The University of Tennessee announced last week that head basketball coach Bruce Pearl has agreed in principle to a one-year contract extension and increased compensation. The new agreement will be finalized soon and comes following a season in which the Vols recorded the second-most wins in school history.
“Not only is Coach Pearl one of the very best coaches in the nation, but more importantly, he has become a great ambassador for our university during his tenure at Tennessee,” UT President Dr. John Petersen said.
The new agreement increases Pearl’s annual total compensation package to $1.3 million for the 2007-08 season and runs through the 2012-13 basketball season. Pearl’s base salary will rise from $300,000 to $325,000. In addition, Pearl receives $400,000 for radio and television commitments, a $375,000 equipment fee and a $200,000 endorsement fee.
“I am grateful to President Petersen, the Board of Trustees, Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, my staff and of course our players. I appreciate the Tennessee fans everywhere for the support they have shown our team,” said Pearl. “The University of Tennessee has so much to offer — from great academic programs to incredible athletic resources to the most passionate fans in the country. I look forward to being the men’s basketball coach at Tennessee for many more years.”
On the court the Vols rallied to a 24-11 regular season record, a second place conference finish, and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
“Coach Pearl has accomplished great things for our basketball program. His energy and enthusiasm have brought new life to Tennessee basketball,” said Hamilton. “We look forward to the 2007-08 season and beyond with great anticipation.”
The contract includes a loyalty bonus of $500,000 following the 2009-10 season and an additional bonus of $500,000 following the 2012-13 campaign.
Tennessee is in the midst of a $20 million renovation to Thompson-Boling Arena and the addition of a $16 million basketball practice facility. Thompson-Boling Arena renovations will be completed in two phases. Phase I began in March and includes new seats for the entire arena, a center-hung scoreboard and concourse refurbishments, such as graphics and other amenities. Another key element of Phase I is adding load bearing capacity to the arena roof structure, which is no longer adequate for some modern touring production requirements, and painting the ceiling tiles black. The basketball practice facility, Pratt Pavilion, will house two full size basketball courts, one each for the men’s and women’s varsity basketball teams, as well as space for sports medicine, strength training, film study and recruiting. Funding for the project is coming from donors to the Campaign for Tennessee Basketball and revenue from new premium seating areas such as Thompson-Boling Arena luxury suites and lounge seats.
All funding for the athletics department, including coaches salaries, is from monies generated by athletic resources and not from appropriated funding by the state of Tennessee or other university-related revenues.