New Contract Stops Revolving Door, Provides Stability + Full Arkansas Football Salary Pool

Deke Adams, Arkansas football
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — Deke Adams has received a bump in pay and two-year extension to remain the defensive line coach for Arkansas football, Best of Arkansas Sports has learned.

According to a copy of his new employment agreement obtained via a Freedom of Information request, Adams will make $450,000 each of the next two seasons with the Razorbacks. That is $50,000 more than he made last year, meaning he got a 12.5% raise.

The 2022 season was his first at Arkansas and he was working on a one-year deal that expired Feb. 28. His new deal goes through Feb. 28, 2025.

The extension gives the Razorbacks some rare stability at a job that has been a revolving door for about half a decade. In fact, this will be the first time Arkansas has retained a defensive line coach since 2018-19, when Steve Caldwell held the position under the Chad Morris regime.

Since then, Derrick LeBlanc (2020) and Jermial Ashley (2021) had one-year stints under current Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman.

The turnover has been especially tough on the Razorbacks’ defensive tackles, as there have been five different coaches for them in as many years. In addition to Adams (2022), Ashley (2021) and LeBlanc (2020), John Scott Jr. and Kenny Ingram coached the position in 2018 and 2019, respectively, while Caldwell handled the defensive ends.

That means this year will be the first time Eric Gregory, a fifth-year senior, will have the same position coach as the year before. The same can be said for fifth-year super senior Zach Williams at defensive end.

Other Arkansas Football Coaches Extended

While Deke Adams was the only returning coach to receive a raise, the Razorbacks also extended the other four assistants back from the 2022 staff.

Offensive line coach Cody Kennedy, running backs coach Jimmy Smith, special teams coordinator Scott Fountain and wide receivers coach Kenny Guiton were already under contract for this season, but are now extended through 2024, like Adams.

All of them will have the same compensation as they did last year, including Smith, despite him adding an “Associate Head Coach” tag to his title.

That was likely earned because of the production of his room, which included first-team All-SEC selection Rocket Sanders, and his efforts on the recruiting trail.

The other half of Sam Pittman’s on-field staff is new: offensive coordinator Dan Enos, defensive coordinator Travis Williams, co-defensive coordinator Marcus Woodson, tight ends coach Morgan Turner and defensive backs coach Deron Wilson.

Assistant Salary Pool Still Down from 2022

With Adams receiving a raise and the other four coaches signing extensions, the Razorbacks’ salary pool for their 10 on-field assistant coaches is pretty much finalized, barring any bumps in pay over the summer — which could happen if they are pursued for other jobs.

Including the extra $50,000 to Adams, Arkansas is set to pay its assistant coaches a combined $5.89 million in 2023. That is an 8.5% decrease from last year’s UA-record $6.44 million salary pool.

Most of that decrease can be attributed to the departure of defensive coordinator Barry Odom, who was the third-highest paid assistant at a public school in 2022 at $1.85 million, according to USA Today’s database.

Not included in that salary pool change for assistants is an automatic $250,000 raise for Sam Pittman that was triggered by Arkansas’ win over Kansas in the Liberty Bowl because it was the program’s seventh win of the season.

Even if that raise was deducted from the assistants’ pool, the Razorbacks are still saving $300,000 on their football coaches in 2023 — and that doesn’t include the $25,000 they saved in the first year of strength coach Ben Sowders’ deal.

2023 Arkansas Football Assistant Coach Salaries

CoachArkansas 2022 salaryArkansas 2023 salary
OC Dan Enos$1.2 million*
($1.25 million in ’23)
$1.1 million
DC Travis Williams$1.85 million*$1.1 million
Co-DC Marcus Woodson$325,000*$700,000
OL Cody Kennedy$700,000$700,000
STC Scott Fountain$515,000$515,000
DL Deke Adams$400,000$450,000
RB Jimmy Smith$360,000$360,000
WR Kenny Guiton$340,000$340,000
TE Morgan Turner$400,000*$325,000
DB Deron Wilson$350,000*$300,000
*2022 salary of predecessor


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