The University of Arkansas athletic department has approved another in a series of contract enhancements for assistant coaches on Bret Bielema’s football staff.

In this one, running back coach Joel Thomas will get a pay increase from $245,000 to $280,000 and get eight tickets to home Razorback games and tickets to other varsity sporting events.

In recent days, defensive coordinator Robb Smith was increased from $500,000 to $750,000; offensive line coach Sam Pittman went from $500,000 to $525,000; tight end coach Barry Lunney Jr. from $200,000 to $240,000; strength coach Ben Herbert from $300,000 to $350,000 by steps, beginning with immediate raise to $330,000; defensive backs coach Clay Jennings from $300,000 to $350,000, and defensive line coach Rory Segrest from $225,000 to $240,000. They all got similar ticket deals.

Bielema must hire a new offensive coordinator to replace the just-departed Jim Chaney, who was paid $550,000. He went to Pitt. He also must replace Randy Shannon, who was making $400,000 as senior associate head coach and left for Florida.


If I figure this correctly, this leaves receivers coach Michael Smith in continuing negotiations on improvement.

Beau Wilcox, in his Pearls About Swine column, writes about the coaching shuffle in this week’s Times.