Pittman ($500,000 per year) gets boost after Tide roll in

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Sam Pittman, who was hired at Arkansas from Tennessee in December, was given a two-year contract extension and pay raise to $500,000 annually.
Photo by Patrick Smith, Chattanooga Times Free Press
Sam Pittman, who was hired at Arkansas from Tennessee in December, was given a two-year contract extension and pay raise to $500,000 annually.

— Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman received a $225,000 per year raise to $500,000 per season before he concluded his second full month on the job.

Pittman signed an amended offer letter from Arkansas last Friday and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette obtained the document Monday as part of a state Freedom of Information Act request.

Pittman, who came to Arkansas from the Tennessee staff along with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, got the raise from his original salary of $275,000 after he was pursued by Alabama. Pittman teamed with the rest of the staff to sign a highly rated offensive line class, featuring Denver Kirkland, Dan Skipper, Reeve Koehler and Johnathan McClure.

The new agreement for Pittman, a native of El Reno, Okla., who played at Pittsburg State, ends June 30, 2016. He would owe the university $100,000 if he were to take a job elsewhere during the term of the contract, an increase of $50,000 over his previous buyout.

“Jeff and the administration are fully engaged in winning the SEC championship,” Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said Monday. “For us to do that, we need to retain good people. There’s a reason people come calling. For us to be able to fend somebody away that has been on the cutting edge of every championship, three out of the last however many years, says a lot.”

Bielema surprised many in college football Dec. 4 by leaving Wisconsin to take the Arkansas job, and he has repeatedly mentioned since then the difficulty in retaining staff members was one of the key reasons for his departure.

Pittman’s original offer letter with Arkansas called for a salary of $275,000 on a two-year term. His new salary of $500,000 will be the third highest among Arkansas assistants, trailing Chaney and defensive coordinator Chris Ash, who are making $550,000 each.

Sports, Pages 22 on 02/26/2013

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