Fulmer gets raise, extension

President Dr. Joseph E. Johnson and Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton announced Tuesday a one-year extension of the University of Tennessee's contract with Phillip Fulmer. The agreement with the Vols' head football coach increases his annual total compensation package to $1,789,500 and now runs through Dec. 31, 2010.

Fulmer currently serves as president of the American Football Coaches Association and this year guided Tennessee to its 15th consecutive winning season and 15th consecutive bowl appearance -- both school records. The Vols compiled a 10-2 regular season in 2003 and tied for the SEC Eastern Division crown, their fifth division title under Fulmer in the last 11 years.

''This latest extension and raise for Phillip is an indication of our recognition of his status as one of the nation's elite college coaches, as well as the successes of the 2003 Volunteers' team,'' Hamilton said. ''His total management of our program from recruiting, academics and on- and off-the-field management sets the standards for many other coaches around the country.

''We're fortunate to have him at the University of Tennessee and look forward to an exciting 2004.''

The agreement calls for a base salary of $275,000. Radio and television commitments account for $729,500, while endorsements and special event appearances total $575,000. Deferred income totaling $1.05 million ($210,000 per year) is payable to Fulmer at the completion of three more years -- or on Dec. 31, 2006 with Tennessee.

''Phillip Fulmer does a wonderful job as head coach of the University of Tennesseeís football program,'' Johnson said. ''That's reflected in a 10-2 record for 2003, emphasis on graduation and academic performance of student athletes, and a top 10 national ranking.

''Phillip is ever aware of the total university as he represents the football program and himself throughout the nation. I am proud of Phillip and his sense of commitment to the University of Tennessee and sound principles of leadership and values.''

The Vols are striving this week for their 100th victory in the last 10 seasons, having compiled a 99-25 mark since the start of the 1994 campaign. Only Nebraska (107-21) and Florida State (103-20-1) have better records over that span at the top level of college football.

Fulmer is the second-winningest active coach in Division I-A, owning a 113-27 (.807) mark. He has guided the Vols to a bowl game all 12 years of his tenure, matching former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne as the only coaches to take a team to the postseason in each of their first dozen seasons.

''I am very pleased with the continued confidence shown in me and our program by Dr. Johnson, Mike Hamilton and our administration,'' Fulmer said. ''It has been an honor and privilege to lead the Tennessee program these last 12 years and I look forward to many great years to come.''

UT has the longest current bowl streak in the SEC, with Florida second at 13 in a row and Georgia third at seven. The Vols meet Clemson Friday in Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

All funding for the athletics department, including coaches' salaries, is from monies generated by athletics' resources and not from appropriated funding by the state of Tennessee or other university-related revenues.


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