Christensen's contract extension is the right move

Wyoming announced Tuesday that it was extending the contract of coach Dave Christensen an extra season so that his contract ends on Dec. 31, 2013.

That was a smart move by Wyoming.

In just one season, Christensen transformed the mentality of the team and the fanbase. He became the first Wyoming head coach to win a bowl game in his first season and just the second Wyoming head coach to make a bowl game in his first year (Paul Roach, 1987).

“In his first year, coach Christensen did an outstanding job of returning Wyoming football to a competitive position in the Mountain West Conference,” Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman said in a statement. “He led our football program to a winning record and a New Mexico Bowl victory, and it was evident by the large number of fans at the bowl game that he has reenergized our fan base.

“We are excited about the future of Cowboy football and the leadership that coach Christensen has provided, and we are pleased to announce this extension of his contract.”

Make no mistake that Christensen’s 7-6 season with Cowboys did not go unnoticed nationally and one more bowl berth might make him a candidate for some of the open positions available after next season. But you never know how that second year might go (see Steve Fairchild at Colorado State), which is why Wyoming’s decision to add a year to Christensen’s contract is good all around. It gives both Christensen and the school some security depending on next year’s outcome and the extension shows the type of commitment Christensen can sell while recruiting.

Christensen does have high hopes for the 2010 season. With Austyn Carta-Samuels, the reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Year, returning, and several junior college transfers to help on both sides of the ball, Christensen expects more from his second season.

“We lost some pretty good players and some leadership in that senior class, but it’s exciting to know that we’ve got so many young guys coming back that can play and contribute, and then we’ll add another class to that," Christensen said in an earlier interview with ESPN.com. "We’re still building. We haven’t arrived by any means. We’ve laid a foundation and now we’ve got to continue to build upon that foundation.”