The Tennessee Volunteers are rewarding head coach Josh Heupel following the program’s best season in two decades. 

On Tuesday, Tennessee announced a contract extension for Heupel through 2029 and a raise that will now pay him $9 million per season. 

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel yells at the line judge during the  Capital One Orange Bowl college football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Clemson Tigers on December 30, 2022 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. 

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel yells at the line judge during the  Capital One Orange Bowl college football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Clemson Tigers on December 30, 2022 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. 
(Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I am grateful to President Boyd, Chancellor Plowman, Danny White and of Vol Nation for their tremendous support,” Heupel said. “Our staff takes great pride in representing the Power T, and it’s something we never take for granted. We will continue to work tirelessly to build a championship program that all of Vol Nation and all VFLs can be proud of.

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“Most importantly, our players are the people who deserve all of the credit for our resurgence on Rocky Top. Over the last two years, they believed in us and poured their energy into every single day with hard work, leadership, cohesiveness and consistent habits. I am proud to be their coach.”         

The $9 million per season makes Heupel one of the highest-paid coaches in the conference after being named the 2022 SEC Coach of the Year. 

Head coach Josh Heupel of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide with a cigar at Neyland Stadium on October 15, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Head coach Josh Heupel of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide with a cigar at Neyland Stadium on October 15, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
(Donald Page/Getty Images)

The Volunteers had a revival in 2022, winning 11 games for the first time since the 2001 season and reaching No. 1 in the College Football Playoff for the first time in program history. 

In his second season in Knoxville, Heupel led Tennessee to its first win over Alabama since 2006 and defeated six top-25 teams, including Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

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“The results over Josh’s first two seasons speak for themselves,” Director of Athletics Danny White said. “He and his staff have energized both our football program and our fanbase with an aggressive brand of football, a competitive culture that creates leaders and a relentless approach to raising the bar every single day. 

Head coach Josh Heupel of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates on stage after defeating the Clemson Tigers in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 30, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. 

Head coach Josh Heupel of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates on stage after defeating the Clemson Tigers in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 30, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. 
(Eric Espada/Getty Images)

“Despite a brief period of dormancy, Tennessee never surrendered its status as a college football powerhouse. We just needed an innovative leader like Josh Heupel to reignite the spark. It’s been fun to crash the party, but as Josh said after our Orange Bowl triumph, the best is yet to come.” 

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Heupel is the latest SEC coach to receive a raise, with Saban and Georgia’s Kirby Smart agreeing to contract extensions in the offseason. 

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer received a raise in early January, increasing his annual salary from $2.75 million per season to around $6.5 million per year with a new deal.



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