RUSTON – Louisiana Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood announced today that reigning Conference USA Coach of the Year Eric Konkol has signed a contract extension through the 2025-26 season.
The contract extension is pending the approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Konkol’s new contract agreement comes on the heels of his sixth season in Ruston, which included a Conference USA West Division title and a run to the Final Four of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), tying the best finish by the program in the postseason event with the 1986 Bulldog team.
“Eric has done an outstanding job with our men’s basketball program during his time at Louisiana Tech,” said VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood. “During one of the most challenging years in college athletics history, he led the program to 24 wins, a divisional title and a deep run in the NIT. And he did it with a very young nucleus to this team.
“Eric’s goals for this program align with our department’s goals for it – a Conference USA championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. And we feel Eric and his coaching staff and this talented group of student-athletes can achieve those goals. We wanted to make a commitment to Eric and this program, and we are excited that he will be leading our program into the future.”
Following this past season, Konkol garnered numerous awards including C-USA Coach of the Year, NABC District 11 Coach of the Year, LABC Louisiana Major College Coach of the Year and LSWA Louisiana Coach of the Year. It marked the second straight season that Konkol earned both the LSWA and LABC Coach of the Year awards. He was also a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award in 2020-21.
The Bulldogs won 12 of their final 14 regular season games and received an at-large berth to play in the NIT for the first time since 2015. The ‘Dogs upset Ole Miss in the first round, took down league foe Western Kentucky in the quarterfinals and won a 76-74 thriller over No. 1 overall seed Colorado State in the Final Four consolation game, becoming just the second team in program history to make the NIT Final Four.
“I’m proud to be the head coach of this tradition rich program and happy to be raising our family in Ruston,” said Konkol. “Louisiana Tech is a special place and I’m grateful to Dr. (Les) Guice and Dr. Wood for their trust in me and their commitment to our program. I’m excited to continue to work with our players, staff, administration, and supporters to reach our goals on and off the court.”
During his six seasons in Ruston, Konkol has guided Tech to a mark of 129-65, including a 67-39 record in Conference USA games. The Bulldogs have won 20-plus games in five of those seasons, the most 20-win seasons by any head coach in program history. His 129 career wins ranks fourth in program history.
The Bulldogs won 12 or more league games four of the past six years, including 25 conference wins over the past two seasons – the most in the league.
Konkol and his staff produced the highest-rated defense in C-USA, ranking 39th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. The team also ranked No. 1 in the league and top 30 in the country in field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense. Tech was one of just eight teams in the country to rank in the top 40 in field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense.
The Bulldogs are set to return the nucleus of last year’s team, including four starters in Kenneth Lofton, Jr., Isaiah Crawford, Amorie Archibald and Cobe Williams, as well as a talented mix of newcomers with high school impact players and three Division I transfers.
Season tickets are on sale for both the Bulldogs and Lady Techsters. Fans can purchase their season tickets at https://am.ticketmaster.com/latech/buy. Season ticket prices will remain the same for the upcoming year as fans are encouraged to take advantage of the combo season ticket packages that include both men’s and women’s games.
Tech will play an 18-game Conference USA schedule that includes nine home games (released last week) as well as a non-conference slate that will be released later this summer.
Louisiana Tech officials anticipate game days for the 2021-22 basketball season will see the Thomas Assembly Center return to a more traditional state as the University plans to operate the venues as close to normal as possible while following state health guidelines.