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The Tennessee football program saw huge dividends from Josh Heupel and his second year on Rocky Top. Heupel led the Vols to an 11-2 record. Thanks to a quick turnaround in Knoxville, Josh Heupel is now in the $9 million club of college football.
Now, there are only a number of coaches who make more than Heupel. The list includes Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fisher, Brian Kelly and Nick Saban.
The news was announced on Tuesday that Heupel would receive an extension through 2029, along with a $4 million annual pay increase. In 2022, the Vols were once ranked #1 in the country, behind quarterback Hendon Hooker and the explosive offense. Athletic director Danny White decided to reward the coach with a hefty raise.
Tennessee Athletic Director Discusses Heupel’s Extension
“The results over Josh’s first two seasons speak for themselves,” White said. “He and his staff have energized both our football program and our fanbase with an aggressive brand of football, a competitive culture that creates leaders and a relentless approach to raising the bar every single day.
“Despite a brief period of dormancy, Tennessee never surrendered its status as a college football powerhouse. We just needed an innovative leader like Josh Heupel to reignite the spark. It’s been fun to crash the party, but as Josh said after our Orange Bowl triumph, the best is yet to come.”
Tennessee finished off the season with a win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl, capping off the 11-2 season. There is certainly a buzz around the State of Tennessee, as Heupel continues to build his program after setting multiple records in 2022.
Now the focus will turn towards quarterback Joe Milton and the Vols returning playmakers on offense, with a number of returning starters on defense. I don’t know if Tennessee can reach the same success in 2023, but they’ll sure be fun to watch.