AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron head men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot has agreed in principle to a new ten-year contract, President Dr. Luis M. Proenza and director of athletics Tom Wistrcill announced Friday. The contract is finalized and pending approval from the UA Board of Trustees.
Dambrot, who has compiled a 184-87 (93-39 in Mid-American Conference play) record in eight seasons at the helm of the Zips' program, is now under contract through the 2021-22 season.
This past season, Dambrot led Akron to its seventh-straight 20-win season. The Zips are one of just seven Division I teams to record at least 22 wins per year during that stretch (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Utah State) and are one of 17 programs (out of 345) to reach the 20-win plateau annually during that stretch. UA's 184 wins under Dambrot are the most by any team in the MAC and are tied for 31st-most nationally.
"Keith is the best coach in the MAC and one of the top coaches in basketball," Wistrcill said. "He has built the Zips into one of the top mid-major programs in the country and continues to lead his alma mater to new heights. This contract is not only a reward for his team's performance over the past eight years, but a reflection of how the program continues to flourish. Our University and community are thrilled that he will continue to lead Zips basketball well into the future."
During Dambrot's tenure, Akron has posted a 104-17 record at James A. Rhodes Arena (.860), including a 57-9 record in league play. Dambrot ranks second in school history in wins (184) and is fourth in overall winning percentage (.679). He sits in the top-10 in MAC history in overall winning percentage as a league coach (fifth, .628), tied for fifth in overall wins as a MAC coach (204), sixth in MAC winning percentage (.620) and seventh in MAC wins (103).
"The University continues to be committed to our team and has been integral in helping us build one of the top mid-major programs in the nation," Dambrot said. "I want to thank Dr. Proenza, the Board of Trustees and Tom for all they have done for us. I am excited that I can continue to represent my alma mater and my community with a program that is ready to take that next step and advance in the NCAA Tournament."
The 2011-12 campaign was a season of firsts as the Zips won their first MAC regular season title and became the first league team to play in six-straight conference tournament title games (second-longest active streak in the nation to Gonzaga). Dambrot also became the first Akron coach to be named to the NABC all-district list, earning co-district coach of the year honors.
The Zips have appeared in the postseason six times under Dambrot, including two NCAA Tournament appearances (2011, 2009), three NIT appearances (2012, 2008, 2006) and the 2010 CBI.
Named the 2009 Best Mid-Major Coach by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, Dambrot's time at UA has been highlighted by mentoring a total of 23 All-MAC honorees, 11 MAC All-Tournament team selections, three Sixth Man of the Year honors, three Defensive Players of the Year, two tournament MVPs and one player of the year award.
An Akron native and two-time alumnus of the University, Dambrot served as an assistant coach on the UA basketball staff for the three seasons prior to his current post. Before that he spent three seasons at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, leading the Irish to a 69-10 record and two state championships thanks to the help of three-time NBA MVP and Miami Heat star LeBron James.
Dambrot's late mother, Faye, was a trend-setting professor at the University who taught in the psychology department and was instrumental in forming the Women's Studies Program.