Hamilton gets new contract

UT Men's Athletics Director Mike Hamilton

Photo by J. Miles Cary

UT Men's Athletics Director Mike Hamilton

The University of Tennessee has rewarded men’s athletic director Mike Hamilton with a pay raise that puts him in or near the top 10 nationally among his peers.

The university announced Friday that Hamilton’s combined guaranteed compensation will increase from $339,575 this year to $600,000 in 2009-10 — including a one-time lump sum of $125,000 — and $525,000 the following year.

Interim UT president Jan Simek praised Hamilton’s ability to make tough decisions in recent years.

Since succeeding Doug Dickey in 2003, Hamilton has replaced the head coach in basketball, baseball and, most recently, football, while keeping the UTAD financially solvent.

“He has proven over and over the ability to meet or exceed expectations, “Simek said. “This new agreement is a sign of our confidence in him.’’

Hamilton’s base salary jumps from $274,575 a year to $350,000 for 2009-10 — a 27 percent raise — and then to $400,000 for 2010-11.

His supplemental compensation from income earned from radio, television, media rights and shoe and apparel will increase from $40,000 to $90,000 per year.

The new contract also makes changes to bonuses based on team and academic performance and to a discretionary bonus.

The combined potential bonus will be $250,000 per year, double the previous potential.

A new category was added for number of teams with an Academic Progress Rate exceeding 925, the benchmark established by the NCAA.

UT will pay Hamilton a one-time lump sum of $125,000 in retroactive pay for 2009 — compensation for the period between Friday and January 2009, when his contract was extended from 2012 to 2014.

Hamilton will receive a retention bonus of $300,000 if he remains at his post through June 30, 2014.

The pay bump would put Hamilton in or near the top 10 athletic directors in terms of compensation, according to SportsBusiness Daily.

In a report in January 2009, SportsBusiness Daily lists Florida’s Jeremy Foley as No. 1 at $965,000 a year.

LSU’s Joe Alleva was No. 10, at $550,000. Hamilton also trailed Mitch Barnhart of Kentucky, Jeff Long of Arkansas and Mal Moore of Alabama and was not among the top 25 nationally before the increase.

“Our success is a team effort,’’ Hamilton said in a UT prepared statement, “made possible by tremendous university support as well as the tireless work done by our staff, coaches and the student-athletes.

“We go to work every day to give our student-athletes the best possible opportunity to succeed on and off their fields of play and to represent the best fans in America in a first-class manner.’’

Hamilton has faced tough issues off the field as well.

Revenue has experienced significant growth under Hamilton’s leadership. Donations to the athletic department have risen from $19.5 million in 2003 to $42 million in 2008, according to UT.

The department is also engaged in major facility upgrades, including a $200 million master plan for Neyland Stadium.

While initiating a zero-based budget model, the athletic department has managed to increase its contributions to the academic wing of the university while generating all of its own revenue without state or university funding.

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Comments » 58

VolinLexington writes:

Why does this joke deserve a raise?

UltraVolDavid writes:

Worth every penny.

Ok...maybe not.

GO VOLS!

rthestar#368358 writes:

worth most of it and he gives back quietly and at a high rate

KJVol writes:

This probably won't be the popular opinion, but Mike Hamilton has done a lot of good during his tenure. He's made a very successful basketball hire, he's at least attempted to improve the baseball situation, and he's brought in a football coach who has dramatically improved our recruiting and who has also stoked fan interest, which translates into dollars. Hamilton has also made some dramatic improvements to Neyland stadium, and has begun to make some changes in ticket policies that could ultimately improve the ratio of blue-hairs to rabid fans on the West side of the stadium. Just joking about that part, but he has been willing to make sound business decisions to put us back among the elite in funding.

As an added bonus, "Big" Mike Hamilton has even been successful at enraging "small mike" from Cosby. It doesn't get much better than that.

tovolny writes:

DID HIS BASKETBALL DECISION WORK OUT???...YES.

DID HIS BASEBALL DECISION WORK OUT?...NO.

DID HIS FOOTBALL DICISION WORK???...WHO KNOWS...TOO EARLY TO TELL.

THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT IS GIVING MONEY TO THE SCHOOL...IS THIS TO PAY HIS SALARY? I DO NOT LOOK AT THIS GUY AS BEING BP OR PS BOSS...OR YOU KIDING ME? HE HAS THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD EXCEPT FOR ME...I AM TIGER WOOD'S BUTLER.

teampenny#658108 writes:

This is a maybe deal for sure. Him giving PF the extension was a big mistakes. Did he hire Buzz? He did hit a home run with Pearl. Bottom line though is UT has a great fan base but other schools in the SEC makes more money with more championships-these are the facts. Go Vols

dshawn13#224876 writes:

A AD should get paid more. He makes far less than the people he hires.

UT37916 writes:

Lord have mercy on us all. How does one obtain a job with the UT Athletic Department?

kiffownsfla writes:

Hmmm we will see.

TheFuj writes:

This is hard to understand. Basketball is definitely better. Football actually got worse, and we are yet to see the rest. Baseball has got worse. Then, what else. Are we not like 6th in total SEC all sports?

Voluvr writes:

Mike's income is comparable to other AD's at his level.
He's done good. Pearl, Kiffin, facility improvements, restructured money flow and tickets. All things that needed to be done. In the end when you compare Hamilton to Dickey, it will be Ham that wins the day.

Remember, according to sources at the course, it was Dickey that recommended to a friend in Florida who was looking for a new coach that they might want to look at young guy that just whipped Tennessee at home from Duke.

walter1998 writes:

The last guy who got a contract extension was fired the next year.

I would think the University would wait to see the results of the Kiffin hire, but, hey, when it isn't your money you are spending, it makes it easier to spend.

Just look at Congress.

Voluvr writes:

State jobs aren't all bad.

oldorange writes:

Good move for the school and the individual.
Go Vols!

Hounddog writes:

Let's play football. Hounddog

standfast#211788 writes:

Congratulations, Mr. Hamilton. You have a tough, thankless job, and you have done well. I challenge you to challenge yourself to get a few more of our football and basketball players to get an education. If you can do that, you will have earned your salary. Pay no attention to the goofballs that do nothing but criticize. They are just ignorant cooters that don't know any better. They certainly didn't have the opportunities to attend our university, or any other university for that matter. So, stick to your game plan and good luck. - Standfast

10cvolnga writes:

A lot of unknowns as of this merit increase. Hope we can say it was worth it! Who said we are in a recession?

stroker writes:

in response to VolinLexington:

Why does this joke deserve a raise?

Bet you are the best lawnmower mechanic in Lexington:
Do you know the athletic budget $'s can you imagine staying on the plus side!

theoldbear writes:

Will he be around to collect that retention bonus in 2014? I wonder...

Go Vols, beat somebody!

give_him_6 writes:

Pearl was either a really good educated hire or else Hamilton was the luckiest son of a gun out there. Firing the Baseball coach, well, time will tell. I give him 2 more seasons to get it turned around. Firing Fulmer will bear the brunt of the fans. If Kiffin does really well in the next 2 years and gets it going agin, then Hammy did real well. BUT, if Kiff tanks then Hammy fired Fulmer for nothing other than wanting his own coaches in there. And then Hammy should be let go as well. As goes Football, so goes the mens athletic dept because of the revenue brought in. Hammy will have some spleepless nights until Kiff gets it done. If Hammy says otherwise, he's lying to himself. JMO

Go Vols

givehim6 writes:

Say what you want about the man, but i'd like to get a pay rise like he gets

NoogaVol55 writes:

The Bruce Pearl hire doubled basketball revenue and football alone should bring in more money this year. The ESPN TV deal padded all of the SEC school's bank accounts....throw ole Mike a bone. I have no problem with this.

seventysevenvol writes:

This raise needed to wait until at least one football season had passed...
Hamilton wouldn't have picked Pearl if not for Ernie G. and his persistence, period. Don't give Hamilton all the credit there.
Baseball after two years of his pick is a joke, though we all know this was not Hamilton's first choice.

Meanwhile, classes are continuing to be cut for fall 2009 due to budget constraints, stranding many students...
...but we'll have "Taj maVol" Neyland Stadium to gawk at on Saturday's soon.

bluetick writes:

Hamilton uses the money from UT to hire coaches and normally there is no limit to what can be paid to the coaching staff in any sport. How easy would that be? I have been educating my son on lifes possibilities depending upon the career he chooses. I think I will steer him towards being an Athletic Director. At 13 and an IQ of 135, I think he can handle the job. :)

bluetick writes:

in response to seventysevenvol:

This raise needed to wait until at least one football season had passed...
Hamilton wouldn't have picked Pearl if not for Ernie G. and his persistence, period. Don't give Hamilton all the credit there.
Baseball after two years of his pick is a joke, though we all know this was not Hamilton's first choice.

Meanwhile, classes are continuing to be cut for fall 2009 due to budget constraints, stranding many students...
...but we'll have "Taj maVol" Neyland Stadium to gawk at on Saturday's soon.

Bang on 77. +1 on that post.

CoverOrange writes:

Follow the money. Tell me what the receipts were for the first 6 months of this year for UT paraphernalia vs the last 6 months of 2008 and I'll tell you whether he deserved it.

acolvol#632266 writes:

in response to TheFuj:

This is hard to understand. Basketball is definitely better. Football actually got worse, and we are yet to see the rest. Baseball has got worse. Then, what else. Are we not like 6th in total SEC all sports?

How can you say football has gotten worse--The Kiff is undefeated.

Gustoly writes:

One would never know the economy is in the tank. They live in an orange colored world over there.

VolVolFan writes:

I cannot believe that Hamilton is getting a pay raise, and for what!!! Kiffin has not coached a game yet, Pearl is Ok, but thoughts of him leaving we rush to give him a payraise for a so-so season, baseball what can you say, mediocre at best, Please someone tell me, what is this raise for? What great job has Mike Hamilton done this year. Could it be,that whoever is pulling his chain, is rewarding him for a job well done this year on behalf of firing Fulmer. I think that would be more likely reason for raise. We have a name for people like Hamilton where I work, and it is not complimentary. How many of you out there give pay raises for a job that is so-so. YOu know where I work, a raise is based on performance -- not what I might accomplish this coming year, but on what I have done. I may be wrong (and you can correct me) but I believe we have the highest paid coaching staff (football) in the SEC..... and for what reason is that. I know, we now are all over the sports pages, espn, etc. When have we not been mentioned on espn, sports pages, etc. Most of you write that Kiffin has brought TENNESSEE back to front line. Where have we been? We have always been a University to be reckon with, Kiffin did not invent University of Tennesse. Kiffin has only brought "negative" attention, not positive attention. All I can say is, Hamilton is definitly in with the powers to be at the University, otherwise, they should ask him for a paycut - not a raise. Trust me the University is getting ripped off big time.

vol_chaz writes:

in response to VolVolFan:

I cannot believe that Hamilton is getting a pay raise, and for what!!! Kiffin has not coached a game yet, Pearl is Ok, but thoughts of him leaving we rush to give him a payraise for a so-so season, baseball what can you say, mediocre at best, Please someone tell me, what is this raise for? What great job has Mike Hamilton done this year. Could it be,that whoever is pulling his chain, is rewarding him for a job well done this year on behalf of firing Fulmer. I think that would be more likely reason for raise. We have a name for people like Hamilton where I work, and it is not complimentary. How many of you out there give pay raises for a job that is so-so. YOu know where I work, a raise is based on performance -- not what I might accomplish this coming year, but on what I have done. I may be wrong (and you can correct me) but I believe we have the highest paid coaching staff (football) in the SEC..... and for what reason is that. I know, we now are all over the sports pages, espn, etc. When have we not been mentioned on espn, sports pages, etc. Most of you write that Kiffin has brought TENNESSEE back to front line. Where have we been? We have always been a University to be reckon with, Kiffin did not invent University of Tennesse. Kiffin has only brought "negative" attention, not positive attention. All I can say is, Hamilton is definitly in with the powers to be at the University, otherwise, they should ask him for a paycut - not a raise. Trust me the University is getting ripped off big time.

Trust you? Dude, you have 16 posts. Kiffin has only brought negative attention? I do believe we did sign the #1 player in the country this year. Has he renewed the energy in our fanbase? Did he bring in an excellent staff? What UT players have you heard about getting into trouble since he started? (crickets?) Kiffin makes far less than several coaches in the SEC. Yes, our staff is well compensated, but including Kiffin, we are still not the top spending team in the SEC. Hamilton's job is on the line with this hire, he knows that. He deserves what he got with this raise..

VolinLexington writes:

in response to stroker:

Bet you are the best lawnmower mechanic in Lexington:
Do you know the athletic budget $'s can you imagine staying on the plus side!

WHOA Hero! What does that mean?

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to VolinLexington:

WHOA Hero! What does that mean?

It means we all can't wait till football season so we can talk about our favorite team and stop talking about all this other stuff. Or at least I think that is what it means...

transplantiam writes:

I think the jury is still out on Hamilton's achievements. Yes, on the surface everything "looks" it's gonna work great. I made some pretty good decisions in my career, also some not so good. Not once did I get a raise until my decisions proved themselves. After things proved out more to the better did I get compensated for it. After years of consistant good decisions was the icing actually put on the cake. We don't give the Triple Crown until the horse wins all the races. I reserve judgement.I seem to remember a certain fb coach that was given a raise and an extremely high buy-out contract, then was fired! Not that Fulmer might not have deserved the money, but the decision wasn't the smartest one I've ever seen. Too hasty!

windy writes:

in response to VolVolFan:

I cannot believe that Hamilton is getting a pay raise, and for what!!! Kiffin has not coached a game yet, Pearl is Ok, but thoughts of him leaving we rush to give him a payraise for a so-so season, baseball what can you say, mediocre at best, Please someone tell me, what is this raise for? What great job has Mike Hamilton done this year. Could it be,that whoever is pulling his chain, is rewarding him for a job well done this year on behalf of firing Fulmer. I think that would be more likely reason for raise. We have a name for people like Hamilton where I work, and it is not complimentary. How many of you out there give pay raises for a job that is so-so. YOu know where I work, a raise is based on performance -- not what I might accomplish this coming year, but on what I have done. I may be wrong (and you can correct me) but I believe we have the highest paid coaching staff (football) in the SEC..... and for what reason is that. I know, we now are all over the sports pages, espn, etc. When have we not been mentioned on espn, sports pages, etc. Most of you write that Kiffin has brought TENNESSEE back to front line. Where have we been? We have always been a University to be reckon with, Kiffin did not invent University of Tennesse. Kiffin has only brought "negative" attention, not positive attention. All I can say is, Hamilton is definitly in with the powers to be at the University, otherwise, they should ask him for a paycut - not a raise. Trust me the University is getting ripped off big time.

Are you a complete stupid fool. Read the article and then you can answer you own stupid question. Get a grip, try reading before you jump on Mike. Good grief.

newtonrail writes:

in response to transplantiam:

I think the jury is still out on Hamilton's achievements. Yes, on the surface everything "looks" it's gonna work great. I made some pretty good decisions in my career, also some not so good. Not once did I get a raise until my decisions proved themselves. After things proved out more to the better did I get compensated for it. After years of consistant good decisions was the icing actually put on the cake. We don't give the Triple Crown until the horse wins all the races. I reserve judgement.I seem to remember a certain fb coach that was given a raise and an extremely high buy-out contract, then was fired! Not that Fulmer might not have deserved the money, but the decision wasn't the smartest one I've ever seen. Too hasty!

He's getting good at firing coaches, and raising my ticket prices.

NTNSTY writes:

I think he's done a fine job. Grats to him.

VolVolFan writes:

in response to windy:

Are you a complete stupid fool. Read the article and then you can answer you own stupid question. Get a grip, try reading before you jump on Mike. Good grief.

I did read the article, but did you. If you did and you agree with giving a $200,000. pay raise this year for his ability "To Make Tough Decisions" (being told to fire Fulmer and then going out and being the spineless creature he is)then put your money where your mouth is. How much would you like to contribute to his raise. I thought so - nothing right.

FWBVol writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

This is a maybe deal for sure. Him giving PF the extension was a big mistakes. Did he hire Buzz? He did hit a home run with Pearl. Bottom line though is UT has a great fan base but other schools in the SEC makes more money with more championships-these are the facts. Go Vols

Doug Dickey hired Buzz. Hamilton dumped him.

FWBVol writes:

in response to dshawn13#224876:

A AD should get paid more. He makes far less than the people he hires.

The AD usually makes more than all the coaches but basketball and football. Their job is to make the business decisions, and granted some of the decisions such as the hiring and firing of coaches can impact an athletic program and the attendance at games. But the head coaches are usually the face of a team or university. Bruce Pearl and Lane Kiffin will get their walking papers a lot quicker than Hamilton or any other AD.

I'm all for UT sports doing well and paying nice money, but giving these big raises at a time restructing is going on in the donor programs and people are losing their jobs or having to take pay cuts seems like poor timing.

I let other argue whether or not the raise was deserved, it's the timing of the Hamilton's raise and Pearl's raise earlier this week during tough economic times that I question.

TheFuj writes:

in response to acolvol#632266:

How can you say football has gotten worse--The Kiff is undefeated.

So you say we were successful the last two years in football? Yet to see how Kiff will do. Kiff is undefeated, but he has no wins as well! Hopefully, Kiff will be the great hire.

BuckFama writes:

Every fan is entitled to his or her own opinion. That is a given.

Neither Hamilton nor Kiffin would have been my first choice for either of their respective jobs. But Hamilton has done a pretty good job so far. My opinion is that he bungled the ending of coach Fulmer's tenure as coach, but that's all in the rear view mirror. Although coach Kiffin wouldn't have been my first choice, there are indications that his hiring may have been a very good one.

As a Volunteer fan through and through, I hope Kiffin retires with a box full of championship rings, and that the university is required to expand the trophy display areas several times before he retires or leaves.

Hope you make a ton of money the next few years, Mr. Hamilton! And as always, Go Vols!

Volgrad777 writes:

Some of you goof balls amaze me , ignorant is a good word. Football got worse???? Its a business , did you not see how far donations and contributions have gone up??? That is just amazing work. He hired Pearl , Baseball still unknown really , and football seems to be paying off right now. He has made tough choices that needed to be made and done them very first class. He has given more money to the University and doubled athletic donations for lords sake. Obviously im sure he would like to have that extension for Fulmer back , but who cares now. Everything listed is the definition of a good AD , some of you folks are clueless and he deserves the compensation he is now getting. Keep fighting the good fight Hammy.

cloudodust writes:

Ahh, but can he beat up Florida's AD..? Making $600,000 cool ones, I can only hope for change

TheFuj writes:

in response to Volgrad777:

Some of you goof balls amaze me , ignorant is a good word. Football got worse???? Its a business , did you not see how far donations and contributions have gone up??? That is just amazing work. He hired Pearl , Baseball still unknown really , and football seems to be paying off right now. He has made tough choices that needed to be made and done them very first class. He has given more money to the University and doubled athletic donations for lords sake. Obviously im sure he would like to have that extension for Fulmer back , but who cares now. Everything listed is the definition of a good AD , some of you folks are clueless and he deserves the compensation he is now getting. Keep fighting the good fight Hammy.

It is not only football. Where do we stand in all sports. I believe we use to be top three in SEC all sports, and now we around 6th. Of course donations have gone up. They have gone up in each decade. Check FL, AL, LSU, GA their donations have gone up as well. Same as we should have held back on Fulmer's extension, same for Hammy. Some championships, then reward. Not reward first.

bluntvolstalk writes:

in response to KJVol:

This probably won't be the popular opinion, but Mike Hamilton has done a lot of good during his tenure. He's made a very successful basketball hire, he's at least attempted to improve the baseball situation, and he's brought in a football coach who has dramatically improved our recruiting and who has also stoked fan interest, which translates into dollars. Hamilton has also made some dramatic improvements to Neyland stadium, and has begun to make some changes in ticket policies that could ultimately improve the ratio of blue-hairs to rabid fans on the West side of the stadium. Just joking about that part, but he has been willing to make sound business decisions to put us back among the elite in funding.

As an added bonus, "Big" Mike Hamilton has even been successful at enraging "small mike" from Cosby. It doesn't get much better than that.

This is all about a "re-allocation of funds" Hasn't ANYONE been paying attention lately? LMAO

Ralph_Crampton writes:

The internet talk is very interesting...I recall former Texas A&M football coach R.C. Slocum being quoted after the Aggies forced him out..." that darn internet talk was mean spirited and perhaps being responsible for him losing his job." And so it goes.

hopewellhill#640505 writes:

Will the comments on this KnoxNews article make any difference to decision makers, donors, and fans of men's athletics at the University of Tennessee? Probably not.

If I thought they would listen, I would start a rant for parity for Joan Cronan. What ever happened to the intent of Title IX? Guess the Lady Vols will again take a back seat when the departments are merged.

LK=Trash Talk, MH=Pending Performance, Joan Cronan=Priceless.

BigOrangeCrazy writes:

Funny, and I always thought Fort Knox was in Kentucky. Looks like they must have moved it to the Cumberland Ave area.

The man's job is to make money for the athletics department and donations are up 110% so I guess a 27% pay raise isn't a bad deal.

CharlotteVol writes:

I believe there are 2 aspects to this that are both positive:

1. UT needs to pay a rate competitive with top tier programs. IF (big IF) Hamilton's decisions do not pan out, the fact that we pay top tier will attract the level of AD talent we all want and expect.

2. I believe Hamilton is worth it. We all cite the Pearl hire (rightfully so), but I also credit Hamilton with navigating the landscape of moving Fulmer out. Regardless of anyone's feelings about Fulmer, the fact that he was not willing to step down on his own made that situation tough, with influencial boosters, loyal former players, and a vocal fan base all applying pressure on all sides.

I hope and believe Kiffin will be successful, but even if he isn't, I think Hamilton should be credited with moving us into the post-Fulmer era.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to Ralph_Crampton:

The internet talk is very interesting...I recall former Texas A&M football coach R.C. Slocum being quoted after the Aggies forced him out..." that darn internet talk was mean spirited and perhaps being responsible for him losing his job." And so it goes.

Maybe Slocum got fired for always referring to himself in the third person.

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