Arkansas football: Sam Pittman can no longer be the 54th-highest paid coach in college football

Sam Pittman, Arkansas football: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Pittman, Arkansas football: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman
Sam Pittman, Arkansas football coach (Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports) /

Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman has accomplished more in 19 games than Razorback fans ever thought imaginable.

Things were looking grim at the end of the Bret Bielema era and the entirety of the Chad Morris era. Pittman has the Hogs way ahead of schedule and headed to a bowl game for the first time in half-a-decade.

He’s been compared to Ted Lasso in his approach to coaching. Pittman is extremely humble and hard working. Fans love the coach’s tell-it-like-it-is demeanor. Yes, he got a quasi-extension earlier this year, but that was more of reset than an extension.

Arkansas football should give Sam Pittman a contract extension and a raise

There are an astounding 53 coaches in the FBS who are paid more lucratively than Arkansas coach Sam Pittman—fifty three. Eleven of those are SEC coaches, making Pittman the No. 12 highest paid coach in the SEC out of 14 teams.

Here’s what the salaries look like for current SEC head coaches, according to USA Today:

  1. Nick Saban, Alabama ($9.7 million)
  2. Ed Orgeron, LSU ($9.01 million)
  3. Dan Mullen, Florida ($7.5 million)
  4. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M (7.5 million)
  5. Kirby Smart, Georgia ($7.1 million)
  6. Mark Stoops, Kentucky ($5.2 million)
  7. Bryan Harsin, Auburn ($5 million)
  8. Mike Leach, Mississippi State ($5 million)
  9. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss ($4.8 million)
  10. Josh Heupel, Tennessee ($4 million)
  11. Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri ($4 million)
  12. Sam Pittman, Arkansas ($2.9 million)
  13. Shane Beamer, South Carolina ($2.7 million)
  14. Clark Lea, Vanderbilt (unavailable)

Note: these salary figures account for pandemic reductions. 

You’ve got Group of Five coaches who are paid better than Pittman, which is absurd. Houston Head Coach Dana Holgorsen is listed as the thirty-third highest paid at $4 million, per USA Today. Cincinnati Head Coach Luke Fickell is listed as the forty-fourth highest paid at $3.4 million.

Pittman has four wins against teams ranked in the AP Top 25, he’s got the Hogs headed to a bowl game and he’s winning the recruiting battle in the state of Arkansas.

The entire state of Arkansas is behind Pittman and these Razorbacks. He’s already achieved a lot of goals and has arguably done it ahead of schedule.

The Razorbacks don’t want to risk losing Pittman to another team or waiting too late to get the coach signed long-term. His current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2025 season.

The coach does have some performance-based incentives in his original deal, like getting an extra $500k for winning seven games in a season and adding an extra year on to his contract if he gets the Razorbacks to a bowl game, according to Saturday Down South.

Those are nice incentives, but Pittman deserves more. Especially in an age when coaches are getting 10-year deals and reworking their contracts all the time.

Pittman has already been on record saying “Longevity is important [in a contract],” according to ESPN.

Pittman is more than deserving of a raise and an official extension to ensure that jukebox is turned all the way up for years to come.

2022 recruiting class rankings revealed. dark. Next