Perkins, Williams preseason
All-WCC; Zags picked second
LAS VEGAS — Gonzaga junior guard Josh Perkins and senior forward Johnathan Williams were selected to the West Coast Conference preseason team Thursday. The team, along with the annual preseason poll, was released at the seventh annual #WCCHoops Tip-Off event at the Orleans Arena.
Others picked for the preseason team were senior forward Calvin Hermanson, senior center Jock Landale and senior guard Emmett Naar of Saint Mary’s, sophomore forward Yoeli Childs and sophomore guard T.J. Haws of BYU, junior guard Olin Carter III of San Diego, junior guard KJ Feagin of Santa Clara, and sophomore forward Charles Minland of San Francisco.
The WCC Basketball Championships will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in Las Vegas in March at the Orleans Arena.
The Zags were picked second in the league’s preseason poll behind Saint Mary’s. BYU was picked third, followed by San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego, Pepperdine, Pacific, Portland and Loyola Marymount.
Gonzaga opens the season with an exhibition against The College of Idaho on Nov. 4. The first regular season game is on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m., against Texas Southern.
Contract extensions approved
for Idaho’s Petrino, Verlin
LEWISTON — The Idaho State Board of Education approved contract extensions Thursday for University of Idaho football head coach Paul Petrino and men’s basketball head coach Don Verlin.
Petrino’s contract is an amendment to his current deal and will run through June 30, 2022. His previous agreement was set to expire Dec. 30, 2020. Petrino will earn a one-year extension if he is not in breach of contract by July 1, 2018. The new contract also calls for an automatic one-year extension for each season with eight or more wins.
Other amendments in the revised agreement include changes to the incentive structure in anticipation of Idaho’s transition to FCS, including a $7,500 bonus for an FCS Championship appearance and an additional $12,500 bonus for a national title.
“Coach Petrino has undoubtedly raised the standard for our football program, on and off the field,” Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said.
The 2016 Sun Belt Coach of the Year, Petrino led the Vandals to nine wins last season, including a victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He has also emphasized academics, overseeing the program increase its cumulative grade-point average from 2.1 to 2.9 during his tenure. The program’s most recent single-season Academic Progress Report score checked in at 962, up from 838 when he took over. The new contract features incentives for GPA and APR benchmarks, with the requisite marks increasing each year.
Verlin’s contract is a four-year pact running through June 30, 2021. His previous deal had two years remaining. Under the new terms, Verlin can receive a bonus equal to 7.7 percent of his annual salary for a conference championship, co-championship or reaching the NCAA Tournament. He will also receive $5,000 bonuses for three separate benchmarks: 14 wins, 17 wins and 20 wins.
The Vandals were picked as the preseason favorites to win the Big Sky title by the coaches and the media, earlier this month. Idaho is coming off a 19-14 campaign, including a 12-6 mark in Big Sky play to finish third. Verlin is entering his 10th season as Idaho’s head coach.
“Coach Verlin has been a steady leader for our men’s basketball program and our department,” Spear said. “He is a proven winner whose best days are still ahead.”