UNLV AD: Cronin verbally accepted contract before going back to UC

UNLV AD: Cronin verbally accepted contract before going back to UC

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - How close was UC men's basketball coach Mick Cronin to heading out west permanently?

UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy told ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas that Cronin verbally committed to signing with the Runnin' Rebels Thursday evening before he headed back to Cincinnati.

"He said he would take it," Kunzer-Murphy told the ESPN Las Vegas' host. 

"Then what happened?" The host asked. 

"I don't know. I haven't talk to him."

"So, he told you before he got on the flight yesterday that he would take the contract?"

"That's correct."

UC President Santa Ono announced Friday afternoon that Cronin would be staying in Clifton for his 11th season with the Bearcats.

"The city of Cincinnati and the University are special places to me and I've always said what an honor it is to be the head coach at my alma mater," said Cronin in a release. "The 2016-17 season starts for me today and I can't wait for the future that lies ahead for the Bearcats and this University."

The announcement comes after Cronin's meeting with UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy about the Runnin' Rebels head men's basketball coaching job in Las Vegas.

"Mick Cronin has done the tough job of rebuilding our Bearcats program, and I am thrilled to hear he will be returning next year," Dr. Ono said in a release.

Cronin has led the Bearcats to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances and accumulated a 207-129 record in his years with UC. He previously coached at Murray St. and was an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville and Bob Huggins at UC.

"I would like people to try and understand after 10 years of dedicated service I chose to evaluate my career and my life," Cronin said. "Reflecting through that process was extremely difficult, but it was something I needed to do for me personally."

Conin continued by saying the program had come a long way in the 10 years since he's been the head coach and the 2016-17 season starts immediately.

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