On Tuesday, the Tennessee Vols seized control of the college football news cycle by announcing that head coach Josh Heupel received a massive extension/raise.

Heupel’s new contract raises his pay from $5 million a year to $9 million a year. The new contract extends his pact with Tennessee to 2029.

On Wednesday, Tennessee once again made a big news splash.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, Tennessee signed athletic director Danny White to a new rolling six-year contract that will pay him $2.2 million per year.

Dellenger noted that he believes White’s new contract makes him the highest-paid athletic director in the SEC and top eight nationally.

“Danny White’s strong and innovative leadership of our athletics department has created a championship culture and excellence across all sports in record time,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman in a release from Tennessee. “He’s built the best team of athletics administrators in the country, a team committed to our student-athletes’ well-being and to winning with integrity. He has set audacious goals for Athletics and is exceeding every milestone. I appreciate his leadership, his vision and his commitment to making the University of Tennessee the very best.”

“I am so fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time,” said White in the same release. “We have exceptional leadership—starting with Chancellor Donde Plowman—and incredible support from President Randy Boyd and Board of Trustees Chair John Compton. We have the best roster of coaches in college athletics, talented student-athletes and a dynamic administrative team to support the enterprise.”

“Most importantly, the passion of Vol Nation gives us a unique opportunity to build the very best athletic department in America. We’re just getting started on Rocky Top. I can’t wait to see what’s next!”

These kinds of deals weren’t happening at Tennessee in the last 15 years.

Instead, the program went cheap and cut corners. And the on-field product suffered as a result.

These new big contracts for Heupel and White show that Tennessee is fully committed to the football program and athletics in general (White’s impact hasn’t been felt just in football at UT).

The Vols aren’t doormats in the SEC anymore. They’re finally playing with the same deck of cards as programs like Alabama and Georgia.

Tennessee has the resources to dominate just like those programs. And now they have the right leadership in place.

The Vols’ current success across all athletics isn’t a fluke or a coincidence — it’s because the right people are leading the charge. And that starts with Danny White, a man who certainly deserves the raise he received this week.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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