Riding off a historic season, head coach Tammi Reiss agreed to a record contract extension that will keep her in Kingston until at least 2032. PHOTO CREDIT: yahoo.com
Here for the long haul.
University of Rhode Island Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn announced Tuesday morning that Women’s Basketball Head Coach Tammi Reiss signed a ten-year contract extension that will keep her in Kingston through the 2031-32 season.
The new deal will replace her current contract. Per the Providence Journal, Reiss will earn $4.4 million over the next ten years with a base salary of $425,000 over the first five years. In addition to her salary more than doubling, the new contract includes a buyout starting at $1 million.
“I cannot express how grateful I am to Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn and URI President Marc Parlange for believing in me and my staff and investing in the future of Rhode Island Women’s Basketball,” Reiss said in a press release. “I have never felt more supported, committed to and believed in than I feel here at Rhode Island! I am so excited for the future of our program.”
This past season, Reiss led the Rams to a program-best 22 wins, leading the team to their second-ever postseason appearance in program history. However, a premature exit in the first round of the Atlantic-10 tournament and a first-round WNIT loss left Reiss hungry for more.
“We’ve got it turned around, we’ve got our culture set, we know what we’re bringing now,” Reiss said. “Now it’s just learning how to win and sustaining it, winning championships and getting to postseason play consistently and then sustaining it and that’s why for me, ten years is really, really important. I didn’t want to come here to turn something around and then bounce and go somewhere else. I want to find a home where we can create something special — I want to leave a legacy.”
Reiss was hired as the program’s ninth women’s basketball coach on April 18, 2019 after spending four years as an assistant at Syracuse. During her three seasons at URI, Reiss has won Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors and led the team to back-to-back Top 4 finishes in the A-10, but has yet to win a game in the conference tournament. According to Reiss, long-term commitment is vitally important and she spoke on the significance of continuing to build a winning program.
“The way the season ended, it left a sour taste in my mouth,” Reiss said. “I want to win. I came here to do something that I didn’t do, that we didn’t do, and so in the end, that fulfillment of becoming champions here, of building a culture, of building a program that people in the state can be really, really proud of, that’s important to me.”
According to Reiss, she never had much doubt about her future. From the relationships she has built with both her players and fellow staff members over the years, staying in Rhode Island for the long haul was something that she always wanted.
“I made some promises this year,” Reiss said. “I actually did promise kids that I would be here. There’s one school, one or two that I would interview at. I have to, but I’m telling you that most likely I will be here. I can finally say ‘see, I told you, I didn’t lie to you.”
For Reiss, this deal is also about the fans, the program, her staff, and the state of Rhode Island, which she has grown to love during her time in Kingston.
“Over the last 3 years, I have developed a deep love and appreciation for this University, the beautiful state, the athletic department and the wonderful fans,” Reiss said. “It’s a place where I have found true happiness while coaching the game I love. We are just getting started and I promise Rhody Nation I will work relentlessly in building a championship program in the classroom, on the court and in our community.”
With the recent hiring of men’s basketball coach Archie Miller and the extension of Reiss, the school has shown a commitment to both its basketball programs that will have fans excited about what the future holds.