The Razorback athletic department made a big investment into the future with the announcement that head football coach Bobby Petrino has signed a new seven-year contract that runs through the 2017 season.
Petrino had four years left on his old contract, and with the coaching carousel starting with an opening at Florida, this was a major priority.
Petrino's annual compensation goes up from approximately $2.7 mil in 2010 to an average of $3.56 mil. each year through 2017. The new agreement also adds a non-compete clause that includes all 11 other Southeastern Conference Schools rather than only SEC-Western Division schools as outlined in his previous contract.
"I am excited to express my commitment to the University of Arkansas," Petrino said. "Chancellor [Dave] Gearhart and Jeff Long have been tremendous in terms of their support and I appreciate the positive energy the fans have demonstrated. I look forward to continuing to dedicate myself to leading the Razorback football program."
Long, Vice Chancellor of Intercollegiate Athletics, hired Petrino in December of 2007 before he actually took office as the school's athletic director.
"We are pleased to announce a new agreement with Coach Bobby Petrino that will enable our program to move forward under the leadership of one of the most successful college football coaches in the nation," Long said. "This agreement demonstrates a mutual long-term commitment between Coach Petrino and the University of Arkansas.
"Coach Petrino has done a tremendous job in leading the Razorback program to new levels of success both on and off the field. I appreciate his strong desire to remain at the University of Arkansas to continue to build our program and positively impact the lives of our student-athletes. I am excited about the direction of the Razorback Football program and look forward to Coach Petrino serving as the head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks for many years to come."
After only three seasons, Petrino took a divided team and fan base and brought them together on the way to a 10-2 record. For the first time in school history, Arkansas received a BCS Bowl Bid and will face Ohio State on Jan. 4, 2011 in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.