Arkansas Razorback head football coach Sam Pittman and the University of Arkansas have agreed on a contract extension and raise designed to keep him in Fayetteville for the remainder of his career.
The UA has yet to make an official statement or release numbers. But following Saturday’s spring scrimmage, Pittman told reporters that a deal had been made to ensure that Arkansas is his last stop. The coach, whose revival of Razorback football has elevated him to cult-hero status in the state, has been working under his original contract, which paid him $3.75 million last season with performance incentives.
His 2021 base salary ranked 12th among the 13 public schools in the SEC, according to USA Today.
“Well, I’ve agreed to what they’ve offered,” Pittman said in the post-scrimmage press conference. “They agreed when I agreed. So, I don’t know what all that means. I agree. They agree. So, that means I guess we agree. Awesome.
“I will tell you this, it’s going to have a non-compete clause in it. That’s about all I’ll say about it. I’m glad it does. It allows us to recruit. There’s a lot of different things in recruiting, but one of them happens to be stability. They can fire me whenever they get good and ready to, but I can’t leave if that makes sense. Don’t want to anyway. You have 130 schools [in Division 1’s FCS level]. Eight of them have their head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators still there in the last three years is what I read somewhere. Eight schools that have the head coach, OC and DC, of 130, going into their third season. So, we’re trying to sell this contract as stability.”
Speculation over Pittman’s contract had increased in the aftermath of the Hogs’ 9-4, Outback Bowl-champion campaign of 2021. In his second season following a competitive 3-7, COVID-adjusted 2020 campaign against only SEC teams, Pittman led the Hogs to trophy game wins over Texas A&M, LSU and Missouri, in addition to the win over Penn State in the Outback, against what generally was considered the toughest schedule in the country.
Coordinators Barry Odom and Kendal Briles each received raises following the bowl win, and the expectation among Arkansas media and fans was that one would be announced for Pittman as well. Over the weekend, it finally was, by the coach himself.
Pittman’s revelation likely was timed for the many recruits who were visiting campus over the weekend, including 2023 target Jaden Rashada, a 5-star quarterback from Pittsburg, Calif.
“Coach Pittman, that is one of the coolest coaches in the game,” Rashada told 247Sports. “His full interest is towards the program and the players. He looks out for his players and it’s noticeable just how much he looks out for them. He cares for them more as people and not just as players. He’s what you’re looking for in a head coach.”
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