South Carolina Basketball: Lamont Paris gets PAID, sticking around Columbia for a long time

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris is being reported as signing a new deal that will keep him with the Gamecocks at least through the 2029-2030 season
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The news South Carolina basketball fans have been waiting on finally dropped: Lamont Paris is staying in Columbia.

According to a report from ESPN's Pete Thamel, Coach Paris and the University of South Carolina have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the Gamecocks at least until the 2029-2030 season. The contract is said to be valued at "more than $4 Million annually."

Paris' deal with South Carolina basketball quiets the noise surrounding his name in the college basketball coaching carousel. Several national analysts had mentioned Paris' name for a handful of jobs, most notably the Ohio State Buckeyes' head coaching vacancy. Paris, an Ohio native, will spurn the flagship university in his home state to stick with the flagship of his new home.

Heading into the 2023-2024 season, there were 11 coaches nationally who made over $4 Million per season, and there were several others who are set to eclipse the $4 Million threshold over the next year.

Paris' extension is well-deserved as he has helped the Gamecocks make history this year. After tying the program record for losses (21) last season thanks to some less-than-savory moves from the previous coach, Paris has righted the ship with the biggest single-season turnaround in South Carolina basketball history. He (deservingly) has won both the SEC Coach of the Year (voted by the coaches) and the AP SEC Coach of the Year.

The 25 regular season victories are a program record, and the Gamecocks are just one win shy of tying their record for wins set in the 2016-2017 Final Four season.

Speaking of the Final Four, that season is the only one since the 2003-2004 campaign in which USC made the NCAA Tournament, a streak that Paris' group is snapping next week. The Gamecocks are projected to be a 5-seed, the highest placement in March Madness for the team since being a 3-seed after the 1997-1998 season. Paris is the first South Carolina coach to make the Big Dance as soon as his second season on campus.

The timing of the move should be good for the Gamecocks on the court, as well. With no doubt surrounding the immediate future of their head coach, the garnet and black should be able to play free of distractions as SEC Tournament play begins today for them and the NCAA Tournament starts next week.

The University of South Carolina's Board of Trustees will meet tomorrow to make the contract official.

South Carolina basketball will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in Nashville on Thursday around 3:30 PM EST (pending the previous game). The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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