SALT LAKE CITY — It didn’t take long to realize that Utah women’s basketball coach Lynne Roberts had turned around a program hoping to compete in a difficult Pac-12 Conference last season.
Through a series of recruiting moves to bolster the depth of the roster and an inward look on the program, Roberts led her team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2010-11 season. And not to be outdone by just making an appearance, her team secured a first-round win in the tournament, which was last done in 2009.
At the end of the season, Roberts’ team was even included in a way-too-early Top 25 rankings, showcasing the work that had been done to get Utah into a favorable spot heading into the next season. The Utes are making moves, and it has Roberts to thank for it.
The multi-year effort to build a competitive program worked: Roberts was awarded with a contract extension Tuesday, locking in the coach through June 2027. Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan said it was largely due to Roberts’ “breakthrough success” over the last season, but added it was not an “overnight sensation but a reflection of the incredibly solid and healthy foundation she has established to sustain success.”
“Lynne Roberts has steadily built a championship-level winning program in the most competitive women’s basketball conference in the country, and it is imperative that we reinforce support for her and her staff with this contract extension,” Harlan said.
The contract extension, which comes a year before her previous contract expired, was years in the making. And with Roberts finally able to see her goal realized, the contract extension was an example of the belief the university has in her to keep her philosophy alive.
“I love Utah, Salt Lake City, the University of Utah, and this athletic department,” Roberts said. “Beyond that, I believe in this place: the state, the community, the university, our athletics department and its leadership. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to continue to build a women’s basketball powerhouse in the Pac-12 here at the University of Utah.
“The best is yet to come!”
Details of Roberts’ contract have not been made available at this time. Roberts last signed a contract in 2018 that went through June 2023, where she made $350,000 in base salary each season, in addition to several bonus incentives related to her team’s academic success and ability to reach the NCAA Tournament.