Pearl's new deal announced

The University of Tennessee announced today that University of Tennessee Head Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl has been awarded a one-year contract extension coupled with an increased compensation package.

The new agreement comes following the Vols third SEC Eastern Division championship in four years.

Under the new agreement, which runs through the 2014-15 basketball season, Pearl will receive $1.9 million annually in 2009-10. His base salary rises from $350,000 to $375,000. In addition, Pearl receives $525,000 for radio and television commitments, a $525,000 equipment fee and a $475,000 endorsement fee.

Pearl's previous contract included a $500,000 longevity bonus due in the 2009-10 season, which will make his total compensation for the 2009-10 season $2.4 million.

"I am grateful to President Simek, the Board of Trustees, Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, my staff and of course our players. I appreciate the Tennessee fans everywhere for the support they have shown our team," said Pearl. "The University of Tennessee has so much to offer – from great academic programs to incredible athletic resources to the most passionate fans in the country. I look forward to being the men's basketball coach at Tennessee for many more years."

Pearl is leading a major renaissance period in Tennessee basketball history entering his fifth season as the program's head basketball coach. UT basketball has been revitalized in terms of fan support, facilities and victories since Pearl's arrival in March 2005.

Since Pearl has been at the helm of Tennessee's basketball program, UT has seen revenue rise from approximately $4.15 million in 2004-05 to $8.48 million in fiscal year 2009.

In four seasons at Tennessee, Pearl has led the Vols to an average 25 wins a season, an overall SEC Championship, three SEC East Championships, the school's first No. 1 national ranking, and four consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He has been named SEC Coach of the Year twice (2006 and 2008) and earned national coach of the year honors two times. During Pearl's time at Tennessee, the Vols have had 46 conference wins, which is the most in the league during that span, and Tennessee is the first program to finish ahead of the University of Kentucky in the final SEC standings for four straight years.

"The athletic department is the front porch to the larger institution. Coach Pearl has created a national enthusiasm around our basketball program, raising its expectations and those of our basketball community," said Hamilton. "We appreciate everything Coach Pearl has accomplished for our basketball program in such a short amount of time, and I look forward to many more successful seasons with him at the helm of our program."

Should Pearl choose to leave the University for another coaching opportunity, he would have a liquidated damages obligation owed to the institution of $1.8 million in 2009. These liquidated damages will incrementally decrease to $1 million.

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

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