Razorback head football coach Sam Pittman has signed his new contract extension, the University of Arkansas announced Thursday.
That Pittman would sign a contract extension has been made public for weeks, but the contract now is signed and official. Pittman’s annual salary will jump to $5 million annually, from $3 million, through Dec. 31, 2026.
“Coach Pittman and his staff have done a tremendous job quickly restoring the pride and belief in our football program,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. “There is no doubt, Coach Pittman has proven to be the right man to lead our football team. He has earned this opportunity with the success he and his staff have had on the field and on the recruiting trail. Last fall, we won four trophies, including one for our victory in the Outback Bowl, and enjoyed our best season in a decade, and I believe we’re just getting started. I look forward to continuing to work with Coach Pittman as we build our football program back to elite status.”
Details include the contract automatically being extended a fifth year if Arkansas wins seven games in any single season, including with a bowl win over a Power 5 opponent. The new contract contains compensation escalators ‘based on the number of wins per season as well as incentive bonuses based on postseason success.
The deal includes a non-compete clause, should Pittman leave on his own, that says the coach can’t leave for another SEC head coaching job. Pittman, however, has made it clear on multiple occasions that Arkansas is where he intends to finish his career.
“Arkansas is where I want to be; this is my dream job,” Pittman said in a statement. “I am so grateful for our university and Hunter for believing in me, our coaches and staff and the program we’re building. We are all excited to continue to build on what we’ve done and continue to make our fans and the whole state of Arkansas proud of our football team.”
In his first two seasons on The Hill, Pittman has returned the Hogs to the national scene. The Hogs had won just eight games combined in the three seasons prior to his arrival. In Pittman’s first season of 2020, in which the program did not get to field a spring practice and had to play a 10-game, SEC-only schedule, the Hogs went 3-7 with many competitive losses. Last year, the Hogs started 4-0 and rose as high as No. 8 in the AP poll. Playing the nation’s toughest schedule, they finished 9-4 and won the Outback Bowl over Penn State. Arkansas finished the season ranked in the top 20 (21st in AP and 20th in the coaches’ poll) for the first time since 2011.
The new contract makes Pittman the highest paid coach in Arkansas history. Former Hogs football coach Bret Bielema was making $4.2 million annually when he was let go in 2017, and current basketball coach Eric Musselman, who has guided the Hogs to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, makes $4 million a year.