Texas A&M extends coach Gary Blair

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M coach Gary Blair has received a three-year contract extension to remain with the Aggies (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) through the 2014-15 season.

Blair is 169-75 since joining Texas A&M in 2003 and has led the Aggies to a school-record five-straight appearances in the NCAA tournament, reaching the regional finals in 2008. The Aggies are 14-1 this season, matching their best start in school history, and have won eight straight games -- their longest win streak since a school-record 12-game run to start the 2008-09 season.

"Coach Blair has created a culture of excellence in Aggie women's basketball unlike anything ever achieved at Texas A&M," athletic director Bill Byrne said in a release Thursday. "He has built a following for women's basketball that rivals the very best programs in America, and our women's team is now routinely ranked among the best in the United States."

Over the last four seasons A&M went 107-31 for the best four-year stretch in school history, and Blair became the program's winningest coach with the Aggies' victory over Portland State in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year.

Overall, Blair is 577-238 for a .708 winning percentage in his 26-year coaching career that includes stops at Stephen F. Austin (1985-93) and Arkansas (1993-03).

"I'm pleased that the university showed enough confidence in my ability to warrant another three-year extension to my existing contract," Blair said. "I'm happy with A&M, I'm happy with the extension, but I'm even happier with the basketball team that I'm coaching."