Mercer signs Hoffman to three-year extension

mlough@macon.comMay 12, 2014 

After a headline-making trip to the NCAA tournament and then being mentioned for other jobs, it was only a matter of time before Bob Hoffman and Mercer talked about a contract restructuring.

The result of those conversations was the extension of Hoffman’s contract by three years, as announced Monday by Mercer.

The new contract — Hoffman wouldn’t comment on any change in compensation, but it’s safe to assume he wasn’t docked any pay for the most notable season in program history — now locks him contractually through the 2020-21 season.

That means that Hoffman is under contract for seven more seasons, one longer than he has been at Mercer.

“They’ve done a great job of trying to put us in position to be successful,” he said. “We have ongoing discussions about those type things. “There may be some more discussions in the future, but right now, we’re in a really good place.”

Discussions started not long after Mercer’s season ended with the 83-63 loss to Tennessee in the NCAA tournament.

Hoffman’s postseason was busier than usual, between Mercer’s flurry of attention after knocking off Duke 78-71 in the tournament’s round of 64 and attending the Final Four along with Langston Hall, who played in the National Association of Basketball Coaches all-star game and was named the nation’s top mid-major player.

Hoffman also received the national Fellowship of Christian Athletes “John Lotz Barnabas Award” in Dallas during Final Four weekend.

And, of course, his name being mentioned for openings at South Florida and Tulsa, among other places, kept his phone buzzing.

It has been a notable few days for Hoffman.

On Friday night, he had gathering at his home for the seven departing seniors and their families.

And then Saturday, he watched Langston Hall, Anthony White Jr., Monty Brown, Bud Thomas, Daniel Coursey, Kevin Canevari and Jake Gollon walk across the stage during commencement ceremonies.

“It was a big moment,” Hoffman said of both days. “Just watching them walk across the stage Saturday and receive their diplomas, that was a big deal.”

Hoffman is 126-82 in six seasons. The Bears lost those seven seniors from the 27-9 season highlighted by the A-Sun tournament title and a 78-71 win over Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Bears return regulars Jibri Bryan, T.J. Hallice, Phillip Leonard, Darious Moten and Ike Nwamu from last season.

More than just salary and a time frame are involved in the fourth extension for Hoffman since his arrival. He said there were some minor alterations to the part of the buyout regarding certain schools. Hoffman said he and school officials regularly talk about other aspects of growing the program.

“There are some provisions in there, definitely, for helping all our staff and our whole basketball program,” Hoffman said.

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