Syracuse extends Dino Babers 'well into the future'

Syracuse and coach Dino Babers have reached an agreement on a contract extension that will keep him with the Orange "well into the future," the school announced Wednesday night.

Terms were not disclosed.

The move comes after Babers led Syracuse to a 9-3 season and its first bowl trip since 2013. A win over West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28 (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) would give the Orange their first 10-win season since 2001.

"A little over three years ago, I arrived at Syracuse University inspired by the great opportunity to coach at an institution with such a rich football legacy, hungry student-athletes, good facilities and a storied tradition of academic distinction," Babers said in a statement. "It was a true honor to have accepted the head coach position then and I consider it a privilege today to be able to extend my time coaching at Syracuse University.

"... I am excited about what the future holds for Syracuse football and look forward to our continued improvement and growth."

Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said he started talking about an extension in early November and went to the chancellor and board of trustees to get their OK. He said the sides reached a verbal agreement 10 minutes before the tip-off of Saturday's men's basketball game against Georgetown.

"Our board was very, very supportive for an extension," Wildhack said Thursday. "[Babers] was very pleased and enthused when I raised that point.

"It's a long-term extension, and we wanted to emphasize that for recruiting purposes, 2020 and beyond. This is about what is in the best interest of the program. I was focused on working really hard on getting this done. Now it is done."

Babers and his team showed glimpses of their potential in his first two seasons. Upset wins over No. 17 Virginia Tech in 2016 and No. 2 Clemson in 2017 not only drew headlines for on-field play, but national attention for Babers' inspirational and heartfelt post-game speeches that ultimately went viral.

Everything came together for Syracuse in Year 3, thanks to a veteran team that took advantage of its vast opportunities. The Orange nearly upset Clemson in late September and ended up going 6-2 in league play to finish second in the Atlantic Division -- its best performance since joining the ACC in 2013.

But Babers knows his work is only beginning, especially in a division that ranks among the more challenging in the country.

"I couldn't be more proud of the work our guys have done -- in the classroom, on the field and in the weight room," Babers said. "Their dedication, grit and perseverance got us to where we are today. Now, we need to focus on where we want to go and how we get there. This is only the beginning."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.