For the second time this month, a UConn head coach has issued a statement to suppress rumors that they would depart the school after being shown interest by another athletic department.
UConn men’s hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh removed his name from consideration for the opening at Boston College earlier this month and instead signed a six-year contract extension to stay in Storrs. Baseball head coach Jim Penders issued a similar statement on Twitter on Tuesday, after it was rumored Michigan was interested in hiring the 19-year leader of the program.
According to Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant, publicly pledging to stay also came with a five-year contract extension, paying the 50-year-old $350,000 in base salary annually. Prior to the extension, Penders earned $290,000 in 2021, with consistent raises each year. His assistant head coaches, Josh MacDonald and Jeff Hourigan, also received raises, according to Amore. MacDonald and Hourigan’s raises combined with Penders’ extension means the Huskies will have the longest tenured coaching staff in Division I baseball for at least a little while longer.
Penders is still well below some of the highest-paid coaches nationally, as several in the SEC make more than $1 million, but represents a continued bump in pay that has been a trend since at least 2015, according to Connecticut’s payroll database.
Coming off a 50-win season that led to the team’s eighth NCAA Tournament bid since 2010 and its second Super Regional in that span, Penders has elevated the program to national relevance in the Northeast, a difficult feat. He is also the winningest coach in program history with 650 victories.