Bobby Petrino has been Arkansas' head football coach since 2008, and he appears to be staying put in Fayetteville for quite a while. Saturday, Petrino agreed to a seven-year contract extension, meaning he's under contract with the Razorbacks through the 2017 season. The deal will increase his average annual salary from $2.7 million to about $3.56 million. Petrino's previous contract still had four years remaining, but rampant speculation about the then-vacant Florida job caused Arkansas to move.
"This new long-term agreement is beneficial to our program now and will continue to strengthen our program over time," Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. "Coach Petrino has stabilized and elevated the success of our program."
The contract also includes several incentive clauses and a series of mutual buyout clauses -- should Petrino be fired or leave his position voluntarily.
"I am excited to express my commitment to the University of Arkansas," Petrino said in a statement. "Chancellor (Dave) Gearhart and Jeff Long have been tremendous in terms of their support and I appreciate the positive energy the fans have demonstrated. I look forward to continuing to dedicate myself to leading the Razorback football program."
Petrino has gone 23-14 in his three seasons at Arkansas, including 11-13 in the SEC. The progress has been steady, with Arkansas going 5-7, then 8-5 and now sporting a 10-2 record entering the Sugar Bowl. The trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl marks the first time Arkansas has been to a BCS bowl game since the inception of the BCS.