Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Barry Lunney gets third pay raise since 2014
Arkansas assistant coach Barry Lunney Jr. directs his players Thursday, March 31, 2016, during practice at the university's practice field on campus in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., the team's chief in-state recruiter, received a $50,000 salary increase in February that will raise his annual pay to $350,000, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette learned on Friday through a public records request.
Lunney, a Fort Smith native and former Arkansas quarterback, is the longest-tenured Razorback assistant under Coach Bret Bielema, edging out receivers coach Michael Smith.
More from WholeHogSports
Under his guidance, Arkansas signed every in-state player it offered in its latest signing class in February.
Lunney, 42, becomes the sixth-highest paid Arkansas assistant coach, trailing coordinators Dan Enos ($800,000) and Paul Rhoads ($700,000), receivers coach Michael Smith ($400,000), outside linebackers coach Chad Walker ($375,000) and offensive line coach Kurt Anderson ($370,000).
His salary has increased 75 percent, from a starting rate of $200,000, since he joined Bielema's original staff from his position as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Bentonville High School in the winter of 2012.
Lunney's amended contract includes a $100,000 buyout through Feb. 15, 2018, if he were to leave for any position other than as a head coach or offensive coordinator, and a $50,000 buyout from Feb. 16, 2018 through the end of the contract on June 30, 2018.
Lunney is still covered by a non-compete clause with any other SEC school, which Bielema has made standard on his assistant coaching contract renewals the last couple of years.
Lunney's tenure at Arkansas has seen consistent production out of its top tight ends, including in 2015, when former Pulaski Academy standout Hunter Henry won the school's second Mackey Award, which is given annually to the top tight end in the nation. D.J. Williams won the first in 2010.
Arkansas' salary pool in 2017 for assistant coaches is now at $3.945 million, based on publicly available contracts. That represents a rise of 3 percent over the combined salary of Arkansas assistant coaches of $3.83 million in 2016.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.