USM men’s basketball coach receives 4-year extension

University of Southern Mississippi men's basketball coach Jay Ladner signed a four-year...
University of Southern Mississippi men's basketball coach Jay Ladner signed a four-year contract extension that will take him through the 2026-27 season.
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 4:02 PM CDT
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From University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information Department

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi head men’s basketball coach Jay Ladner has signed a four-year contract extension that will take him through the 2026-27 season.

Ladner, who was in the final year of a contract that paid him a base salary of just more than $351,000 this past season, will make a base of $400,000 in the first year of the extension.

Ladner’s base salary is scheduled to rise by $15,000 annually through the next three years of the contract, with base salaries of $415,00, $430,000 and $445,000, in each of the respective seasons.

The contract runs from May 1 through April 30, 2027.

“We are extremely excited to have Jay Ladner continue to lead our men’s basketball program into the future,” USM Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain said. “Jay has done a tremendous job of engaging our community and working to rebuild our program to contend for championships.

“As we continue to invest in our future, we look forward to Jay’s leadership being a catalyst for our sustained success.”

Ladner’s contract extension comes after he guided the Golden Eagles to a 25-8 record and the Sun Belt Conference’s 2022-23 regular season title.

Ladner was named National Association of Basketball Coaches District 23 Coach of the Year, Joe Gottfried Sun Belt Coach of the Year and a Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year finalist.

He guided USM to 25 wins this season after finishing with just seven in 2021-22. The 18-win swing was two shy of tying the record for the best turnaround in NCAA history.

“I’m very blessed and humbled to continue to be the head basketball coach at this incredible institution that has meant so much to me and my family,” Ladner said. “I am so grateful to our assistant coaches, staff and most of all our players, both past and present.

“To our loyal fans who have reawakened Reed Green Coliseum to make it one of the toughest venues in America, thank you! I’m so grateful to work with two of the best leaders I’ve ever known in Dr. Joe Paul and Jeremy McClain.”

The Golden Eagles’ 25 wins are tied for the most in USM’s Division I era and four shy of tying the most wins in program history.

Ladner’s team also went 15-0 at Reed Green Coliseum to tie the 2011-12 team for the best home winning percentage in program history.

The Golden Eagles finished Sun Belt play with 14 wins to tie the 1949-50 team for the most conference wins in a single season

.Ladner, who will be entering his fifth season as the head men’s basketball coach, was a member of USM’s 1987 NIT championship team. He previously led Southeastern Louisiana, guiding the team to the 2017-18 Southland Conference regular-season title.

”Jay has proven throughout his career that he is a winner, elevating every basketball program with which he has been associated,” McLain said. “We look forward to him leading and developing our student-athletes and taking our program to new heights.”

WDAM staff contributed to this story.

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