Deron Wilson has agreed to a two-year deal to serve as a secondary coach on the Arkansas football staff.
The Razorbacks’ newest hire will have an annual salary of $300,000, according to a copy of his employment agreement obtained by Best of Arkansas Sports via a Freedom of Information request.
The deal, which went into effect Tuesday, will go through Feb. 28, 2025. He replaces former cornerbacks coach Dominique Bowman and completes Sam Pittman’s 10-man on-field staff.
Bowman, who mutually parted ways with the Razorbacks and has since landed a similar job at Temple, made $350,000 in his lone season at Arkansas. That means Wilson is making 14.3% less than his predecessor.
However, his salary of $300,000 is likely a significant raise from what he was making as a quality control coach at Florida. Exactly how much more he’s making in Fayetteville is unknown, though, because the University of Florida declined Best of Arkansas Sports’ request for his salary information.
That figure also makes Wilson the lowest-paid assistant on the staff, just behind new tight ends coach Morgan Turner ($325,000).
Wilson’s contract includes a non-compete clause that prevents him from leaving for another SEC job unless it is to become a head coach or solo play caller as a defensive coordinator.
To terminate him for convenience, the UA would owe Wilson the rest of his contract in full, but he has a duty to mitigate by pursuing other similar positions and the buyout would be offset by whatever he earned at his next job. If he leaves, he would owe Arkansas 20% of what he’d be paid on his remaining contract.
Updated Salary Pool for Arkansas Football
As of now, it appears that the volatile offseason of staff changes is complete and Sam Pittman has his staff in place for 2023. It includes five new assistants and five returning from last year’s staff.
With the addition of Deron Wilson, Arkansas football is set to pay its 10 on-field assistants a total of $5.84 million this season. That is a 9.3% 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 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 is deducted from the $600,000 saved on the salary pool, the Razorbacks would theoretically still have $350,000 available to give raises to the returning assistants, such as running backs coach Jimmy Smith and wide receivers coach Kenny Guiton.
It’s also worth noting that the salary pool figures here assume defensive line coach Deke Adams remains at $400,000. He was on a one-year deal that expires Feb. 28 and an extension has yet to be announced, but all signs point to him returning for a second year.
2023 Arkansas Football Assistant Coach Salaries
|Coach||2022 salary||2023 salary|
|OC Dan Enos||$1.2 million*|
($1.25 million in ’23)
|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||$400,000|
|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|
Sam Pittman Staff Changes
For the second time in three offseasons, Sam Pittman has turned over half of his coaching staff. If you’re having a hard time keeping track of all the changes, here’s a rundown:
- OC: Kendal Briles (TCU OC) —> Dan Enos
- STC: Scott Fountain
- RB: Jimmy Smith
- DC: Barry Odom (UNLV HC) —> Travis Williams
- WR: Justin Stepp (South Carolina WR) —> Kenny Guiton
- TE: Jon Cooper (fired) —> Cody Kennedy (Arkansas OL) —> Dowell Loggains (South Carolina OC) —> Morgan Turner
- OL: Brady Davis (LSU OL) —> Cody Kennedy
- DL: Derrick LeBlanc (fired) —> Jermial Ashley (fired) —> Deke Adams
- LB: Rion Rhoades (fired) —> Michael Scherer (UNLV DC) —> Marcus Woodson (co-DC/likely secondary)
- CB: Sam Carter (Ole Miss CB) —> Dominique Bowman (not retained) —> Deron Wilson
More coverage of Arkansas football from BoAS…