New Tennessee football tight ends coach Alec Abeln will get a three-year contract with a significant raise after being promoted from offensive analyst.
On Friday, UT released the terms of his employment agreement.
Abeln will be paid $243,750 in his first year, which ends Feb. 28, 2024. He will be paid $250,000 in his second year and $275,000 in his third year. He can also receive bonuses for team success in a percentage-based incentive structure like UT’s other assistant coaches.
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Abeln was paid $66,000 in 2022 as an offensive analyst, according to UT payroll records obtained by Knox News via a public records request.
This will be Abeln’s first job as a full-time assistant.
His deal is similar to the one UT gave Kelsey Pope, who was promoted from offensive analyst to wide receivers coach a year ago. Pope’s pay started at $225,000 in his first year, and it’s scheduled to increase to $250,000 in his second year and $275,000 in his third year.
But that’s assuming Pope remains under his initial contract. It’s reasonable to believe he could get a raise after a successful first season coaching wide receivers. Pope helped guide Jalin Hyatt to winning the Biletnikoff Award, given to the top pass-catcher in college football.
Abeln played under UT coach Josh Heupel and offensive line coach Glen Elarbee as an offensive lineman at Missouri. He served as a Missouri graduate assistant in 2018.
Abeln then coached under Heupel as a graduate assistant at Central Florida in 2019 and as an offensive analyst at UT since 2021. He was an Ole Miss graduate assistant under Lane Kiffin in 2020.
“I think how I got developed starts with Coach Heupel − just with the whole program belief for coaches that you are in here for a reason.” Abeln said. “If you have an idea and if you have a way we can do things better, I don’t care if you are a (graduate assistant), don’t care if you are a student assistant, I want your input.
“As a group, there is no ego. We want to try and find the best solution to do everything. I think growing up in a program and a coaching staff like that is what has allowed me to have the kind of success that I have had.”
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Reach Adam Sparks at email@example.com and on Twitter @AdamSparks.