Cullowhee, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Western Carolina University has rewarded football coach Mark Speir with a four-year contract extension following the Catamounts' first winning season since 2005.

Speir had been entering the final year of a four-year contract, but the new deal begins on July 1, 2016 and will run through June 2020

The Catamounts finished 7-5 last season, their first winning record since 2005 and the most wins since 2001. With a 5-2 mark in the Southern Conference, they tied for second place to match the best finish in school history.

"Mark and his staff have not simply found success on the football field, but have experienced great success in the classroom as well. The focus on the 'student-athlete' is exactly what we needed to turn this football team around," WCU athletic director Randy Eaton said. "I realized the impact Mark has made in three short years, and I wanted to ensure he and his wife, Paige, remained part of the Catamount family for the foreseeable future."

Speir, a finalist for the 2014 Eddie Robinson Award given to the FCS coach of the year, has a 10-25 record in three seasons with the Catamounts.