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.