Where Josh Heupel's Tennessee football salary ranks among SEC coaches

Josh Heupel put Tennessee football back in national prominence — and Tennessee has made Heupel one of the SEC's highest-paid coaches after a breakthrough season.

The third-year Vols coach received a raise and extension that will pay him $9 million annually and run through 2029. Heupel has an 18-8 record in two seasons at UT. He led Tennessee to an 11-2 record and an Orange Bowl win last season. It was the Vols' first 11-win season since 2001.

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Where Josh Heupel ranks among SEC coaches in salary

Heupel is tied with Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops as the fifth highest-paid coach in the SEC in average annual scheduled compensation, which takes into account the salary before incentives and bonuses.

Here are the SEC coaches ranked by salary:

  • 1. Nick Saban, Alabama: $11.7 million

  • 2. Kirby Smart, Georgia: $11.25 million

  • T-3. Brian Kelly, LSU: $9.5 million

  • T-3. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M: $9.5 million

  • T-5. Josh Heupel, Tennessee: $9 million

  • T-5. Mark Stoops, Kentucky: $9 million

  • T-5 Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss: $9 million

  • 8. Billy Napier, Florida: $7.4 million

  • 9. Hugh Freeze, Auburn: $6.5 million

  • 10. Shane Beamer, South Carolina: $6.625 million

  • T-11. Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri: $6 million

  • T-11. Sam Pittman, Arkansas: $6 million

  • 13. Zach Arnett, Mississippi State: $3 million

Salary information for Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea is not available due to Vanderbilt being a private institution.

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What was Josh Heupel's previous salary?

Heupel received a raise to a guaranteed annual salary of $5 million and a contract extension through 2028 in July. The terms add one year and $1 million annually to his guaranteed pay, and his bonus structure remains the same.

What was Josh Heupel's original contract with Tennessee?

Heupel's original deal was for $4 million annually and ran through Jan. 31, 2027. He was hired at UT in January 2021.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee football: Josh Heupel salary ranking among SEC coaches