OGDEN — Randy Rahe has been at it for 10 years, and he says he’s ready to tackle at least eight more.
Rahe has signed a new contract to remain head men’s basketball coach at Weber State University through the 2023-24 season.
“I’ve always said it’s an honor and privilege to be the basketball coach here, and I still feel that way every bit as strongly,” Rahe said. “Weber State has an incredible tradition and history.”
In his 10th season as head coach, Rahe, who turns 56 Sunday, recently led the Wildcats to a 26-9 season. That campaign included the program’s second Big Sky Conference championship and accompanying NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three seasons.
Both Rahe and Weber State athletic director Jerry Bovee acknowledged eight years as an unusually lengthy contract.
“We know how he runs a team, the effort he gives, the student-athletes he brings in. He’s a proven commodity,” Bovee said. “We knew an extended contract wouldn’t change his work ethic. In the end, we feel this is the security he’s earned the right to have. It solidified his commitment to the institution.”
“The university and Jerry have shown a lot of faith and trust in me and my staff,” Rahe said. “Giving us eight years was very important to me. They went to some good lengths to help us out, we feel very comfortable with it and we’re a little humbled by it.”
The new deal was in the works while another school made serious overtures for Rahe’s services, which he and Bovee both indicated would have included a substantial pay raise.
Weber State’s season ended March 18 with a 71-53 loss to Xavier in the NCAA Tournament. Despite a serious suitor calling, his contract obtained by the Standard-Examiner shows Rahe inked his signature to the new eight-year deal five days later on March 23.
Rahe said his new deal was in the works well before he fielded interest from other schools. “For (school administrators) to make that kind of commitment is really special, and we have a lot of gratitude to them for having that faith and trust in us.”
“Stew Morrill gave me this advice a long time ago: Never take a job for money. You take a job for the fit for you and your family — is it a place where you feel like you can be successful?” Rahe explained.
“I have a pretty damn good job if we do what we’re supposed to. We want to be in a position to challenge for a conference championship every year, and jobs like that are hard to come by.”
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Bovee acknowledged Rahe’s prolonged success means he’s often targeted by other schools.
“He’s been approached a number of times, and it’s something I expect. I think it’s a good thing, it means he’s effective where he is now,” Bovee said. “We have a group of coaches across campus at Weber State who are doing business the right way, the way they compete and treat athletes, and it puts them in demand. That’s a celebration for us.”
“In most of those situations, the money was better to have left,” he said. “That tells you a little bit about Randy Rahe and what his focus is, too — to turn down opportunities, turn down better financial offers and stay tells you what Randy is looking for.”
The contract, which took effect April 1, gives Rahe $342,594 annually in salary and guaranteed bonuses. By comparison, University of Utah pays Larry Krystkowiak $2.575 million annually, according to a report from USA Today.
Amid all factors, Rahe continuously pointed to relationships with the administration, faculty, athletes, students and the Ogden community as his reason to further his commitment to Weber State.
“We’ve been here awhile and got entrenched in the community, so to me, it’s a great fit. It all starts with the relationships we have. It makes the job more enjoyable, you want to do well for people, you want to try to produce for people,” he said.
Despite the long contract term, Rahe indicated he still can’t see his coaching sunset on the horizon.
“I’m a pretty young guy. My age is older but I feel young. So I have no timeline,” he said. “All I know is coaching. I love the kids I get to coach, and I could do this for a long time. I know that much.”
Rahe has taken the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament three times while compiling a record of 208-113, which includes an all-time best 129 wins in Big Sky play. He was originally hired March 23, 2006, and is the school’s ninth head coach since it began Division I play in 1963.
Prior to Weber State, Rahe served as an assistant coach at Utah, Utah State, Colorado State and Denver.