Mark Stoops gets extension, raise

Excited about where he thinks the Kentucky football program is going, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart opted to give the head coach a contract extension and raise.

Citing recruiting success and increased attendance figures, Barnhart extended Mark Stoops’ agreement through the 2018 season, giving the coach five years left on his deal.

“We had the nation’s second-largest increase in attendance last season and we have had the two largest spring-game attendances in school history,” Barnhart said in a release sent out by UK to announce the extension. “In recruiting, Mark and his tireless assistant coaches have made an obvious impact with their first two classes and that momentum is carrying forward for 2015.”

The deal, which was signed three days before the Blue-White Spring game this season, gives Stoops an additional $100,000 for the 2017-18 season and an additional $150,000 for 2018-19.

This means UK will pay Stoops $2.5 million for the 2017-18 season and $2.65 million in 2018-19.

Here is a link to the amendment.

The amendment also calls for a deletion and rewrite of the part of Stoops’ original contract that deals with buyout dates and percentages to reflect the extension.

Since Stoops, who went 2-10 in his first season at Kentucky, took the job, UK has begun a $110 million renovations at Commonwealth Stadium and a privately funded $45 million football complex nearby.

In Stoops’ first season, UK has averaged 59,472 in attendance per game, an increase of nearly 10,000 from the previous season, the second largest increase in the nation.

The two Blue-White Spring Games under Stoops have drawn crowds of more than 50,000 and 35,000, two largest in school history.

According to the USA Today salaries data base, the increase to $2.5 million in 2017-18 would still put Stoops at the bottom of the Southeastern Conference in salary behind Dan Mullen’s $2.65 million at Mississippi State.

Butch Jones (Tennessee), Will Muschamp (Florida) and Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss) all reportedly make $3 million a year. The salary for Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason is not made public.

For comparisons, Bobby Petrino’s new deal with Louisville was for seven years and $24.5 million ($3.5 million per season).

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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3 Responses to Mark Stoops gets extension, raise

  1. Pingback: FootballFactoryNews.Co.uK | Mark Stoops gets extension,…

  2. Tom says:

    LOL! We did win two games last year. Neither of those teams beat a Division One school, but hey, a win a win, right? Thank goodness Western Kentucky moves on looking for some one with credibility to beat. Now we can guess who’s the third place team in the state instead of it slapping us on the face.
    Wouldn’t you like to work for Barnhart?

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