There will be plenty of logistical issues to deal with when the Oregon men’s basketball team leaves later this week for a 10-day barnstorming tour of Canada. One question that won’t need to be answered is the long-term contract status of head coach Dana Altman.
Altman put pen to paper on a one-year extension Tuesday, keeping the long-tenured coach at Oregon through 2028. Altman’s base salary will remain $4 million per year, ranking him second among Pac-12 coaches.
“First of all, I’m very appreciative of the support from the university. It’s been a good 12 years,” Altman said. “I came here to coach as long as I could. I enjoy it. When you have a great staff and good players to work with it makes it fun coming to work every day.”
While an extra year of job security is nice, Altman is more concerned with getting the most out of this year’s team, and the upcoming trip to Canada will play a big part. Per NCAA rules, college teams are allowed to go on an offseason international trip every four years. Altman has previously taken his teams to Spain and Italy.
This year’s trip involves considerably less travel and it will also be a great opportunity for native Canadians Ethan Butler of Toronto, Quincy Guerrier and Keeshawn Barthelemy, both from Montreal, to return home and play in front of friends and family.
“All I can say is, for the amount of money we spent on this trip, I wish we could do it every year or every other year. I think it’s great for the guys,” Altman said. “We only get 10 practices, so it’s not like we’re killing them. You get 10 practices, you get to get (the team) together, guys are excited about it — especially our three Canadians. They’re really excited about going back.”
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) August 16, 2022
The Ducks leave Friday for Montreal and will play five exhibition games in six days, beginning with a contest against McGill University on Sunday, Aug. 21. Oregon also will face University of Ottawa (Aug. 22), Carleton University (Aug. 23), McMaster University (Aug. 25) and Toronto Metropolitan (Aug. 26).
“We’re not gone very long. We play five games in six days. We’re going there to play, we’re not going there to sightsee,” Altman said. “It should be a good trip.”
The offseason trips pay dividends beyond just more practice and playing time — Altman said it’s a great opportunity for players to bond and the team to come together as a more cohesive unit.
“I’ve always loved foreign trips. I think they’re really good for teams, I think they’re really good for growing the game,” Altman said. “(We’re) going to Canada and playing in front of some folks. We’re going to have a little reunion with some of our former players. I’m excited. I think the players are, too.”
With a little extra time together on the court this summer, plus the usual fall practice schedule, what are Altman’s goals for this year’s squad?
“We obviously want to get back to the Final Four, we want to try to win a title. That’s always been our goal,” he said. “Getting young men that want to follow that, having the staff that has that as a goal is what we’re committed to. We just keep scratching and hope that we get a break and keep everybody healthy and make a run again.”
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon Ducks extend men's basketball coach Dana Altman