Loyola finds ‘perfect fit’ with Porter Moser, gives coach 5-year extension

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Loyola head coach Porter Moser answers questions after a practice session for the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 29, 2018, in San Antonio. | David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Loyola has found its “perfect fit” with coach Porter Moser. And on Wednesday, the parties agreed to a five-year contract extension.

Moser was in the national spotlight after leading the 11th-seeded Ramblers to their first Final Four appearance since 1963. After the NCAA Tournament, Moser fielded calls from potential future employers trying to lure him from Rogers Park.

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But Moser, a Naperville native who calls himself a “Chicago guy,” wanted to stay near his roots.

Athletic director Steve Watson announced that Moser signed an extension that ties him to the program through the 2025-26 season. After the 2016-17 season, Moser signed an extension through 2021-22.

The news didn’t come as a shock.As the Sun-Times reported last month, Watson and Moser discussed “ripping up the old contract” for a new one after the Ramblers’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985.

Loyola didn’t release Moser’s salary, per university protocol. Watson told the Sun-Times that Loyola is “rewarding [Moser] not just for the success of the last season but the success of building the program at Loyola.”

Asked how Moser’s salary compared with those of other conference coaches, Watson said Loyola is “paying what we believe is the best coach in the Valley.”

The Sun-Times has reported that Moser was paid a base salary of $420,211 from mid-2015 through mid-2016 — an increase of more than $35,000 from the previous season. Moser’s salary from the 2016-17 season and last season weren’t readily accessible because of the lag time in Loyola’s “990” tax-form filings.

Moser, who was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, led the Ramblers through a transition when the program moved from the Horizon League to the MVC in 2013. Under his tenure, the Ramblers are 121-111 overall and 48-76 in conference play. Loyola won this season’s MVC regular-season and tournament titles.

Loyola is expected to return eight of its 15 players next season, and three-star recruit Franklin Agunanne will join the team. The roster will be headlined by Clayton Custer, Cameron Krutwig and Marques Townes.

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