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Tennessee Extends Rick Barnes Contract Through 2027-28 Season

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes signed a one-year contract extension earlier this month, Tennessee announced Tuesday afternoon. It’s the third straight year in which Barnes has signed a one-year contract extension with this one locking up 69-year old through the 2027-28 season.

“Tennessee has always been great to me and my family,” Barnes said in a statement. “I thank Danny and this great University for the opportunity as we gear up for the upcoming season. With all of the excitement surrounding campus and the city of Knoxville as a whole, I’m thrilled that we can continue being a part of that positive momentum on campus. I’m extremely blessed and don’t take any of it for granted. It’s an exciting time to be a Vol.”

The contract extension does little to change Barnes’ contract besides extending it by a year. Barnes salary remains the same as it was in the extension he signed in April 2022. The veteran coach will make the same amount in 2026-27 ($6 million) as he will in 2027-28.

Barnes will still make $5.7 million this year with raises each year through the contract. The ninth-year Tennessee basketball coach now has five-years remaining on his contract and will make a total of $29.4 million ($5.88 million per year).

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The one-year contract extensions have been common under Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White. The third-year athletic director has given similar extensions to women’s basketball coach Kellie Harper and baseball coach Tony Vitello.

“We are thrilled to be able to extend Rick and continue to build on the tremendous men’s basketball program he has developed here on Rocky Top,” White said in a statement. “He has infused a fantastic culture within our team and our players have represented Tennessee in a first-class manner both on the court and in the classroom.

“Our fans have responded to help create an electric atmosphere on gamedays and I can’t wait to watch the Vols continue our quest for more championships under Rick’s leadership.”

Tennessee is coming off two strong seasons under Barnes’ leadership. The Vols won the 2022 SEC Tournament, the program’s first since 1979, and returned to the Sweet 16 last season. In Barnes eight seasons in Knoxville, Tennessee has one SEC regular season and tournament title, five NCAA Tournament appearances and two Sweet 16 appearances.

Expectations are high for Barnes’ ninth Tennessee team with most pundits pegging the Vols as a preseason top 10 team.

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