Grid aides given raises

Basically, Tennessee football fans thought the Vols' 9-4 record in 2006 warranted raises for the assistants but not for head coach Phillip Fulmer, who already makes $2.05 million annually. Basically, athletics director Mike Hamilton agreed.

Hamilton, who gave Fulmer a two-year extension but no raise this year, announced Thursday that all of the position coaches have received raises and contract extensions. Tennessee's assistants will make a combined $1.721 million this year, up from $1.56 million last year. Fulmer decided how the additional $161,000 would be divided among his aides.

"I am very confident in my staff of coaches," Fulmer said in a news release. "Their work ethic and dedication to this football program is outstanding. I am thankful to be surrounded by such a strong group of assistant coaches."

Assistant head coach/receivers coach Trooper Taylor got the biggest bump. The Vols' ace recruiter saw his salary increase by $36,790 – going from $138,210 to $175,000. Running backs coach Kurt Roper followed, getting a $17,500 bump from $132,500 to $150,000.

Offensive line coach Greg Adkins got a boost of $9,986 (from $140,650 to $150,636).

Defensive line coach Dan Brooks got a raise of $8,922 (from $145,078 to $154,000).

Secondary coach Larry Slade got a boost of $8,817 (from $137,183 to $146,000).

Defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell got a bump of $8,500 (from $141,500 to $150,000).

Tight ends coach Matt Luke got a $2,500 raise (from $127,500 to $130,000).

"Coach Fulmer has done a tremendous job assembling one of the best staffs in the SEC and the country," Hamilton said in the release. "I am proud of what these coaches have accomplished and confident they will continue to provide great leadership for our football program."

Like Fulmer, offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe and defensive coordinator John Chavis received extensions but no raises. They will make more money than last year, however, due to escalating endorsement deals with Adidas. Both coordinators have three-year contracts that run from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2010. Cutcliffe will earn $340,000 over the next 12 months, Chavis $325,000.

Whereas Fulmer has a six-year deal and the coordinators have three-year deals, the position coaches have two-year deals that run from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2009.

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