Tennessee announces contract extension for coach Holly Warlick

Tennessee announces contract extension for coach Holly Warlick

Phillip Fulmer: 'No one better suited' to lead Lady Vols

August 10th, 2018 by David Cobb in Breaking News

Holly Warlick, who is entering her seventh season as women's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, has received a contract extension through the 2021-22 season.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

This story was updated Aug. 10, 2018, at 5:52 p.m. with more information.

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee announced a contract extension through the 2021-22 season for women's basketball coach Holly Warlick on Friday.

Warlick's extension comes as she enters her seventh year leading the program. Her deal had been set to expire at the end of the upcoming season.

"Holly has dedicated the majority of her adult life to Lady Vols basketball, and there is no one better suited to lead what is one of the most unique and tradition-laden programs in the sport," athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in a university release. "In her six years as head coach — during which women's college basketball has experienced a tremendous surge in parity — very few programs have produced the level of success that Tennessee has maintained."

Since officially taking over for the legendary Pat Summitt before the 2012-13 season, Warlick has compiled a 153-54 record, including 71-25 in the Southeastern Conference. The Lady Vols have lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament each of the past two seasons.

The contract extension for Warlick, 60, had been in the works for months. No explanation was given in Tennessee's news release for why the deal took so long to be finalized.

"I am excited about the future of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball and appreciate the support of Coach Fulmer, the university and our tremendous fan base," Warlick said in the release. "My staff and I are excited about our combination of returnees and newcomers and are anxious to continue working with these young ladies and preparing them for the 2018-19 season."

This past season, Tennessee earned a No. 3 seed in the national tournament and the right to host first- and second-round games. For the first time in program history, the Lady Vols lost an NCAA tournament game on their home floor, falling to Oregon State in the second round.

Warlick's success in recruiting has been impressive. Tennessee's 2018 signing class, which includes Chattanooga's Jazmine Massengill (Hamilton Heights Christian Academy), was ranked fourth in the country, according to ESPN.

Tennessee's 2017 signing class was ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN.

With those two classes and their eight combined players on the roster, Tennessee will be young but talented this season as it seeks to replace the production of graduated stars Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell.

"Holly and her staff have recruited at an elite level, and the young women in our program have developed on the court while also excelling academically," Fulmer said in the release. "The combination of Holly's leadership and love for her alma mater, the Lady Vols' longstanding legacy of excellence and the most passionate fans in the nation points toward continued success in the future."

Contact David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidWCobb and on Facebook at facebook.com/volsupdate.