basketball Edit

Eric Musselman signs new contract with Arkansas after Elite 8 run

Razorbacks up the commitment to second-year head coach Eric Musselman.
Razorbacks up the commitment to second-year head coach Eric Musselman. (SEC Media)

Coming off a 25-7 season that ended with the Razorbacks' first Elite 8 appearance since 1995, second-year head coach Eric Musselman has inked a new deal extending his contract with Arkansas and giving him a raise.

Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek teased the move on Twitter late Monday night.

Musselman's new five-year agreement, which starts May 1 and runs through April 30, 2026, comes with a $4 million annual salary.

That is a 60 percent raise from the $2.5 million salary he originally agreed to when he became the Razorbacks' head coach. That was due to increase to only $2.75 million for reaching the Sweet 16 under his old contract.

The new deal also includes the potential for a pair of automatic one-year extensions for making the NCAA Tournament within the timeframe of the agreement, meaning it could go through the 2027-28 season.

“As I mentioned during the course of what was a memorable men’s basketball season, the best way for any head coach to advocate for themselves and their program is to win games,” athletics director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. “Coach Musselman earned this opportunity based on the tremendous progress that he and his coaching staff have made in the past two seasons, culminating with the most exciting season in the recent history of Razorback Basketball.

"Based on our ongoing dialogue, it is clear to me, Coach Musselman and I both share a desire to work together to ensure he remains the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas for the foreseeable future. I’m excited for the future of Razorback Basketball and look forward to seeing our program continue to progress under Coach Musselman’s leadership.”

Entering the 2020-21 season, Musselman was tied with Will Wade at the bottom of the SEC making $2.5 million a year on a heavily incentive-based, 5-year first contract with the Hogs.

He is now among the highest paid coaches in the SEC and has the potential to earn up to six $100,000 raises with appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

“Arkansas is one of the premier programs in the nation and my family and I are ecstatic to be here,” Musselman said. “I am grateful for the commitment the University is making to me, my family and the future of our basketball program. I have tremendous pride in being a Razorback and it is an honor to represent the state of Arkansas. Our staff remains focused on winning basketball games and building our roster for the future. We look forward to continuing to build on the foundation we have established in our first two seasons in an effort to achieve even greater success for our program, our University and Razorback fans everywhere.”

Arkansas would owe Musselman 70% of his remaining salary if he's terminated for convenience before the end of his agreement. He gets a one-time $1.5 million retention bonus after 2026 and his buyout is set at $7.5 million through the 2021-22 season. The buyout drops to $2 million through 2023-24.

A special clause in the deal, Musselman doesn't owe a buyout if he takes the head coaching job at University of San Diego after the 2024 season.

In Musselman's six years as a collegiate head coach, he's gone 110-34 at Nevada and 45-19 at Arkansas, putting him in the top 10 amongst active coaches in win percentage.