Pittman’s five-year employment agreement with UA worth $15 million

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 1,895 views 

The University of Arkansas will pay new head football coach Sam Pittman $15 million over five years, according to a copy of Pittman’s signed employment agreement. The UA released the paperwork Monday (Dec. 9) to Talk Business & Politics following a FOIA request.

Pittman, who was offensive line coach for the past four years at the University of Georgia, was announced Sunday as the Razorbacks head coach. Pittman also coached the offensive line at the UA under Bret Bielema from 2013 to 2015.

A PDF of the employment agreement is available at this link.

Pittman, 58, will also be eligible for additional compensation through incentives. He’ll earn an extra $250,000 annually if the team wins 6 or more games, $500,000 for 7 or more wins and $750,000 for 8 or more wins. The amounts are non-cumulative.

Pittman’s buyout would be $6 million should the UA decide to fire him at any time before Dec. 1, 2021. The amount drops to $3 million on the same date the following year, and $1.5 million at any time after Dec. 2, 2022.

Pittman’s employment agreement also has language included that ties his win-loss record to his buyout amount if he were to be fired as head coach. If the program’s overall winning percentage is below .500 upon Pittman’s dismissal, he would receive half of his remaining annual compensation at that time.

Pittman’s initial contract is less than his two predecessors. Chad Morris, who was fired after just four wins in 22 games, signed an initial contract in December 2017 of six years at $3.5 million annually. Morris’ buyout terms were $14.7 million if fired at any time before Dec. 31, 2018. The amount dropped incrementally through the following five years, from $12.25 million in 2019, to $3.5 million in 2023.

Morris was fired on Nov. 10, triggering a $10 million buyout.

Bielema’s initial contract with the UA was worth $3.2 million annually for six years when he was hired in December 2012. He was making $2.59 million at his previous school, Wisconsin, where he went 68-24 with the Badgers and led the team to three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances and three consecutive Big Ten championships.

Pittman’s previous head coaching experience has been at the high school and junior college level.

Pittman will be announced at a public celebration on Monday on the field inside the Walker Pavilion at 3 p.m. Fans are encouraged to park in lots west of Razorback Road, including Lots 72, 73, 73A and 74. Doors on the east and west side of the Pavilion will open at 2 p.m.

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