UMass extensions: Whipple could be announced this week; Carvel, McCall in the works

  • University of Massachusetts athletic director Ryan Bamford, right, introduces Greg Carvel as the head coach of the hockey program at a press conference Thursday at the Mullins Center. DAN LITTLE

  • UMass Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford speaks during a press conference held to welcome new men's basketball coach Matt McCall, Thursday at the Champions Center. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Massachusetts head coach Mark Whipple watches his team warm up before an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) AP

Published: 4/9/2018 10:30:09 PM

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said the football coach Mark Whipple’s contract extension is close to complete and could be announced later this week.

He said extensions for hockey coach Greg Carvel and men’s basketball coach Matt McCall are also being negotiated.

“(Whipple’s) is all but done. I just got something from legal with a few revisions, but I’m hoping we can announce something by the end of the week,” Bamford said. “Greg and Matt McCall will be extended as well. Those announcements will be likely be mid-to-late April. We’re still in negotiations. It’s a matter of hammering out the last details.”

Bamford, who originally announced in November that Whipple would be extended, declined to give any details on the length of the extension.

“I’m going to wait until we announce it,” Bamford said.

BUBBLE BUILDING — Bamford said UMass is in the early stages of soliciting donations for an indoor practice facility. It’s primary tenant would be football, but all outdoor teams could benefit from it.

The project ranges from a temporary bubble, which can be inflated and deflated based on weather, or a permanent facility.

Costs range from $5 million for a temporary bubble to $35 million for a higher-end permanent structure. How much money UMass is able to fundraise will likely determine the caliber of structure.

“If I had to guess, we’ll be somewhere in the mid-$20s,” Bamford said. “If we can’t get the funding right, we’re not opposed to a season bubble like BC and Harvard have, but I’d like to build something fixed if we could.”

Bamford said there’s preliminary interest among donors.

“We have a couple of soft (donation) commitments on it that we feel pretty good about,” he said. “We’re going to go through a quiet phase over the next three or four months and figure out who’s in. That’ll dictate what we do with the indoor facility and the stadium.”

ACADEMIC SPACE — The athletic department is completing a $750,000 overhaul of its academic support center in Boyden.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at

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