FARGO — Dave Richman has been on the North Dakota State men’s basketball staff for 16 seasons, the last five as head coach. The Bison are hoping he’ll be in Fargo for at least two more years after they signed him to a contract extension on Thursday.
Athletic director Matt Larsen announced the two more years on the heels of a late-season run that got NDSU to the NCAA tournament for the second time under Richman.
“To be able to make a run and get to the NCAA tournament, that’s hard to do,” Larsen said. “At some level, that needs to be rewarded and that was the tone of conversations we had with Dave.”
Richman has a 95-50 record at the school including a 9-3 mark in the Summit League tournament. The Bison defeated North Carolina Central in the NCAA “First Four” game before giving Duke problems in a first round loss.
After starting the season 2-7, and with some people wondering about the future of Richman, NDSU responded winning four of its next five games. The Bison won six of seven in one Summit League stretch and then came the run with wins over Oral Roberts, Western Illinois and Nebraska-Omaha in the Summit tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Bison defeated North Carolina Central in the NCAA “First Four” game before giving Duke problems in a first round loss. Richman guided the Bison to a Summit title and an automatic NCAA tourney berth in his first season in 2015.
Richman, who had one year left on his current six-year contract that started at $190,000, will earn a base salary of $230,000 with additional bonuses that were added including $20,000 for at least 25 wins in a regular season and $5,000 for a regular season Summit championship. Bonuses in his original contract included $10,000 for making the NCAA tournament and $5,000 for an NCAA tourney win.
"We are excited to continue building on our successes, both on and off the court over the last five years," Richman said. "NDSU is a special place and we look forward to serving our committed student-athletes in the years to come."
Off the court, NDSU has earned the National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Academic Excellence Award for five straight seasons posting a 3.0 grade point average or better in 10 out of 11 semesters.
"I look at all of those things in terms of the health of a program," Larsen said. "I think you always evaluate wins and losses but the overall health of the program is important to take a look at. All of our programs are achieving well in the classroom and Dave's program is no different. He holds his kids accountable."