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Eastern Kentucky and Jeff Neubauer agree on contract extension through 2018

May 6, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

AP AP

Jeff Neubauer’s second consecutive 20-win season resulted in a berth in the NCAA tournament, where Eastern Kentucky nearly upset No. 2 seed Kansas.

On Monday evening, the university announced that Neubauer, who has been at the helm since 2005, would receive a contract extension through the 2017-2018 season.

“I am very proud of coach Neubauer and his staff, and the superb job they have done in recruiting the right kind of student-athlete to EKU,” Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson said in a statement. “As stellar as Jeff’s win-loss record is, we should all be even more pleased by the fact that the program graduates more than 90 percent of the student-athletes that have exhausted their eligibility during Jeff’s tenure.  That is the most important statistic.”

Neubauer is 167-122 in his nine seasons with the Colonels, compiling a 49-20 record over the course of the last two years. The most recent trip to the Big Dance was the second of his coaching tenure; the first since 2007. The Colonels march to the 2014 NCAA Tournament involved defeating the top two teams in the OVC — Murray State and Belmont — in back-to-back days. The Racers and Bears had combined for five tournament appearances since 2010, though, Eastern Kentucky was able to punch its ticket by holding off the two mid-major powers by a combined nine points en route to the OVC Tournament title.

Eastern Kentucky graduates leading score Glenn Cosey this spring, the OVC All-Conference selection who averaged 18.7 points per game. Corey Walden, the team’s second leading scorer, and reigning OVC Defensive Player of the Year, is Neubauer’s top returner.