Tennessee hands football assistant coaches $250,000 in raises

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones looks on as the Volunteers practice inside Neyland Stadium on Saturday, April 11, 2015.
photo Tennessee's Von Pearson with receivers coach Zach Azzanni during 2014 spring practice.
photo Tennessee defensive coordinator John Jancek looks on as the Volunteers practice on March 26, 2015.

KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee increased the salary pool for its assistant football coaches by $275,000, bumping the staff's combined salaries to $3.495 million, based on the amended contracts released Tuesday afternoon to the Times Free Press through an records request.

The eight returning coaches received $250,000 in raises, while the Volunteers are paying new offensive coordinator Mike DeBord $25,000 more than his predecessor.

Receivers coach Zach Azzanni and running backs coach Robert Gillespie, who were awarded new titles as Tennessee shuffled their staff's roles after DeBord's hire, each received $50,000 raises and now make $350,000 each.

Gillespie assumed Azzanni's vacated recruiting coordinator title after he was named passing game coordinator.

Defensive coordinator John Jancek saw his salary raised by $40,000 and now is the highest-paid coach on staff at $515,000.

Linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, who received a $25,000 raise last season after he was named Rivals.com's recruiter of the year in 2014, received a $30,000 bump to $400,000.

Defensive line coach Steve Stripling and secondary coach Willie Martinez each received $25,000 raises. Stripling, Tennessee's associate head coach, now makes $405,000. Martinez, who received a $70,000 raise when he was named assistant head coach for defense in 2014, now makes $375,000.

Special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Mark Elder saw his $220,000 salary bumped to $240,000, and offensive line coach Don Mahoney received a $10,000 raise to his $350,000 salary.

The contracts for every coach were rolled over another year and now run through February 2017, and the salary numbers do not include $5,000 bonuses the coaches receive for camp compensation.

The Vols hired DeBord to replace Mike Bajakian in February and handed him a two-year deal that pays him $500,000 annually. Bajakian made $475,000 during his two years with the Vols.

In December, Tennessee gave head coach Butch Jones a $650,000 raise, which bumped his salary to $3.6 million. The increase in the salary pool for the assistant coaches was part of that agreement.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com.