Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Diamond Hogs sign assistant Thompson for 2 more years
Arkansas assistant coach Nate Thompson encourages players during a game against Tennessee on Saturday, April 27, 2019, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE University of Arkansas baseball assistant coach Nate Thompson signed a new two-year contract this week.
Thompson signed the contract Tuesday, but it was not finalized until Friday when it was signed by UA chancellor Joseph Steinmetz and UA System president Donald Bobbitt. The contract was released through an open records request.
Thompson's new deal is worth $180,000 this year and will increase to $190,000 in the 2020-21 school year. It also includes bonuses worth up to four months of annual salary, and a noncompete clause that prohibits Thompson from accepting "employment in any coaching capacity with any other member” of the Southeastern Conference.
Thompson's salary in the first year of his new contract is an increase of 7 percent over his previous contract that paid him $168,300 per year. Thompson received a $3,300 pay raise last season.
Since he was hired to replace Tennessee coach Tony Vitello as Razorbacks' hitting coach and recruiting coordinator in the summer of 2017, Thompson has been part of the first Arkansas teams to play in the College World Series in consecutive seasons.
The Razorbacks have increased their power numbers under Thompson, including a program-record 98 home runs in 2018.
Arkansas hit 88 more home runs this year - the third-highest total in program history - and had 142 doubles, which tied for fourth on the program's all-time list.
But with higher power numbers have also come higher strikeout totals. The Razorbacks set a school record with 581 strikeouts in 2019, and struck out 511 times the year before.
As Arkansas' recruiting coordinator, Thompson helped assemble the Razorbacks' 2019 signing class that was ranked No. 5 nationally by Perfect Game following the MLB Draft signing deadline last week.
Thompson has also helped assemble a loaded group of 2020 commitments, including seven players ranked in the top 100 of their class by Perfect Game.
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