New Auburn head basketball coach Bruce Pearl has agreed to a six-year contract that will pay him $2.2 million on an annual basis, according to Mike Szvetitz of the Opelika-Auburn News. That's a step up from what the Tigers were paying former head coach Tony Barbee.
UPDATE: Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs confirmed the deal. It's for six years and $14.7 million, with the first year paying $2.2 million. Pear will get a $100,000 raise each season. If the coach leaves early, he owes Auburn $5 million after Year 1, $4 million after Year 2 and down to $1 million. If Auburn fires Pearl before his contract is up, the school owes him $1.1 million per year.
Barbee's contract was worth $1.5 million per year, which ranked ninth among SEC coaches. Pearl's salary is tied for third with Mike Anderson of Arkansas. Kentucky's John Calipari ($4.2 million) and Florida's Billy Donovan ($3.5 million) lead the way.
If Pearl is around through the entirety of the contract, he'll coach on the Plains at least through the 2019-20 season. His contract at Tennessee, before he was fired due to an NCAA investigation, was set to run through the 2014-15 season and paid him $1.9 million annually. The financial commitment from Auburn shows the schools is indeed taking basketball seriously.
Pearl is set to be officially introduced Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CT in front of fans at Auburn Arena. Live streaming of the press conference is available on the official Auburn website.