FAYETTEVILLE — After being among the lowest paid in the SEC last year, a pair of Arkansas assistants received raises this summer that also come with a one-year extension.
Defensive backs coach Sam Carter now has an annual salary of $350,000, while running backs coach Jimmy Smith was bumped up to $300,000 annually. Both coaches are now under contract through the 2022 season.
Under their old deals, which expired in February after this season, Carter and Smith were paid $225,000 annually. That means their salaries were increased by 55.6 and 33.3 percent, respectively.
According to USA Today’s database, which doesn’t include Vanderbilt because it is a private institution that isn’t subject to Freedom of Information laws, only two assistant coaches in the SEC had lower salaries in 2020: South Carolina’s Kyle Krantz ($200,000) and Joe Cox ($180,000).
Their raises also increased the Razorbacks’ salary pool for the 2021 season to $5.225 million, which is equal to what it was last year before pandemic-related pay reductions. It is believed that Arkansas had previously never paid its assistants more than $5 million combined.
Carter is now the Razorbacks’ highest-paid non-coordinator on the staff, as his salary trails only defensive coordinator Barry Odom, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and special teams coordinator Scott Fountain.
Smith’s salary is in line with four of Arkansas’ offseason hires, as wide receivers coach Kenny Guiton, offensive line coach Cody Kennedy, tight ends coach Dowell Loggains and defensive line coach Jermial Ashley are also making $300,000.
The fifth offseason hire is linebackers coach Michael Scherer, who was promoted from a quality control post to an on-field role. His salary of $175,000 would have been the lowest in the SEC last year, based on USA Today’s numbers.