Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman and the school have agreed to restart his five-year, $15 million contract after COVID-19 impacted his first season at the helm.
Athletic director Hunter Yurachek confirmed the new deal Monday night at a fan event in Harrison, Arkansas, which Pittman also attended. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Yurachek told the crowd that Pittman’s contract will essentially roll over and now last through the 2025 season. Arkansas hired Pittman in December 2019.
“What I did for [Pittman] is we just did a total reset of his contract,” Yurachek said Monday, according to the newspaper. “So he’s kind of starting from Year 1 again this year. So in a sense, it’s given him a one-year extension. But I didn’t feel like for Coach, that to be evaluated on his first season without spring practice, playing an SEC-only schedule, was the appropriate measure for him. So him and I agreed: Let’s just reset your contract.”
Arkansas went 3-7 in Pittman’s first season, ending a 20-game SEC losing streak on Oct. 3 against Mississippi State. The Razorbacks also beat Ole Miss and Tennessee, and had three losses by three points or fewer.
Pittman, 59, is in his first FBS head-coaching position after a long career as an offensive line coach, which included an earlier stop at Arkansas from 2013 to 2015.
“I thought it was certainly fair and gave me another year on my contract,” Pittman said at Monday’s event. “I’ve said it before: Longevity is important to me. I guess we did enough where Hunter felt we were going in the right direction, and I was excited about it.”