Vols AD Danny White receives contract extension, raise in pay

Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee athletic director Danny White, who was hired in January 2021, has received a raise and a contract extension.

It's raise and extension week at Tennessee.

University of Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman announced Wednesday that Volunteers athletic director Danny White has agreed to a contract extension starting at $2.2 million annually with six-year rolling terms. Through White's first two years in Knoxville, various Vols programs have won six Southeastern Conference team championships.

"Danny White's strong and innovative leadership of our athletics department has created a championship culture and excellence across all sports in record time," Plowman said through a release. "He's built the best team of athletics administrators in the country, a team committed to our student-athletes' well-being and to winning with integrity. He has set audacious goals for athletics and is exceeding every milestone.

"I appreciate his leadership, his vision and his commitment to making the University of Tennessee the very best."

White's announcement follows Tuesday's revealing that football coach Josh Heupel is receiving a pay bump from $5 million to $9 million annually and an extension through the 2028 season. Both White and Heupel were hired from the University of Central Florida in January 2021, with White arriving first and then bringing Heupel aboard.

During the 2021-22 school year, Tennessee won the SEC's all-sports trophy for the first time, topping the men's competition and finishing second in the women's standings. The school wound up 13th nationally in the Learfield Director's Cup, its best finish in 15 years.

Tennessee's football, baseball and men's tennis programs each ascended to No. 1 in a national ranking during the 2022 calendar year, while the men's basketball team earned a No. 5 ranking in the final Associated Press poll before the 2022 NCAA tournament.

"I am so fortunate to be in the right place at the right time," White said. "We have the best roster of coaches in college athletics, talented student-athletes and a dynamic administrative team to support the enterprise. Most importantly, the passion of Vol Nation gives us a unique opportunity to build the very best athletic department in America.

"We're just getting started on 'Rocky Top.' I can't wait to see what's next!"

White was hired as Tennessee's athletic director with a starting salary of $1.8 million.

The rapid success of the football program under Heupel resulted in a single-year record of 17,297 season tickets being sold prior to the 2022 season, when the Vols capped an 11-2 record with an Orange Bowl downing of Clemson. Since the September start of last season, more than 7,500 new season tickets have been sold for 2023.

White's success on the financial front also includes the highest single-year operating revenue of $154.5 million in the 2022 fiscal year, which also yielded a record of nearly $81 million in fundraising through the Tennessee Fund.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com.