AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas Board of Regents on Friday approved a three-year contract extension for women’s basketball head coach Karen Aston. The extension ensures that Aston will be the Longhorns’ head coach through at least the 2019-20 season and includes language for further extension at the discretion of the Women’s Athletics Director.
Under the terms of the new agreement, which is effective immediately and runs through August 31, 2020, Aston will receive a total guaranteed compensation of $770,000 with an additional $220,000 available in performance-based incentives. Aston has received a $158,187 increase in guaranteed compensation from the 2015-16 season.
“First of all, I would like to thank The University of Texas administration for their faith in the direction of our program,” Aston said. “Secondly, I want to recognize the extraordinary work our staff and players have done to bring Texas back into the national spotlight. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to extend my time here on the Forty Acres. I am humbled by the honor of this great job, one that I love, at the greatest university in the country. I look forward to continuing our journey to light the tower.”
Aston is entering her fifth season as the head coach of the Texas women’s basketball program. She has guided the Longhorns to an 89-46 (.659) record in her four seasons on the Forty Acres, including three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Texas has advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in back-to-back seasons, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2015-16.
Aston’s reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters for nearly two decades has translated into back-to-back top-six recruiting classes at Texas, including last year’s No. 3 class according to ESPN.com. The development of talent in Aston’s program is evident as Texas has had one of its senior standouts selected in the WNBA Draft in two consecutive seasons with Nneka Enemkpali (2015) and Imani Boyette (2016). Boyette was a first-round pick by the Chicago Sky in April and was recently named to The Associated Press’ WNBA All-Rookie Team.
Last season, Aston led Texas to impressive heights. The Longhorns posted a 31-5 overall record, which marked the school’s most victories since the 1987-88 season and tied the school record for most Big 12 Conference wins (15) in a single season. Texas hosted the NCAA First and Second Rounds for the first time since 2010 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 2003. The Longhorns opened the year with a 16-0 record, marking the third-best start in program history.
“We are so excited to have Karen Aston leading our women’s basketball program,” said Chris Plonsky, Texas Director of Women’s Athletics. “She has made a strong, immediate impact with regard to recruiting the type of high-character young women who succeed at Texas both athletically and academically. Our success has been a direct result of Karen’s leadership and the character of the players in this program. Karen and her coaching and support staff have made incredible and steady progress over the past four years to guide our program back among the nation’s elite. But what excites me the most is the direction and future of Texas Women’s Basketball under Karen’s leadership.”