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Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Back-to-back bowls leave no maybe about it


MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis coach Tommy West agreed to a one-year contract extension after leading the Tigers to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in the program's history.

West received the extension Monday while in Mobile, Ala., where the Tigers (8-3) play Bowling Green in the GMAC Bowl on Wednesday.

"I've made it very clear that this is what I wanted to happen," West said. "I'm really enthused and excited it's going to work out the way we wanted it to work out."

West's new contract runs through 2009 and raises his income to $800,000 a year. The $200,000 raise comes primarily from pay for radio and TV shows featuring the Tigers' coach.

Under West, who came to Memphis in 2001, the Tigers went 9-4 last year and played in the postseason for the first time in 32 years, beating North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl.

It's the first time in 40 years Memphis has won eight or more games two seasons in a row.

Athletic director R.C. Johnson said West's base pay of about $146,000 will remain unchanged.