April 19, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University women's basketball coach Chris Denker has received a contract extension through the 2005-2006 season following consecutive post-season appearances and a berth in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick announced today.
"Chris has been instrumental in building our women's basketball program into one of national prominence," said Levick. "Whether as an assistant or, now, as a head coach, he has shown the ability to run a first-class program and attract quality student-athletes. I am pleased that we can extend our commitment to Chris and keep our program on track."
Denker, 35, signed a four-year agreement to remain the Broncos' mentor following a second-straight 20-win season and the program's fifth-straight postseason berth. Santa Clara advanced to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection after finishing second in the West Coast Conference standings and advancing to the league tournament's title game. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"I am thrilled to be able to remain a part of such a wonderful institution as Santa Clara University," said Denker, who owns a 41-18 overall record as the head coach of the Broncos. "We have an unbelievable group of talented players who are committed to being successful both on and off the court and will do whatever it takes to win. I have a great staff who fully support the positive direction our program is going. And, we have an administration who understands what it takes to have a first-class athletics program.
"Santa Clara University is a place I think we can really do some special things and I look forward to remaining a part of this community."
A 1990 graduate of the University of Oregon, Denker joined the Santa Clara women's basketball staff in 1993 as an assistant coach under then-head coach Caren Horstmeyer. During his seven-year stint as a Bronco assistant, Denker served as the program's recruiting and offensive coordinator. Santa Clara won 68 percent of its games from 1994-2000 and advanced to four postseason appearances and won three WCC titles.
In the summer of 2000, Denker was named the Broncos' head coach and he promptly led Santa Clara to a 20-8 overall record and the program's third league title in four seasons. In two seasons, Bronco players have earned seven academic all-WCC honors and four have earned all-league mention.
Last season, the Broncos recorded a 21-10 overall record and a 9-5 mark in the WCC. Season highlights included road wins over nationally-ranked Utah and Washington and advancement to the championship game of the WCC Tournament.