Wednesday May 29, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 142



Coach Curl gets contract extension

Cougar Sports Services

UH Director of Athletics Dave Maggard announced May 8 that Lady Cougar basketball head coach Joe Curl was given an extension on his

Curl's new contract will run through 2007 and his base salary was increased to $120,000 $16,000 more than Curl's previous contract.

"We needed to reward Joe on his outstanding accomplishment in rebuilding our women's basketball program," Maggard said. "Our desire is to
stabilize and increase the continuity of the women's basketball program, and this extension provides us with this needed stability."

Curl agrees that the extension will bring much needed stability to the Lady Cougar basketball program.

"I really feel strongly about the UH community as a whole," Curl said. "It is important to our fans and administrators that someone wants to be
here, and I certainly do."

In the past season, Curl led the Lady Cougars to a 26-8 record, and the team was the runner-up in the Women's National Invitational

Houston defeated Rice and Miami (Fla.) at home, and eliminated Valparaiso and Virginia Tech on the road.

Unfortunately, Houston lost to Oregon in the final game of the tournament in Eugene, Ore., but aside from the loss, the Lady Cougars had a
phenomenal season.

Houston's 26 wins matched the most ever wins in school history, and the Lady Cougars' .765 winning percentage is the best that the school
has ever seen.

"We are moving in the right direction. When I go into a home to recruit a potential student-athlete, that player knows that I'm going to be here for
a while," Curl said. "I care about that, and in the long run (the extension and its positive effects) will take this program to the next level."

Before the arrival of Curl as head coach, the Lady Cougar basketball program was a mess. Houston had not seen back-to-back winning
seasons since the early 1990's, and had suffered six straight losing seasons prior to Curl's first season in 1998-99.

Although it took Curl some time to build the Lady Cougar program into what it is today, the fruits of his labor are now apparent. His first two
seasons were marked with struggle with the team recording two more losing seasons between 1998-00.

The Lady Cougars went 5-22 and 7-21, respectively during Curl's first two seasons, but in the 2000-01 season, the Lady Cougars bounced into
the limelight with a 19-13 record their first winning record since the 1991-92 season.

Houston ended the regular season at No. 2 in Conference USA, and advanced in the semifinals in the C-USA tournament before Cincinnati
eliminated the team.

Curl's overall coaching record improved to 195-164 after the Lady Cougars' success in 2001-02, and his record at Houston now stands at

Cougar fans should be able to expect continued success from Curl's team.

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