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Tennessee’s Barnes gets three-year contract extension, raise

Rick Barnes

Rick Barnes


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes has received a three-year contract extension and raise that will earn him $21 million over the next six years.

Athletic director Phillip Fulmer announced Thursday in a university release that Barnes has received an extension through the 2023-24 season. The extension comes after Barnes led Tennessee to a share of the 2018 Southeastern Conference regular-season title .

“Tennessee is a very special place, and I believe this program is capable of accomplishing very special things,” Barnes said in a statement.

His original contract paid him $2.25 million a year and was set to expire on April 15, 2021. Under his new deal, Barnes will make an average of $3.5 million per year.

Barnes, 64, will make $3.25 million in 2018-19. He gets a $100,000 pay increase each of the remaining years on his contract.

In his statement, Barnes thanked Fulmer and interim chancellor Wayne Davis for the commitment they’d made to his staff.

“I truly believe I’m surrounded by the best staff in college basketball,” Barnes said.

Barnes is 57-44 in three seasons at Tennessee and owns an overall record of 661-358 in 31 seasons. He coached at Providence, Clemson and Texas before arriving at Tennessee in 2015.

Picked to finish 13th out of 14 SEC teams in a preseason media poll last year, Tennessee instead tied Auburn for the regular-season championship. Barnes was named the SEC coach of the year .

Tennessee finished 26-9 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to eventual Final Four participant Loyola-Chicago on a shot in the closing seconds .

The Volunteers return their top six scorers from that 26-9 team.

“Rick has done an exceptional job of re-establishing our men’s basketball program into a championship-level program,” Fulmer said in a statement. “He stepped into what was a difficult situation as our program was struggling to find stability, and he’s very quickly instilled a winning culture during a time when Southeastern Conference basketball is becoming increasingly competitive.”