Sports

Fulmer, Pearl get new deals through 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee signed football coach Phillip Fulmer and basketball coach Bruce Pearl to new deals Wednesday that will keep them with the Volunteers through 2014.

Fulmer's deal is worth an average of nearly $3 million over the next seven seasons, and the nearly $1 million raise makes him the fourth-highest paid coach in the Southeastern Conference.

He will get $2.4 million for the upcoming season and his salary escalates to $3.3 million in 2014 with automatic raises of $150,000 annually. Fulmer will also receive raises for achieving certain goals, such as an additional $350,000 for winning an SEC championship or an additional $850,000 raise for winning a national championship.

Fulmer would receive $1 million longevity bonus in December 2012, which would be his 20th anniversary as head coach.

Pearl was previously signed through 2013 and made $1.3 million last season. His new deal increases his salary to an average $2.3 million a year. It includes a $250,000 bonus and an upfront retention bonus of $1.5 million.

Should he choose to leave Tennessee in the next five years, Pearl would owe a buyout that starts at $2.5 million and decreases incrementally each season to $1 million.

Under Pearl, Tennessee experienced its best season with a 31-5 record, the first outright regular season Southeastern Conference championship since 1967 and a second-consecutive NCAA Tournament regional semifinal appearance.

The Vols also achieved their first top ranking in The Associated Press basketball poll after toppling previously unbeaten Memphis.

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