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Western Carolina Board of Trustees Approve Contract Extension for WCU Head Coach
Catamount head coach locked into a contract through January of 2014
The Western Carolina University board of trustees unanimously approved a one-year contract extension for Dennis Wagner, who turned down a position at the University of Kansas to remain as the Catamounts’ head football coach this winter.
The board approved the contract extension as part of its quarterly meeting on Friday, March 12.
Wagner, former offensive line coach at the University of Nebraska, became Western Carolina’s football coach in 2008, signing a five-year contract. With the contract amendments approved by the WCU board, his employment agreement is extended through January 2014.
“We are pleased with the progress that we see our football program making under Coach Wagner, and we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to continuing that progress,” said Chip Smith, director of athletics at WCU. “The fact that a major football program attempts to hire him away is an indication that his abilities as a leader are noticed not just here, but nationally.”
Wagner was an assistant coach at Nebraska alongside Turner Gill, who was hired as head football coach at Kansas back on December 13, 2009.
Over the past two seasons, Wagner and his coaching staff have compiled nationally-ranked recruiting classes, parlaying his first full recruiting class into the Southern Conference’s Freshman of the Year in running back Michael Johnson. Two seasons ago, WCU boasted the third-best recruiting class according to Rivals.com, with the 2010 class ranked fifth among Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools despite only looking at high school and prep signees.
The Catamount football program under Wagner’s guidance has also made strides academically, raising its overall grade point average from a 2.4 to a 2.7 collectively. The team has also moved off of its Academic Progress Program probationary status, which resulted in the loss of scholarship opportunities, to reclaim the full allotment of scholarships at 63 equivalencies.
Western Carolina is currently amidst off-season conditioning regiments as it prepares for the start of annual spring drills which are scheduled to commence following WCU’s Spring Break on Tuesday, April 6.
By Western Carolina University Sports Information