There must be a belief with Razorback fans that their football team needs to only play good football and not pay its coaches?
That seems to be the case with how many reacted to the news today when Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that a source close to Jimmy Sexton’s agency, Creative Artists Agency, sent the Razorback Football Department with a new contract. What is it worth you say? Seven-years, $50 million plus.
Why is there such a shock? We are seeing in the college football world around us that the market for head coaches are going up. It’s unprecedented but not surprising. Sam Pittman’s performance at Arkansas (11-11 in two seasons) is at least worth an increase in salary and length.
For the second season in a row, Pittman navigated his Razorbacks through the toughest schedule in the country, again. This time instead of winning only three games his team won eight with a chance against the storied Penn State Nittany Lions of the Big Ten.
Arkansas was even eight points from potentially finishing 10-2 (6-2) with an SEC West title for the first time since 2006 and ending a 14-year losing streak to Alabama.
Expectations may change slightly but Pittman deserves this contract. The Head Hog will again lead his Razorbacks against the hardest schedule in the country for the third straight season. If he and his team want to win nine games or more during the regular season they will have to play Cincinnati and Alabama, two College Football Playoff teams, at home. They will also host LSU and new coach Brian Kelly ($9.5 million/year) and Ole Miss and their head coach Lane Kiffin who just signed a new extension worth $7.25 million.
New Florida Gators head coach, Billy Napier hasn’t coached a game of Power Five football but was given a $7.1 million dollar contract.
Pittman, who has two years more experience coaching in the toughest football conference in America, doesn’t deserve that?
This has been Arkansas’ problem in the past is not throwing enough money to its football program and committing to winning football games. Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek is changing things in Fayetteville and wants to reward Pittman for his hard work and dedication to what was a program on life support. Now, it thrives again thanks to Pittman and his staff.
Pay the man what he is worth.
If he wins nine plus games in 2022 the contract will certainly be worth the bargain.
Pittman deserves to coach here until he is 69 years young and retire in the sunset in a rocking chair looking through the gap of the north endzone. He led the Razorbacks out of their darkest time in program history to only have folks shocked that he would even think he is worth that much.
“Save it for his assistants.”
This argument is like beating a dead horse at this point. Look, Barry Odom is already the third highest paid assistant coach in the country at $1.75 million a year. If they can bump him up to $2 million he would be the top paid assistant in college football if Clemson offensive coordinator, Tony Elliot, decides to take a head coaching job this offseason. Is he worth it Hog fans?
Does Kendal Briles deserve a raise? His $1 million dollar contract is good through 2022 but he does have an argument for a pay increase. His ability to develop his quarterbacks and create such an efficient offense is worth a look. Auburn’s Derek Mason is currently making $1.5 million and ranked as the tenth highest paid assistant in the country. Is he worth it Hog fans?
Folks, not too long ago Arkansas was in the cellar of the SEC. They were worse than the Vanderbilt Commodores. The absolute butt of every joke in not only the SEC but college football world. Don’t take what you have for granted. Sam Pittman is here to stay and he’s simply trying to set him and Mrs. Jamie up for a sweet retirement after his coaching days are over. Oh, he’s also wanting paid because he’s betting on himself to take the Arkansas Razorbacks to heights it hasn’t seen since the 1970’s and 1980’s. Enjoy the ride.