Air Force signs men's basketball coach Dave Pilipovich to five-year extension

June 25, 2013 Updated: June 26, 2013 at 11:02 am
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Through his long life as a basketball coach, Dave Pilipovich has never had the opportunity to do one thing - buy a house.

That time may have finally arrived.

Pilipovich on Tuesday signed a five-year deal to remain as Air Force's men's basketball coach through the 2017-18 season. The new agreement replaces a three-year pact that was signed a year ago.

Terms of the contract were not available.

After a career that included 26 years of unpredictability as an assistant, Pilipovich has at last been given a stable situation by the Air Force administration. But before he can buy property, he needs approval from the higher-ups in his own household.

"Our daughter is a senior in high school, and she doesn't want to move," Pilipovich said. "So we're in this house for now. But that's something we've obviously talked about is, where do we settle in now? Do we stay in this house and buy it? Do we look around the neighborhood? I'll leave that up to my wife. We definitely want to stay here, that's for sure."

Air Force clearly wanted to keep him.

In slightly more than one full season since replacing Jeff Reynolds with eight games remaining in 2012, Pilipovich has guided the Falcons to three of the program's four all-time victories over Top 25 opponents. The Falcons went 18-14 last year, including 8-8 in the Mountain West, and displayed a newfound freedom on offense that helped scoring jump from 61.6 points per game in 2011-12 to 70 this past campaign.

Athletic director Hans Mueh had said throughout this past season that he hoped to work out a longer deal for Pilipovich this summer when his budget gained a bit of clarity. And from a basketball standpoint, this new contract comes at a crucial time as it demonstrates that the Falcons are clearly behind their coach as they work to replace four starters.

"It gives us an opportunity to start building again after we lost those five seniors," Pilipovich said. "We have a good group coming back and a good group coming in, so this gives us a chance to continue to build the program and continue to have fun."

Before going too over the top with excitement over his new situation, Pilipovich recoiled a bit. It was likely out of habit after spending so many years operating on one-year deals, knowing everything - beginning with his address - could change on a moment's notice.

"This is the most stability I've ever had," he said. "But then again, as a coach, how stable are you?"

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