On the eve of the New Mexico Bowl news started spreading that the University of Houston had reached out to Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen. The offer was first reported by Sports By Brooks and that it would include a raise of $500K. The Cougars are looking to replace Kevin Sumlin who is the new head coach at Texas A&M after leading the Cougars to an 11-1 record. Currently Houston is in Conference USA but will heading to the Big East in 2013 along with UCF, SMU, Boise State and San Diego State.
After completing the regular season with an 8-4 record Wyoming AD Tom Burman started talking to Christensen about an extension. Christensen is currently in the third year of a six year deal. He originally signed a five year contract in 2009 but had it extended one year after leading the Cowboys to a 7-6 record and a win in the New Mexico Bowl. He is currently making $843,000 per year which was fourth best in the Mountain West this year.
A couple hours after news of the offer from Houston was reported, multiple outlets reported that Christensen had signed a five year extension with Wyoming. This also means that he would no longer be considered for the opening in Houston. The extension has not been officially announced by the University of Wyoming and no financial terms have been released. That will likely happen after the New Mexico Bowl which starts at noon on December 17th.
This is obviously great news for Wyoming and Christensen as he can continue to guide the Cowboys. It would have been a terrible distraction to have this cloud of doubt hanging over the team while they are playing in their bowl game.
I'm not surprised at all that Christensen signed an extension with Wyoming. There seemed to be very little chance of him accepting the job at Houston. Even with their move to the Big East happening that job isn't a significant upgrade over his current one. Christensen and his family are very happy in Laramie and this team is really starting to gain some momentum.
While I don't believe that believe that Christensen will spend the rest of his career in Laramie, he doesn't have one foot out the door either. I think it will take the right opening to lure him away from here. With his Washington roots I would look for a PAC 12 job to be the most appealing to him in the future. There were four vacancies filled in that conference last season so it may take some time for another to open up. The other option would be the Big 12 since he spent seven years in Missouri prior to taking over at Wyoming.