PROVO — Taking notice of what coach Dave Rose has accomplished over the past six years at BYU, which includes leading the Cougars to a school-record 32 victories and their first Sweet 16 appearance in 30 years this season, some high-profile schools with head coaching vacancies pursued Rose in recent weeks.
However, citing a desire to continue "to build a legacy" at BYU, Rose spurned those overtures and instead signed a new five-year contract that will keep him on the Cougar sidelines through the 2015-16 season.
"We have the capability of continuing to move this program forward and I want to be a part of that," Rose said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "I'm excited for this day, because I know that this is my future."
While sources say Rose received a hefty pay raise as part of the new deal, athletic director Tom Holmoe did not, as is customary at BYU, disclose any financial details. Holmoe did acknowledge that other schools — he declined to mention any by name — tried to hire Rose away from BYU.
"Dave and his family had other opportunities to be able to go to different places in the country," Holmoe said. "They were good offers. But I'm so grateful that he looked at BYU as a better opportunity."
Among the programs reported, or rumored, to have shown interest in Rose include Oklahoma, North Carolina State, Missouri and Utah.
"I was flattered in the process. There was surprisingly a great deal of interest," Rose said. "I felt that it was something at this time I needed to look into and, when we looked into it, we felt as a family that we wanted to continue to build a legacy here at BYU. That's what it come down to."
Rose has posted six consecutive 20-win seasons and five straight seasons with at least 25 wins. He is No. 2 on BYU's all-time victories list, only behind Basketball Hall of Famer Stan Watts. Under Rose, the Cougars won four Mountain West Conference championships in five years and have earned five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.
"It's been a great six years and we'd like to see a continuation of the things that he's done, with new and exciting things for the future," Holmoe said.
Rose has compiled a 159-45 record, which is the fourth-best winning percentage (.779) among active coaches. He trails only North Carolina's Roy Williams, Ohio State's Thad Matta and Gonzaga's Mark Few.
Hired in 2005 to replace Steve Cleveland, Rose signed a five-year extension in 2009 that was set to expire in 2013-14.
Holmoe said he and senior associate athletic director Brian Santiago began talking about a contract extension for Rose during the middle of the season, but they waited until after the season ended to talk to Rose about it.
"You could see we were having a fantastic year," Holmoe said. "As you look at the (win-loss) record, at the (sold-out) Marriott Center, it was more of a feel. When we went to the Marriott Center and on the road, we could sense that we had something really special."
Before the Mountain West Conference Tournament tipped off in early March, Holmoe discussed Rose's contract extension with BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson.
"Since we believe he's the finest coach at any level in the country, whatever he's paid, he will be underpaid economically," Samuelson said Wednesday during the news conference. "We also believe that BYU is a very special place, and (Rose) recognizes that.
"We not only appreciate all of the extraordinary things he's done as a coach in terms of the great success of our teams, but the other intangibles and things that are very important to us. In terms of what BYU stands for, coach Rose gets it. So we're grateful that he's here."
Once the Cougars' season concluded two weeks ago with a Southeast Regional overtime loss to Florida, Holmoe met with Rose to discuss his contract.
"It's kind of a unique situation here. It's a little bit different," Holmoe said. "It took a little bit of time, but I think it was important for us to take the time to do it right."