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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Two national championships in three years has earned Urban Meyer a hefty raise.

Meyer signed a six-year, $24 million contract Monday to become the Southeastern Conference's highest-paid coach in 2009.

Entering his fifth year in Gainesville, he has now become the third-highest-paid coach in the country behind USC's Pete Carroll and Notre Dame's Charlie Weis.

"Coach Meyer has certainly proven to be one of the top college football coaches in the country and should be compensated as such," UF athletics director Jeremy Foley said in a statement. "We are proud he is our coach, and we appreciate all that he has done for the Gators."

Now, Meyer is contracted to be at UF until 2014, and the deal could be even sweeter for him depending on possible incentives. His previous contract paid him $3.25 million a year, but Meyer earned an additional $375,000 in bonuses in 2008.

As for any fans worrying about Meyer leaving UF, his new contract will retain the same $500,000 penalty he had in his old contract if he leaves early to go to any other school, according to ESPN.com.

A new contract had figured to be in motion since January when Meyer won his second national championship at UF.

University President Bernie Machen said at the SEC spring meetings in May that Meyer deserved to be the highest-paid coach in the league.

"I believe that Urban Meyer is the best at what he does. He demands excellence of his players on the field and in the classroom," Machen said in a statement released Monday. "Not only did the University of Florida win a national championship in January, but all 13 seniors earned degrees and the 2008 football team tied an SEC league record with 37 players named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. We're proud he's a Gator."

While UF has faced strict budget cuts on the academic side of things, it should be noted that the University Athletic Association receives no money from the school to run the athletics program, and the UAA has contributed $17.3 million to the university since 2005.

Meyer has also put his name to good use. He has committed $1 million to the Florida Opportunity Scholars program, which helps out first-generation, financially disadvantaged students, and he is the co-chair of the program along with men's basketball coach Billy Donovan.

"I continue to be very thankful and appreciative for everything the University of Florida and the athletic program has done for me and my family," Meyer said in a statement. "Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and the community make this a special place and I'm honored to be a part of it."

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