The University of Toledo and Head Coach Tricia Cullop have agreed to a contract extension through the 2021-22 campaign.Cullop, who owns a 125-44 record in five seasons at UT, guided her team to a 29-4 mark this past season. The Rockets advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament before falling to Illinois March 28.
“We are very pleased to announce the extension of Tricia’s contract through the 2021-22 season,” UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “Her teams have compiled a list of very impressive accomplishments. In her five seasons as head coach, we have won two MAC regular season titles, earned four MAC West Division titles, and made four post-season appearances.
“This season, we were ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in 11 years and ranked No. 20 in the nation in home attendance. Best of all, she and her student-athletes have been embraced by the Toledo community, not only for their performance on the court, but also for their commitment to academic excellence and community service,” he said.
“Tricia has definitely established herself as one of the finest women’s basketball coaches in the nation, and we look forward to having her coach the Rockets for years to come,” O’Brien said.
Cullop was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year for a third time, as well as the Russell Athletic//Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Region 4 Coach of the Year. She sits second in MAC history in both league (65-15, .815) and overall win percentage (.740). UT is one of just 13 programs in the country to win at least 24 games each of the last four seasons. Individually, seven Rockets have earned All-MAC honors on 14 occasions in Cullop’s tenure.
“It’s a privilege to work with such talented and caring people at Toledo,” said Cullop, whose Rockets won the 2011 WNIT Championship to become the first MAC basketball program to capture a national postseason tournament. “I’m extremely grateful to President [Lloyd] Jacobs, Mike O’Brien and (senior associate athletics director/senior woman’s administrator) Kelly Andrews for this extension and the opportunity to continue to lead our women’s basketball program.”
This past season, Toledo captured its second MAC Regular Season Championship in the last three years and secured a berth in the WNIT for a fourth consecutive season. UT’s 29 wins tied for the most in school history and second most in the MAC record books. The Rockets also compiled an impressive 15-1 conference ledger, the third time in school history they posted a .938 win percentage.
Toledo also cracked the Top 25 for the first time in more than a decade. The Rockets sat at No. 25 in the Associated Press media poll for the week of March 4-10. The last time UT was in the Top 25 occurred during the week of Nov. 19-25, 2001, when the Rockets were No. 24 in the AP Poll after upsetting No. 4 Duke.
Toledo also paced the MAC in home attendance for a record 23rd straight season with an average of 4,012 fans per contest, second highest total in school history and the 20th best mark in the country. UT totaled a season high 5,712 fans vs. Kent State Feb. 16; it was the fourth largest crowd in school history.
In addition, the Rockets have been equally successful in the classroom under Cullop. Toledo has produced team GPAs above 3.0 in eight of the last nine semesters, with five players being selected Academic All-MAC on six occasions and a total of 17 players making the University’s dean’s list on 47 occasions.
Toledo also has been very active in the community during Cullop’s time at UT. The team has helped with projects that include Habitat for Humanity, Ovarian Cancer Walk and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Earlier this season, Toledo made another record-setting contribution to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Northwest Ohio at its sixth annual “Rockets For the Cure” game. The Rockets raised $19,845 for breast cancer research, surpassing last year’s record total of $18,010.