UA Fends Off Auburn's Attempt to Hire Yurachek


UA Fends Off Auburn's Attempt to Hire Yurachek
Hunter Yurachek (Walt Beazley/University of Arkansas)

Auburn University offered Hunter Yurachek $2 million to fill its vacant athletic director position, but the University of Arkansas seems to have succeeded in keeping him with a raise and another contract extension.

University of Arkansas System spokesman Nate Hinkel said Monday that he could not confirm the details of the offer that were provided to Arkansas Business by a knowledgeable source who was granted anonymity. But, Hinkel said in an email, "I am confirming that an offer was made and that as a result, recent negotiations have taken place to retain Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek."

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, he provided an email from Thursday in which UA System President Donald Bobbitt outlined to the UA's Interim Chancellor Charles Robinson the details of a new five-year contract for Yurachek starting Jan. 1 in which his annual salary would be raised from $1.25 million to $1.5 million with deferred compensation of $250,000 from private funds.

According to Bobbitt's email:

"Annual salary and compensation increased each year by minimum of average faculty and staff raise. A larger increase can be recommended by the Chancellor and Chair of the Board’s Athletic Committee.

"The performance bonus of $175,000 specified in [Yurachek's] existing contract and earned over the previous fiscal year is to be paid to you on or before June 30, 2024. Continuing under the terms of the existing agreement through December 31, 2022.

The new contract "has been verbally agreed upon but not fully executed at this time," according to Hinkle.

On Saturday, the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, reported that Auburn was in discussions with John Cohen, currently athletic director for Mississippi State University, and other news outlets on Monday went as far as reporting that the deal was done. Allen Greene resigned as Auburn's AD in August.

Auburn's attempt to hire Yurachek had not been reported.

Yurachek's contract as Razorbacks athletic director was extended to 2027 in February. That contract, according to reporting by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, included a base salary of $1.25 million and potential performance incentives worth up to $175,000 a year.

UPDATE: Yurachek tweeted this statement:

"Throughout the nation, many have taken notice of the record-breaking success we have achieved together at the University of Arkansas. Our many accomplishments are a credit to the collective commitment of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members, Razorback Foundation members, season ticket holders and fans. I am sincerely appreciative of the continued support for our program from our Board of Trustees, President Don Bobbitt, Interim Chancellor Charles Robinson and our entire campus administration. I am honored to be the Director of Athletics at the University of Arkansas and look forward to even greater things to come as we move forward together as ONE Razorback."