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USF Extends Jose Fernandez's Contract Through 2021

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If you see Coach Jose out on the town, make sure he buys the beer. Especially if your name is Courtney Williams.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

If you see Mark Harlan today, give him a fist pound. It looks like USF is ready to reward success correctly: USF extended the contract of head women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez today through 2021.

From the USF release:

University of South Florida Director of Athletics Mark Harlan today announced a contract extension for Head Women's Basketball Coach Jose Fernandez that will keep him leading the Bulls' program through 2021.

The University added three years to Fernandez's current contract extending it to a six-year deal. Fernandez recently completed his 15th season leading the program by taking the Bulls to their 11th post-season appearance under his direction and second NCAA Tournament in three years.

"Jose has built an incredibly strong foundation for our women's basketball program over the last 15 seasons and has achieved unprecedented success in women's basketball at this University," Harlan said. "We just completed one of the most outstanding and exciting seasons in our program's history, but we see even greater things on the horizon for our women's basketball program and are thrilled Jose will continue to lead our program into the foreseeable future."

Terms haven't been disclosed to us yet, but the always-fantastic Joey Johnston is at the practice day of the Women's Final Four in Tampa today and says:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USF?src=hash">#USF</a> women&#39;s coach Jose Fernandez gets contract extension through April 2021. 6 years, $2.9-million total value plus bonuses.</p>&mdash; Joey Johnston (@JJohnstonTBO) <a href="https://twitter.com/JJohnstonTBO/status/585106836531105793">April 6, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USF?src=hash">#USF</a> WBB coach Jose Fernandez annual salary 425K escalates to 550K through life of new 6-year deal. Bonuses for 20plus wins, top 25 finish</p>&mdash; Joey Johnston (@JJohnstonTBO) <a href="https://twitter.com/JJohnstonTBO/status/585107225108213760">April 6, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USF?src=hash">#USF</a> coach Jose Fernandez had 3 years left on old deal, so 3 years tacked on, new incentives, heftier bonuses, reward for his production.</p>&mdash; Joey Johnston (@JJohnstonTBO) <a href="https://twitter.com/JJohnstonTBO/status/585107429957984257">April 6, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>UConn&#39;s Geno Auriemma on new deal for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USF?src=hash">#USF</a> coach Jose Fernandez: &quot;He&#39;s one of the best young coaches in America. They&#39;re lucky to have him.&#39;</p>&mdash; Joey Johnston (@JJohnstonTBO) <a href="https://twitter.com/JJohnstonTBO/status/585125223344799744">April 6, 2015</a></blockquote>

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I had heard from a couple people this weekend at the Women's Final Four (read us on Swish Appeal!) that Jose was a candidate for various open jobs across the country, and Kansas was the one I heard more than once. But after 15 years in Tampa, and with the team with the highest ceiling in USF history in the locker room in 2015-16, there was no way Jose wanted to leave. Congrats to USF for stepping up doing what it takes to have him stay.

The atmosphere at the NCAA Tournament games two weeks ago was electric, and with only one player graduating and an incoming senior year for Honorable Mention All-American Courtney Williams, the expectations will be as high as they've ever been for any USF team in any sport. And Tampa is ready for a great women's basketball team: the 19,730 at the Women's Final Four last night at Amalie Arena was the highest number in five years.

Mark Harlan today gave USF fans something to cheer about long into the future. The Rays are rebuilding, playoff hockey is weird, and the Bucs are going to play a rookie quarterback: it seems very possible USF women's basketball will be the city's most successful ticketed sports product next year.

Can't. Wait.