Contract details obtained through a public records request show that Barnes will earn $4.7 million in the 2019-20 season and will get a $250,000 raise each of the next four seasons after that.
The 64-year-old Barnes had been scheduled to make $17.75 million over the next five seasons — including $3.35 million in 2019-20 — before the contract adjustments.
The only men’s college basketball head coaches earning more per year are Kentucky’s John Calipari and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, according to USA Today’s coaching salary database.
Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer announced on April 8 that Barnes would be staying with the Vols after the school’s leadership “stepped up to show Rick how much he is valued and appreciated.” UCLA hired former Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin the next day.
“We weren’t going to let somebody come in here and buy our coach without putting up a fight,” Fulmer said at an April 16 news conference.
Barnes said at that same news conference that he probably would have left for UCLA if the Bruins had agreed to cover his $5 million buyout. Barnes said he was happy at Tennessee but intrigued by UCLA’s rich basketball history.
He said that he prayed over his future and considered the snag in buyout negotiations a sign that he should stay at Tennessee.
“I asked God for total clarity,” Barnes said. “And when they came back with their decision, I knew that I’m not supposed to be the coach UCLA. As soon as that happened, I’m like, ‘OK, I’m good with this,‘ because I felt like again, that God had made it crystal clear that I needed to be at the University of Tennessee.”
Barnes has gone 88-50 in four seasons at Tennessee, including a 57-15 mark the last two years. Tennessee was ranked No. 1 for nearly a month this season and went 31-6 with an NCAA regional semifinal overtime loss to Purdue.
Barnes has an overall coaching record of 692-364.