Fresno State Basketball

Fresno State close to contract extension with coach Rodney Terry

Fresno State coach Rodney Terry, center, celebrates with his team after the Bulldogs defeated San Diego State 68-63 in the Mountain West Tournament final on Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Las Vegas. Terry and Fresno State are close to finalizing a five-year extension after he led the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001.
Fresno State coach Rodney Terry, center, celebrates with his team after the Bulldogs defeated San Diego State 68-63 in the Mountain West Tournament final on Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Las Vegas. Terry and Fresno State are close to finalizing a five-year extension after he led the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001. ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

Fresno State is close to finalizing a contract extension with men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry, part of a commitment to program improvements that will include increased salaries for assistant coaches, travel and budget to help in scheduling games at the Save Mart Center.

Terry, who this season led the Bulldogs to 25 wins, the Mountain West Conference tournament championship and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001, is expected to receive a raise that will be worth between $500,000 and $600,000 per year and extend his deal to five years through 2021.

“He was ninth or 10th in the league and my goal is to get everybody up in the top five,” athletic director Jim Bartko said. “We can’t get him up there that fast, but we can make some strides so he’s not so near the bottom. He deserves it. He has built this thing from the ground up, and we have to do what’s right.”

The deal is expected to be completed within the next month.

“The thing that’s good to see is the commitment level here for basketball,” Terry said. “I think every one of my staff, myself included, we’re really happy here in Fresno. We’re happy with what we’ve built and how we built it and really want to be here and build on what we’ve done to this point. I think our administration, starting at the top with Dr. (Joseph) Castro and Jim Bartko, they’re showing that support.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction in terms of moving forward.”

Fresno State in 2014-15 ranked seventh in the conference in basketball expenses at $2.48 million, and over the past 10 years had increased spending by 21 percent, well behind many conference rivals.

He deserves it. He has built this thing from the ground up, and we have to do what’s right.

Fresno State AD Jim Bartko on men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry

Terry, who inherited a program that in 2010-11 finished 14-17 and seventh in the Western Athletic Conference and was in a tenuous position with its Academic Progress Rate score, has gradually improved the talent level in the program and results on and off the floor.

Since joining the Mountain West, the Bulldogs have improved their conference win total every year, going from 5-11 in 2012-13 to 9-9 in 2013-14 to 10-8 in 2014-15 and 13-5 this past season. Fresno State, behind seniors Marvelle Harris, Cezar Guerrero and Julien Lewis, finished second in the league and beat top-seeded San Diego State to win the conference tournament.

“The more we’re in this league, I think there’s more understanding from our administration for us to be successful in this league, especially in conference play, it’s important how you travel, because we have some difficult places to get to in this league,” Terry said. “And much like all the teams in our league, we’ve all spoken to how important guarantee games are and being able to have home games. This past year we were able to have 18 home games and that’s a big deal, to have the resources to put a competitive schedule together.”

Terry received a three-year extension from former AD Thomas Boeh after the 2013-14 season that did not include a raise but assurances that his salary would be revisited the following year. Bartko then gave Terry a three-year extension through the 2018-19 season that was finalized in January and included a raise of about $50,000 per year, up to $411,000.

Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada

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