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Arkansas Football Coach Sam Pittman Agrees To New Contract Spiced With Stability

Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman is at his dream job, so he and his new agent, Jimmy Sexton, used that in contract negotiations that have ended with a new contract and a non-compete clause for Pittman.

The clause means he will not accept another job.

“It’s going to have a non-compete clause in it, and that’s about all I’ll say about it until (it is released in full),” Pittman said Saturday. “I’m glad it does. It allows us to recruit. There are a lot of different things in recruiting, but one of them happens to be stability. They can fire me whenever they get good and ready to, but I can’t leave. Don’t want to anyways, so we’re using that.”

Pittman, 60, was Arkansas’ associate head coach and offensive line coach from 2013-15. He also has a Razorback statue outside his lake home.

Details have not been released, but Pittman said other terms have been settled. Sexton, who became Pittman’s agent last year, had asked Arkansas to give Pittman a seven-year contract worth approximately $50 million, or $7.14 million a year, last December.

For decades, Sexton has represented some of the highest paid college football coaches in the nation. Among his current clients are Alabama coach Nick Saban ($9.75 million a year), Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher ($9 million), Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin ($7.25 million) and Georgia’s Kirby Smart ($7.1 million).

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Pittman had a salary of $3 million last year in his second season as Arkansas’ coach for 12th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference. After a 3-7 season in his first year in 2020, he led the Razorbacks to a 9-4 season in 2021 with a 4-4 finish in the SEC.

Arkansas beat Penn State, 24-10, in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in the Razorbacks’ first traditional New Year’s Day bowl since the 2011 season when they beat Kansas State 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl. The nine wins last year were the most for Arkansas since it went 11-2 in that 2011 season under coach Bobby Petrino.

After the 2019 season, Pittman inherited a program that had three straight losing seasons and was 4-20 overall and 0-16 in its previous two seasons.

“I’ve agreed to what they’ve offered, and they agreed when I agreed,” Pittman said after his team’s open scrimmage was moved indoors because of rain Saturday and closed to the public. “So, I don’t know what all that means. Do you? I agreed. They agreed. So, I guess that means we agreed.”

Asked how he felt about it, Pittman said, “Awesome. Awesome.”

Arkansas had three wins over ranked teams last season — 40-21 over No. 15 Texas, 20-10 over No. 7 Texas A&M and 31-28 over No. 17 Mississippi State. The Hogs also lost a thriller at No. 2 Alabama, 42-34, and 52-51 at No. 17 Ole Miss.

Pittman was scheduled to make $3.25 million in 2022, according to his original contract.

Pittman said Arkansas is one of the rare programs in the country with the same head coach, offensive coordinator (Kendal Briles) and defensive coordinator (Barry Odom) headed into a third straight season.

“We’re trying to sell this contract as stability,” he said.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau has been on the LSU beat since 1998 with multiple outlets in Louisiana, prior to that he had covered both Auburn and Alabama. He won first place for his game feature on LSU's upset at Florida last season from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also named Beat Writer of Year, by Louisiana Sports Writers Association in July; placed in three Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) categories – Beat Writer, Explanatory, Game Coverage – last spring. Guilbeau was also the FWAA first-place winner for columns in 2017 and was also the top overall winner in 2016 FWAA placing first for his game story, second in columns, and receiving honorable mention for features.

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