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Women’s basketball coach signs contract extension through 2024-25 campaign

The University of Toledo and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop have agreed to a contract extension through the 2024-25 campaign, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced May 17.

“We’re extremely happy about extending Tricia’s contract to continue the stability and success that she has brought to Toledo women’s basketball,” O’Brien said. “Tricia is an outstanding coach, and I believe our program is positioned well for the future. Along with leading the way to countless victories on the court, I have been impressed with Tricia’s community involvement and how the program has been embraced by the city of Toledo and surrounding areas.”

Cullop

In her nine years patrolling the Rockets’ sideline, the program has averaged 22.4 wins and advanced to the postseason on six occasions. This past season, Cullop led UT to the NCAA Championships after winning the Mid-American Conference Tournament for the first time since 2001 and eighth time in school history.

“It’s been an honor to serve as the head women’s basketball coach at The University of Toledo for the past nine years,” said Cullop, a three-time MAC Coach of the Year honoree. “I sincerely thank (UT President) Dr. [Sharon L.] Gaber and Mike O’Brien for this extension and the opportunity to lead the program for many years to come. It has been a distinct privilege to coach at an institution with so many outstanding professors, committed administration, dedicated alumni and loyal fans. Our student-athletes enjoy strong academics, outstanding facilities, a beautiful campus and a supportive community. This extension shows our future recruits what a strong commitment there is for Toledo women’s basketball.”

UT posted a 25-9 overall record and a 12-6 conference mark in 2016-17. The Rockets tallied at least 20 wins for the fifth time in Cullop’s tenure and their 25 victories tied for fifth most in school history. The Midnight Blue and Gold wrapped up the year ranked unofficially No. 26 in the country among mid-major programs, according to the collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.

Toledo also led the MAC in attendance for an unprecedented 27th consecutive season in 2016-17 and ranked No. 27 in the NCAA, averaging a league-high 3,744 fans per home game. UT has ranked in the Top 30 nationally in home attendance each of the last six seasons.

“I will never forget this past year,” Cullop said. “I’m excited that we return a strong nucleus from our MAC Championship team next season. This group has also been successful in the classroom and active in the community.”

Under Cullop’s guidance, the Rockets have secured one MAC Championship (2017), two MAC regular-season titles (2010-11, 2012-13), four MAC West Division crowns (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13), and two tourney finalist appearances (2010, 2017). In 2011, Toledo won the WNIT Championship and finished the season 29-8 (14-2 in the MAC). Individually, 11 Rockets have earned All-MAC honors (first-team, second-team and/or third-team) on 18 occasions in her tenure.

The Rockets also have been successful in the classroom under Cullop. A total of 15 players have been selected Academic All-MAC on 24 occasions, and a total of 27 players have made the University’s dean’s list (3.5 GPA or higher) on 86 occasions over the last nine years. Spearheading the academic surge has been two-time Academic All-District 5 honoree Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott, only the second player in school history to garner this prestigious honor on more than one occasion (Kelly Walker in 2001-02 and 2003-04). UT also has posted a team grade-point average above 3.0 in 16 of 17 semesters.

Hired April 18, 2008, Cullop is fourth in MAC history in overall winning percentage (202-96, .678) and seventh in league winning percentage (108-44, .711).