‘Future is Bright’: Penny Hardaway is Elated After Signing Five-Year Extension with Memphis Tigers

Published 12/22/2020, 7:00 AM EST


The Memphis Tigers have had a shaky start to the 2021 college basketball season. However, that didn’t restrict them from committing to a long-term deal with head coach Penny Hardaway. The former Orlando Magic star was offered a five-year contract, and he inked the deal to extend his role with the team! 

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The University of Memphis hired Penny Hardaway in 2018 as their head coach. The four-time NBA All-Star came into the position, having coached a high-school team previously. Hardaway registered a 22–14 record in his first year and guided the team to the NIT. 

Penny Hardaway signs a major extension with Memphis Tigers

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The 2020 season was abandoned, and Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers are now nine games into the 2021 season. Moreover, the Division I team is now tied-up with Penny Hardaway for the next five years. 

The team announced the deal through a press release containing details about the contract. Hardaway will now coach the team through the 2025-2026 season. The breakdown of the $12.25 million extension was posted on the Tigers’ official website. 

“The annualized total compensation for the newly added period shall begin on April 16, 2021, as follows: $2.325M in each of the first two years; $2.5M in both years three and four; and $2.6M in the fifth year.”

There is a mutual understanding between the Tigers and Hardaway

It should be noted that Hardaway spent three years of his career playing for the Memphis Tigers. The former NBA player is enjoying coaching his alma mater, and the University’s basketball program has placed its faith in Hardaway to sustain their success.

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“Coach Hardaway has rejuvenated Memphis basketball and has shown tremendous leadership in the Tigers program. He has had top-ranked recruiting classes and is establishing the foundation of a nationally competitive program,” Memphis Tigers’ Director of Athletics Laird Veatch said

The management is incredibly excited to have Penny Hardaway on board for the foreseeable future and Hardaway reciprocates these feelings.

“Coaching at Memphis is my dream job. Memphis basketball is in the national spotlight, and we are continuing to get better and better every day. The future is bright for the Tigers,” Hardaway mentioned.

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Hardaway guided the Tigers to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2019 and 2020. A major challenge awaits this year, and the team would look to make a mark by entering the NCAA Division I tournament. 

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Arjun Athreya

1824 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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