Tennessee coach Josh Heupel receives rich extension through 2028

Tennessee coach Josh Heupel received a contract extension through the 2028 season that will pay him $9 million annually plus incentives, the school announced Tuesday.Heupel led the Volunteers to an 11-2 record last season and a No. 6 national ranking. Tennessee defeated Clemson 31-14 in the Orange Bowl as the Volunteers improved to 18-8 in Heupel’s two seasons.Heupel, who turns 45 in March, becomes the sixth Southeastern Conference coach to make at least $9 million per season, joining Alabama’s Nick Saban ($11.7 million), Georgia’s Kirby Smart ($11.25 million), LSU’s Brian Kelly ($9.5 million), Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher ($9 million) and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin ($9 million).Overall, 11 coaches earn at least $9 million annually.”The results over Josh’s first two seasons speak for themselves,” White said. “He and his staff have energized both our football program and our fan base with an aggressive brand of football, a competitive culture that creates leaders and a relentless approach to raising the bar every single day.”Despite a brief period of dormancy, Tennessee never surrendered its status as a college football powerhouse. We just needed an innovative leader like Josh Heupel to reignite the spark. It’s been fun to crash the party, but as Josh said after our Orange Bowl triumph, the best is yet to come.”Heupel was SEC Coach of the Year for 2022, a season in which Tennessee won its first eight games and was ranked No. 1 atop the season’s first College Football Playoff rankings.According to reports, Heupel made $5 million in 2022.