UO head women’s basketball coach receives contract extension

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
Dec. 31, 2020 10:22 p.m.

Kelly Graves has led Oregon to three consecutive Pac-12 regular-season championships

The University of Oregon for the second time this month has given one of its head athletic coaches a contract extension.

UO announced Wednesday that it reached a contract extension agreement with head women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves. Graves’ contract now runs through the 2028-29 season.


The university did not release information about compensation for Graves’ extension, other than that incremental raises will be funded through “private athletic gifts.”

“Kelly Graves has built a tremendous culture and family atmosphere within Oregon women’s basketball program that has created a first-class experience for our student-athletes,” UO athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. “He and his staff have elevated the standard in our program to consistently competing for and winning Pac-12 championships while also competing at the highest level nationally.”


Graves is in his seventh season with the Ducks after being named the program’s head coach in 2014. Graves has led Oregon to three consecutive Pac-12 regular-season championships, as well as two conference tournament championships in the last three years.

The university also rewarded its head football coach, Mario Cristobal, with a contract extension earlier this month.

Cristobal is earning a base salary of $2.7 million in the first year of what is now a six-year contract. That base salary will be increased to $4.3 million starting Jan. 15.

Under the extension, he will earn a total of $5 million in 2026 — the last year of the deal.

The contract is worth more than $27 million, not including victory bonuses.

UO President Michael Schill recommended approving Cristobal’s contract in a Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 17. Schill noted that the coach understands what is expected of him — not just as a winner of football games, but as a leader of the Ducks student-athletes.

“That he will look out for them. That he will keep them safe, and that he will instill in them the right team values and the right values of students,” Schill said. “And so, I’m pleased with that and pleased with that performance. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt that we have a great winning record, and I’m pleased with that also.”