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Where Josh Heupel’s New Contract Lands Among SEC Head Coaches

Josh Heupel
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel. Photo via Tennessee Athletics on YouTube.

After two successful seasons on Rocky Top, Tennessee head football coach Josh Heupel has been given a contract extension through the 2028 season from athletic director Danny White.

Heupel’s new contract extension will pay him $9 million annually.

When he first arrived to the Tennessee football program in January 2021, Heupel was given a contract that paid him $4 million annually. After his first season with the team, that was elevated to $5 million per year.

Now, heading into year three, Heupel has more than doubled his original pay in just two years on campus.

While Heupel’s new contract does give him a massive annual number, the Tennessee head coach is tied for the final spot in the top five among SEC head coach salaries.

According to That SEC Podcast host Mike Bratton (SEC Mike) on Twitter, Heupel comes in tied at No. 5 with a very familiar name.

  1. Nick Saban, Alabama – $11.7 million
  2. Kirby Smart, Georgia – $11.25 million
  3. Brian Kelly, LSU – $9.5 million
  4. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M – $9.5 million
  5. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss – $9 million
  6. Josh Heupel, Tennessee – $9 million
  7. Mark Stoops, Kentucky – $8.6 million
  8. Billy Napier, Florida – $7.2 million
  9. Shane Beamer, South Carolina – $6.5 million
  10. Hugh Freeze, Auburn – $6.5 million
  11. Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri – $6 million
  12. Sam Pittman, Arkansas – $5.25 million
  13. Zach Arnett, Mississippi State – $3 million

Note: Vanderbilt does not share the salary of head coach Clark Lea

More from RTI: Alabama Football Loses Both Coordinators This Offseason

Josh Heupel has wins over two of the five coaches in front of him (Saban and Kelly), with an opportunity to find wins against Kirby Smart and Jimbo Fisher during the 2023 football season.

“The Aberdeen, South Dakota, native owns a stellar 46-16 overall record (.742) and a 30-11 (.732) conference mark in five seasons as a head coach,” Tennessee stated in a press release on Tuesday afternoon. “His 46 victories since 2018 are top eight nationally, and he is one of only four active FBS head coaches to lead multiple programs to New Year’s Six Bowl appearances in the CFP era. His teams have earned bowl berths and finished in the top 10 nationally in scoring and total offense in all five seasons.”

According to Tennessee football communications director Bill Martin on Twitter, Heupel joins Bill Battle as the only two coaches in Tennessee football history to land an 11-win season in their first or second year.

And here’s a sneaky clever tweet to wrap things up.

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