UT rewards Fulmer with another raise
Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2008 5:19 pm
By: By Beth Rucker, Associated Press Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer will earn $2.4 million this season and $3.3 million in 2014, the last year of his new seven-year contract, according to details released Wednesday.
His previous contract was worth just over an average $2 million a year and it went through 2013.
The raise — Fulmer’s first in three years — makes his contract worth nearly $3 million a year on average.
The pay increase keeps Fulmer, 57, in the middle of the Southeastern Conference coaching pack when it comes to salaries in the league that boasts of Nick Sabin and Steve Spurrier as other skippers.
“It’s an extremely competitive football league, and I am convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that in any given year … we’re capable of winning a national championship,” Tennessee men’s athletic director Mike Hamilton said.
Fulmer, whose overall record now stands at 147-45, took a topsy-turvy 2007 regular season with several tough losses and came out with 10 wins, an SEC Eastern Division title and a win in the postseason Outback Bowl.
He’s said that hopes to win another national title — and he has plenty of incentive to do so.
His new contract includes several guaranteed raises and extensions based on his team’s success on the gridiron.
An SEC East crown earns him a $100,000 raise along with his ann-ual $150,000 base pay increase.
A ECS bowl appearance without winning the SEC would earn $150,000 more, an SEC title $350,000 more and a national championship $850,000.
Those raises would not be combined in a single season; only the raise for the top achievement is given.
He will also receive bonuses of $37,500 to $250,000 based on level of achievement starting with an appearance in a non-ECS bowl.
For every eight-win season, he’ll also receive an extra year on his contract as the head coach at Tennessee.
The Volunteers have posted eight win seasons nearly every year of Fulmer’s tenure on the sideline in Knoxville.
Fulmer said he was pleased to be rewarded for the stability his tenure has provided to the program and said he plans on coaching for many years to come.
“I am really proud of our university’s commitment to myself and my staff and support group,” Fulmer said. “I love my job, I love these kids and I love the University of Tennessee.”
Hamilton indicated that the built-in pay raises for reaching certain benchmarks might prevent the need to renegotiate Fulmer’s contract every year as has become the expectation in recent years.
“We’ve kind of gotten into this cycle as it relates to these coaches of having to address it annually,” he said. “That helps mitigate some of those concerns and questions out of the gate every year.”
Fulmer’s base salary is worth $375,000.
The rest of his compensation comes from media commitments, equipment and apparel fees and product endorsements.
Should Fulmer remain at Tennessee through the end of 2012, he’ll also be rewarded with a $1 million longevity bonus to celebrate his 20th anniversary as head coach at the school.
Fulmer’s staff of assistants also received raises totaling $250,000.
Defensive coordinator John Chavis will get a $15,000 increase to $340,000.
New offensive coordinator Dave Clawson will also make $340,000, the same amount as his predecessor, David Cutcliffe.
The athletic department increased football ticket prices for the upcoming season to help pay for both salary increases for the football staff and the rising costs to do business in a tougher economy.
Hamilton is confident that the UT fans will still show up in droves to support the team.
And for that reason, he believes they are willing to pay the extra dollar if it churns out a national championship.
“The fans want championships, they expect championships and in essence they pay for it,” Hamilton said.