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Tennessee Volunteers gives Rick Barnes two-year extension

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes argues a referees call during the second half of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament semifinal game against Alabama at  Bridgestone Arena Saturday, March 13, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Nas Sec Tenn Ala 026
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes argues a referees call during the second half of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinal game against Alabama at Bridgestone Arena Saturday, March 13, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. Nas Sec Tenn Ala 026

Tennessee announced Tuesday that head coach Rick Barnes has received a two-year extension on his contract, which now runs through the 2025-26 season.

Financial terms were not released. Barnes is the fifth-highest paid coach in the country with a total package of $4.7 million, per the USA Today database.

The extension was one of nine announced Tuesday by Tennessee athletic director Danny White, in his first year as AD in Knoxville.

“First, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that I inherited a very impressive roster of head coaches when I arrived at Tennessee back in January,” White said in a statement. “That’s a credit to those who came before me. Extending contracts for successful coaches is one indicator of a healthy athletics program, and we plan on continuing to be aggressive with extensions and rewarding success moving forward.”

Barnes, who turns 67 on Saturday, is 123-73 after six seasons at Tennessee. He’s led the Volunteers to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including this past season when UT was a No. 5 seed. The Vols lost in the first round to upstart Oregon State.

He was named Naismith Coach of the Year in the 2018-19 season when Tennessee won a school-record 31 games, reaching the No. 1 ranking during the regular season.

Overall, Barnes is 727-387 after 34 years as a head coach. He took Texas to the Final Four in 2002-03.

Barnes was close to leaving UT for UCLA in April 2019, if not for his $5 million buyout.

–Field Level Media