Arizona State set to give Koetter contract extension

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The contract of Arizona State football coach Dirk Koetter will be extended, athletic director Lisa Love said Tuesday.

Terms of the extension, including the year it ends, were still being discussed, but Koetter said he is authorized to tell recruits that he will be the coach through their time at the school.

Koetter's current contract is to expire after the 2007 season.

"This extension is something I have wanted because I want to continue coaching at Arizona State University for a long, long time," Koetter said. "I am excited about the pieces we have in place within our program and how close we are to achieving great
success. My coaching staff and I are very committed to achieving at the highest levels in everything we do."

Koetter, 46, has a 34-28 record in five seasons at Arizona State.

The Sun Devils, 6-5 this year, play Rutgers in the Insight Bowl in Phoenix on Dec. 27. This year's team struggled down the stretch after a disheartening loss to No. 1 USC but became bowl-eligible by beating archrival Arizona in its regular-season finale.

The program underwent a detailed internal examination after a player on the team, tailback Loren Wade, was accused of shooting a former player to death outside a Scottsdale night club on March 26. Wade, who contends the gun went off accidentally, remains jailed on a murder charge.

An investigation into events prior to the shooting found "errors in judgment" by Koetter and then-athletic director Gene Smith but no violations of university policies or procedures.

In a separate case, the university has been placed on two years' probation by the NCAA and Pac-10 for improper benefits given to Wade by a school compliance officer. The university has tightened its practices as a result of problems uncovered in the internal

On the field, the Sun Devils had their best season under Koetter in 2004, going 9-3, including a victory over Purdue in the Sun Bowl. The team has gone to a bowl game in three of Koetter's five seasons at ASU.

Koetter came to Arizona State from Boise State, where he directed the Broncos to a 26-10 record in three seasons.

The announcement of the impending extension came because other schools were using Koetter's contract status against him in recruiting battles.

"Dirk continues to lay an outstanding, broad-based foundation for a great Sun Devil football program," Love said. "The complete scope of our program continues to strengthen under his leadership. We are committed to providing the necessary resources to Dirk and his staff so they can continue this mission. I am confident in Dirk's abilities as a mentor for our student-athletes."