The University of Arkansas has added two years to Razorback basketball Coach Mike Anderson’s contract, meaning it now runs through March 2020 and also provided new financial incentives for players’ academic performance.
The academic incentives provide up to $100,000 a year each for hitting top targets on players’ academic progress and graduation. Anderson gets about $2.2 million a year. The contract already had incentives for performance on the court.
The full release:
The University of Arkansas has signed men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson to a two-year contract extension extending his employment agreement through March 2020, it was announced by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long on Tuesday.
Anderson’s was hired by the University of Arkansas in March 2011 and his original seven-year employment agreement extended through 2018. The two-year extension includes new incentive compensation based on the men’s basketball program’s graduation success rate. Last spring, six men’s basketball student-athletes participated in graduation ceremonies.
“Mike Anderson is not only one of the nation’s best basketball coaches, he is an outstanding leader of the young men in our program,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “Under his leadership, we have made substantial progress on the court. He has firmly positioned our program to once again compete for SEC championships and return to the NCAA Tournament for years to come. Even more dramatic, has been the transformation of the academic culture within the men’s basketball program. Coach Anderson and his staff have helped establish an expectation of graduation for all men’s basketball student-athletes.”
Now in his fourth season at the helm of the Razorback program, Anderson owns a 70-41 record at Arkansas and is the first coach in program history to win 18 or more games in each of his first three years.
One of just 11 current Division I head coaches with 10+ years of experience and no losing seasons, Anderson has Arkansas off to an 11-2 start through non-conference play for the second straight year. After getting off to its best start since 1997 at 6-0, Arkansas earned its first national ranking in the Associated Press poll since 2007, reaching as high as No. 18. The Razorbacks are ranked No. 23 in this week’s Associated Press poll.
In 2013-14, the Razorbacks returned to the postseason for the first time since 2008, by earning a spot in the NIT. Improving its SEC Tournament seeding by two spots for the second straight year under Anderson, Arkansas finished fifth in the league standings at 10-8 while reaching the 20-win plateau (22-12) for the first time since the aforementioned 2007-08 campaign. Highlighting the 22-win season was the program’s first-ever season sweep of SEC rival Kentucky and a 5-1 mark against teams that advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and NIT.
Anderson has also re-established Bud Walton Arena as one of the toughest places to play and brought excitement back to the tradition-rich program. Over Anderson’s three-plus years, Arkansas is 60-6 at Bud Walton Arena with two win streaks of 15 or more games. Each of Anderson’s first three teams won a program record 17 home games, while the 2012-13 squad posted just the third unbeaten SEC home record (9-0) in program history and the first since 1998.
The Razorbacks currently lead the nation in assists (19.2) and rank ninth in scoring (84.5). Arkansas leads the SEC in scoring, three-pointers (7.7) assists, steals (8.4) and assist/turnover ratio (1.6) after leading the league in four of those five categories a year ago. Over Anderson’s 111 games as head coach, the Razorbacks have won the turnover battle 93 times.
Anderson remains among the top men’s basketball coaches in the Southeastern Conference and nationally with an annual total compensation of more than $2.2 million. Coach Anderson’s compensation is paid with athletic department-generated revenues and private gift support, and will not include any taxpayer dollars, University support, or student fees.
“I want to thank Jeff Long, Chancellor David Gearhart and the Board of Trustees for their faith and confidence in what we are building with this basketball program,” Anderson said. “This is the kind of commitment that confirms my decision to be the head coach at the University Arkansas and return to a place that has been so great to me and my family. I know I’m the right person for this job and I know how many people in the state of Arkansas that our program touches. We will return to NCAA Tournaments and I will get the job done.”
Arkansas opens SEC play on Tuesday night at Georgia before returning home to Bud Walton Arena for its SEC home opener on Saturday, Jan. 10 against Vanderbilt.
For more information regarding Razorback Athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.