Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel received a raise and a contract extension on Tuesday, according to a release from the university.
✍️ Our Coach!— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) January 24, 2023
2022 AP SEC Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year Finalist Josh Heupel has earned a contract extension through January 2029.#GBO 🍊
Heupel’s new deal raises his annual income from $5 million to $9 million (which places him fifth in the SEC and in the top 10 nationally). The new deal runs through 2029.
That’s a significant amount to pay a head coach. And high expectations will come with that new salary.
I would bet there are some fans out there who feel like Heupel is being paid too much. They might even be annoyed that Heupel is getting this deal (I think it’s money well spent for what it’s worth).
But there’s one thing those fans should know — Heupel didn’t seek this deal out. He wasn’t knocking the door down to get a raise and he wasn’t talking with other programs to gain leverage for a new deal (like Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy seems to do every year).
Tennessee came to Heupel and made this deal happen.
And we know this for sure because of comments made by VolQuest’s Brent Hubbs on Tuesday.
“I don’t know that Josh Heupel is completely comfortable with the fact that he’s making $9 million dollars a year,” said Hubbs while reacting to Heupel’s new deal. “He’s not going to turn it down – no one is – this was all done on the university side. There was not this heavy negotiation. Josh Heupel was not looking at other jobs. Tennessee was not concerned about him bolting on them or anything like that. This was about being rewarded for your work and this is where Tennessee felt like they needed to go.”
Tennessee was simply being proactive. They were taking care of the coach that delivered the best season at Tennessee in the last 20 years.
Heupel could’ve easily used the 11-2 season to leverage a huge raise for himself. But he got that raise without having to do anything sketchy. And he didn’t try to squeeze every dime out of Tennessee (plenty of other coaches, like Lane Kiffin and Mark Stoops, are in the same salary range as him).
Kudos to Heupel for handling this the right way.
Featured image via Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports