look forward to a bright future," athletic director Mike O’Brien said in a statement. "Tod and his staff have steadily improved our program throughout his tenure culminated by a share of the MAC regular-season title and a school-record 27 victories in 2013-14. Even more impressive is the team’s performance in the classroom, as displayed by their 3.0 team GPA last fall. We’re pleased to extend Tod’s contract through the 2020-21 season."
The team’s APR 2013-14 is 1,000 with a four-year projected mark of 975. The Rockets also posted a 3.030 team GPA in the 2013 fall semester.