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Mark Pope's contract details as Kentucky head coach released

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan05/28/24


Mark Pope is locked in as the new Kentucky men’s basketball head coach.

Well, we already knew that, but details for his contract with the University were made available to the public on Tuesday. Pope’s deal with Kentucky began on April 12, 2024, and will end on March 31, 2029. Over that five-year span, he’ll earn $27.5 million ($5.5 million per year) with his first-year salary set at $5 million. Pope’s salary will increase by $250,000 per season throughout the duration of the deal.

Additionally, there are plenty of incentives baked into Pope’s contract. If Kentucky makes a Sweet 16 appearance, Pope’s contract will automatically extend one season and includes a $250,000 bonus. He will earn an extra $50,000 for winning the SEC Tournament, $100,000 for winning the SEC regular season, $250,000 for reaching the Final Four, and $500,000 for winning the national title (NCAA Tournament incentives do not stack).

But that’s not all. Pope will be provided 20 “prime, lower-level” tickets for every men’s basketball home game, 10 tickets for each away and postseason game, eight tickets for every football home game, and four tickets for every women’s basketball home game. Pope also has access to 30 in-flight hours for private aircraft use across each year of his deal.

As for the buyout, Pope would be owed 75 percent of the amount remaining on the deal if he were to be fired without cause — the same figure as former head coach John Calipari. He is also able to opt out of his contract, which would change the buyout from UK. In the event that Barnhart is still the school’s athletic director at the time of Pope’s departure, UK would owe Pope 33 percent of his remaining deal. That number falls to 20 percent if Barnhart, who is on board through the 2027-28 school year, is gone.

Pope and athletic director Mitch Barnhart officially signed the deal on May 13. President Eli Capilouto signed it on May 21.

Cody Fueger, Mark Fox contracts

Along with Pope, UK also released contract details for a pair of assistants: Cody Fueger and Mark Fox. Pope has also hired Jason Hart and Alvin Brooks to his staff, although those deals have not yet been made public.

With Fueger, who followed Pope from BYU, he signed a two-year deal with Kentucky worth just over $1 million. He’ll make $500,000 in the 2024-25 season and $525,000 in the 2025-26 season. As for Fox, he’s locked in for just the 2024-25 season on a deal worth $200,000. Both Fueger and Fox will receive the same postseason incentives as Pope.

Fueger and Barnhart signed on May 22 while Fox and Barnhart signed on May 19 and May 21, respectively.

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