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Musselman deal worth $4 million per year through 2025-26 season

by Matt Jones | April 14, 2021 at 2:18 p.m.
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman leads a Hog Call following the Razorbacks' 87-80 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas announced Wednesday a contract extension for basketball coach Eric Musselman through at least the 2025-26 season.

Musselman will be paid $4 million per year and can earn $100,000 annual pay raises for up to six appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He has the option to extend the contract by one season apiece for the Razorbacks' next two NCAA Tournament appearances.

According to a USA Today salary database for head coaches, the $4 million salary is the third highest in the SEC behind Kentucky's John Calipari and Tennessee's Rick Barnes.

Musselman also surpassed football head coach Sam Pittman as the highest-paid coach at Arkansas. Pittman has an annual salary of $3 million.

The contract also includes up to $800,000 in annual incentives, including $500,000 for winning the national championship and $100,000 for either an SEC regular-season or tournament championship.

Musselman will be paid a one-time retention payment of $1.5 million if he is still Arkansas’ coach on April 30, 2026, as long as no major NCAA violations have occurred and the program is not on NCAA probation.

The UA would owe Musselman 70% of his remaining salary if he is fired for convenience during the term.

Musselman would owe the UA a $7.5 million payment if he took another job before the end of the 2021-22 season. That buyout falls to $2 million through the 2023-24 season; $1 million through the 2024-25 season; and $750,000 through the end of the contract, including any seasons earned as extensions past 2025-26.

Musselman would not owe a buyout if he accepts a job at his alma mater, the University of San Diego after April 2024.

Musselman signed a contract with Arkansas in April 2019 that was worth $2.5 million per year through the 2023-24 season. His original contract included benchmarks that could increase his annual salary and extend his contract by up to two additional seasons.

Musselman, 56, is 45-19 in two seasons at Arkansas and led the Razorbacks to the Elite Eight of this year’s NCAA Tournament. Arkansas was eliminated with an 81-72 loss to national champion Baylor.

The Razorbacks were in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995 and in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996.

Arkansas finished 25-7 in Musselman’s second season, including 13-4 in SEC play. The Razorbacks were ranked No. 10 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll, which was released before the NCAA Tournament.

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