Tennessee has been stuck in no-mans-land since the firing of Philip Fulmer fifteen years ago. The proud program has gone through five coaches since then. But, this time, Josh Heupel seems to be the right guy to get Tennessee back into the top echelon of the SEC.
Heupel led Tennessee to a 7-6 finish last year that saw Tennessee be more competitive in SEC play in quite some time. The former Heisman-runner-up quarterback helped Hendon Hooker become one of the nation’s top signal callers and the offense was one of the best units in the country. That’s continued this year, as Tennessee is 2-0 and is coming off a win at top-20 Pitt. He also is bringing in one of the nation’s top quarterbacks, Nico Iamaleava.
Tennessee locks him up long-term
Volunteer administrators must love what they’re seeing, because just fifteen games into his tenure in Knoxville, he is getting a big extension.
Tennessee has extended Josh Heupel to 2028.
He will now make over $5 million a year. pic.twitter.com/uMj5WthVzR
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) September 16, 2022
The salary isn’t jaw-dropping when you consider what other people in the SEC are making. But, it does show a long-term buy-in for recruits and the program, and it seems like Tennessee is finally committed to a coach long-term.
This is a positive step forward after the disastrous tenure of Jeremy Pruitt. Pruitt was let go as he was embroiled in multiple scandals.
Vol Fans and others react
@_MrReality_ points out that the salary isn’t really all that big.
Lane Kiffin makes $7.25m at Ole Miss. Tennessee must be poor. Makes sense though.
— Mr Reality (@_MrReality_) September 16, 2022
This is good timing for Heupel. After a game against Akron this week, they get Florida, LSU, Alabama, and Kentucky in four of their next five games.
Can they take that back when they lose 3 of their next 5?
— Kyle Crawford (@kcraw21) September 16, 2022
This fan thinks this is the most fun he’s had watching Tennessee and thinks Heupel deserves a higher salary. I would have to agree.
This is the funnest Offense I’ve ever seen at Tennessee and he’s recruiting good and has the team playing good. Pay the man! I think he deserves 7M/year. There’s no coach I’d rather have.
— UT Football 2-0 🔥🔥 (@FishingAngler25) September 16, 2022
Of course, if this tough stretch of games doesn’t go the Volunteers way, $5 million a year may look like too much.