Nicholls men’s basketball coach Claunch signs four-year contract extension

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Austin Claunch

THIBODAUX, La. — Wednesday afternoon, Nicholls State University Director of Athletics Jonathan Terrell officially inked men’s basketball head coach Austin Claunch to a four-year contract extension, locking down the Houston native through the 2023-24 season.

“Austin has consistently managed to put this program in a position to succeed, and we’re thrilled to re-sign him to an additional four years,” Terrell said. “The phenomenal job he and his staff performed last year in guiding the men’s squad to a second-place regular season finish is the result of countless hours of hard work, and we look forward to seeing this program reap the benefits of Austin remaining at the helm.”

Meanwhile, Claunch, who earned recognition this offseason on ESPN’s 40 Under 40 list while maintaining his title as the youngest head coach amongst NCAA Division I men’s basketball, denoted his excitement in continuing to build Nicholls into a year-in, year-out competitor on the hardwood.

“I want to thanks President Clune and Jonathan Terrell for allowing me the opportunity to continue leading this program,” Claunch said. “I believe we are building a special culture here with Nicholls Athletics and I promise that men’s basketball will keep striving daily to reach and push our standards of success. I am truly blessed to be a part of this university and athletics program…the best is yet to come.”

Across two seasons heading up the Colonels, Claunch has accumulated a 35-27 overall record along with a 22-16 mark in Southland Conference play, leading the Red & Gray to a ninth-place finish in 2018-19 before making a second-place run just a year later in 2019-20.

Notably, Nicholls exceeded expectations during the 2019-20 campaign, upending the league’s preseason 11th-place projection as the team secured 20-plus victories for just the fourth time in program history. The Colonels kicked off the year with some flair, nearly knocking off Illinois in the season opener before upsetting Pitt on the road just days later; additionally, the Red & Gray managed to clinch seven of the team’s final eight contests en route to a second-place regular season finish within the Southland Conference.

With less than a month till the official tipoff of NCAA men’s basketball, Claunch & Co. aim to make a competitive splash behind the return of veteran guards Andre Jones and Kevin Johnson, who served as the squad’s top two distributors last season as well as the second- and fifth-best scorers, respectively.

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