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UCLA Bruins sign men's basketball coach Mick Cronin to 6-year deal through 2027-28 season

The UCLA Bruins, after reaching the Final Four last season for the first time in more than a decade, signed men's basketball coach Mick Cronin to a new six-year contract through the 2027-28 season, it was announced Thursday.

The school didn't release financial terms, but Cronin, who made $3.7 million per year in his old deal, is expected to be the highest-paid coach in the Pac-12 and among the top 15 in the country.

This new deal, likely in the same neighborhood as high-end salaries for Big Ten and ACC coaches, is expected to increase his compensation -- as he drew interest for multiple coaching vacancies this season, including the opening at Louisville.

Cronin has gone 66-29 in three seasons in Westwood, reaching both of the NCAA tournaments that were held in that time. UCLA (25-7), a No. 4 seed, will face No. 13 seed Akron on Thursday night.

"Mick Cronin is one of the best coaches in the country, and this deal signifies our commitment to keeping him at UCLA and competing for national championships," athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement.

"Mick is the right leader for our program because he knows what it means to represent the four letters, he won't settle for less than being an elite program, and he wins with integrity. He has done a tremendous job of developing young men, and his players respect him."

The deal signifies a strong commitment from both sides, as Cronin drew interest from multiple job openings during the latest cycle. The six-year deal and bump in compensation should quiet potential suitors in the immediate future and set a path for Cronin to be at UCLA for a significant stretch.

"I believe we have created a culture of success and competitive greatness at UCLA," Cronin said in a statement. "I am totally committed to seeing this process through with the goal of becoming national champions and one of the elite programs in college basketball."

UCLA finished second in the Pac-12 with a 15-5 conference record during the regular season, and the Bruins lost to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament.

Cronin, 50, has averaged 25.1 wins per year over the past 12 seasons, which includes his successful stint at Cincinnati. Overall, he's 431-200 in 19 combined seasons at Murray State, Cincinnati and UCLA.