Bobby Petrino signs seven-year extension with Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas and Bobby Petrino have agreed upon the terms of a new seven-year contract between the University and the Razorbacks' head football coach that will extend through the 2017 season, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long announced on Saturday.

The new agreement will supersede the remaining four years of the original employment agreement and will run through Dec. 31, 2017. 

"We are pleased to announce a new agreement with Coach Bobby Petrino that will enable our program to move forward under the leadership of one of the most successful college football coaches in the nation," Long said. "This agreement demonstrates a mutual long-term commitment between Coach Petrino and the University of Arkansas. Coach Petrino has done a tremendous job in leading the Razorback program to new levels of success both on and off the field. I appreciate his strong desire to remain at the University of Arkansas to continue to build our program and positively impact the lives of our student-athletes. I am excited about the direction of the Razorback Football program and look forward to Coach Petrino serving as the head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks for many years to come."

In his three seasons at Arkansas, Petrino has propelled the program to unprecedented levels of success including leading the Razorbacks to a 10-2 regular season and the program's first berth in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 2010.

Arkansas will be making its first BCS bowl appearance on Jan. 4, 2011 when the No. 8 Razorbacks take on the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La. Petrino will become only the third coach in NCAA Football to lead two different teams to a BCS bowl game. In 2007, he led Louisville to a victory in the Orange Bowl.

"I am excited to express my commitment to the University of Arkansas," Petrino said. "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."

As part of the new agreement, Petrino will receive an increase in his average annual compensation to a total of $3.56 million a year during the length of the agreement. The increase to Coach Petrino's compensation package will be paid with athletic department-generated revenues and private gift support and will not include any taxpayer dollars or student fees. The new agreement will also expand the non-compete clause in Coach Petrino's current agreement to include all Southeastern Conference institutions, rather than being limited to western division institutions only.

"This new long-term agreement is beneficial to our program now and will continue to strengthen our program over time," Long said. "Coach Petrino has stabilized and elevated the success of our program. The mirror image buyout provisions included in the terms of the agreement reflect both parties' serious commitment to each other and to the long-term success of Razorback Football. That will help our ongoing fundraising efforts and send a clear message to prospective football student-athletes about the bright future of our program."