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Sarkisian’s Salary Skyrockets After Successful Season

The University of Texas at Austin has rewarded its head football coach Steve Sarkisian with a lucrative contract extension that will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the country. Sarkisian, who led the Longhorns to a Big 12 title and a College Football Playoff appearance in 2023, will earn a guaranteed salary of $10.3 million in 2024, a 78% increase from his previous contract.

A Remarkable Turnaround

Sarkisian took over the UT-Austin football program in 2021, after the school fired former coach Tom Herman. Sarkisian inherited a team that had gone 5-7 in 2020 and had not won a conference championship since 2009. He quickly implemented his vision and culture, bringing in new staff and recruits, and developing the existing players.

The results were impressive. In his first season, Sarkisian improved the Longhorns’ record to 8-5, including a win over Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. In his second season, he guided the Longhorns to a 12-2 record, the best in school history. The Longhorns won their first Big 12 title since 2009, defeating Oklahoma in the championship game. They also qualified for the College Football Playoff for the first time, losing to Alabama in the semifinal. The Longhorns finished the season ranked No. 3 in the final AP Poll, their highest ranking since 2009.

Sarkisian was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year and a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award, given to the national coach of the year. He also received praise for his offensive scheme, which featured dynamic playmakers such as quarterback Quinn Ewers, running back Bijan Robinson, and wide receiver Xavier Worthy.

Sarkisian’s Salary Skyrockets After Successful Season

A Huge Pay Raise

The UT-Austin administration and the UT System Board of Regents recognized Sarkisian’s achievements and decided to reward him with a generous contract extension. The extension, which was announced on Jan. 13, adds four years to Sarkisian’s original six-year contract, keeping him in Austin until 2030.

The extension also includes a significant pay raise for Sarkisian, who will earn a guaranteed salary of $10.3 million in 2024, up from $5.8 million in 2023. His salary will increase by $100,000 every year until 2030, when he will earn $10.9 million. He will also receive a one-time payment of $300,000 on or before April 1, 2024. Sarkisian’s total guaranteed compensation over the duration of the contract will be $74.2 million.

Sarkisian’s new salary will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college football, surpassing the likes of Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, and Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley. Only Alabama’s Nick Saban, who earns $10.6 million per year, will have a higher salary than Sarkisian in 2024.

Sarkisian will also have the opportunity to earn up to $1.85 million annually in performance bonuses, based on the team’s achievements on the field and in the classroom. Some of the incentives include:

  • $300,000 for winning the conference championship
  • $500,000 for qualifying for the College Football Playoff
  • $750,000 for winning the national championship
  • $100,000 for being named the national coach of the year
  • $50,000 for having a team GPA of 3.0 or higher

In addition to his salary and bonuses, Sarkisian will also enjoy some perks that come with being the head coach of a prestigious program. He will receive 20 hours of private aircraft time for personal use, a car allowance of $1,200 per month, and memberships in exclusive social clubs.

A Bright Future

Sarkisian expressed his gratitude and excitement for the contract extension, saying that he is committed to building a long-term successful program at UT-Austin.

“We’re thrilled with what we’ve been able to accomplish and proud of the culture we’ve built and the way our players have grown — on and off the field,” Sarkisian said in a statement. “But we’re just getting started. I’ve said it all along, we’ve been building this program for long term success. We’re here to chase greatness, win championships, and be one of the best in the nation year in and year out.”

Sarkisian will face a new challenge in 2024, when the Longhorns join the Southeastern Conference, widely regarded as the toughest conference in college football. The Longhorns will compete against powerhouses such as Alabama, Georgia, and LSU, as well as their longtime rival Texas A&M.

Sarkisian said he is looking forward to the move to the SEC, which he believes will elevate the Longhorns’ profile and recruiting.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to join the SEC and compete against some of the best programs in the country,” Sarkisian said. “We know it won’t be easy, but we’re ready for the challenge. We have a great fan base, a great tradition, and a great future here at Texas.”

The Longhorns’ future looks bright under Sarkisian, who has proven himself as a coach and a leader. With his new contract, Sarkisian has secured his place as one of the most valued and respected coaches in college football.


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