Nutt Rewarded With Contract Extension

FAYETTEVILLE — At the start of the season, Arkansas coach Houston Nutt's job was considered to be in jeopardy. That's not the case anymore.

Nutt was rewarded Monday with a one-year contract extension after leading the No. 12 Razorbacks to a surprising turnaround that included a 10-3 record during the regular season, a trip to the Southeastern Conference Championship Game and their first invitation to a bowl game in three years. Nutt's contract was extended through the 2012 season, and Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles indicated that he plans to seek a pay raise for Nutt, beginning in January. "I appreciate (the extension)," Nutt said following Monday's practice. "Coach Broyles, I talked to him briefly today and he told me about that." Nutt previously had a contract that went through 2011, paying him a total of $1,049,644 a year. He earns $329,644 in salary and another $720,000 in other income. But the total amount of guaranteed money puts Nutt in the lower half among SEC coaches. "Salaries, I know they increase every year and I know how difficult the league is and how hard the job is," Nutt said. "I'm going to let Coach Broyles and the (Razorback) Foundation handle (any possible raise)." Arkansas' announcement of the contract extension comes only a few days after a particularly rough time for Nutt, who was named earlier this month as the Southeastern Conference's coach of the year. Parents for quarterback Mitch Mustain, tight end Ben Cleveland and former Arkansas wide receiver Damian Williams met with Broyles in a meeting two weeks ago to express concern over how things have gone this season under Nutt. The meeting, which was intended to be private, attracted national attention, and Williams has since decided to transfer to another school. Mustain and Cleveland said they would remain at Arkansas. "He and his coaching staff did an outstanding job of perserving through adversity and maximizing the performance of our players to achieve a championship," Broyles said in a statement released through the university. "We are excited about the future of our program with Coach Nutt at the helm." Broyles didn't have any further comment when contacted Monday afternoon.

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