Jim McElwain is getting a raise.
The second-year UF coach is getting a $750,000 increase in his salary, bumping his annual pay from $3.5 million to $4.25 million and making him the highest-paid coach in the Southeastern Conference East Division, the school announced.
The raise went into effect on Feb. 1 on the six-year deal still runs through 2020.
In his first year, McElwain led the Gators to a 10-4 record and the school’s first appearance in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game since 2008, although the decision to give him a raise wasn’t based upon reaching that benchmark.
"We recognized early in Coach Mac's tenure that he totally changed the vibe around football for The Gator Nation and in the building," athletics director Jeremy Foley said in a release. "Dr. Fuchs and I first talked about this in mid-October -- we didn't want to make it about winning one game or advancing to the SEC Championship Game.
"We wanted to make a change because of the direction of the program and his leadership.”
With the raise, McElwain becomes the ninth SEC coach to have a salary of at least $4 million a year, joining Arkansas’ Bret Bielema, Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, Tennessee’s Butch Jones, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, LSU’s Les Miles, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.
"It's great to know that our university and administration believe in the direction we are taking this program,'' McElwain said in a release. "This sends a strong message about the things we are putting in place and the work of the entire organization.
“It sends a real message in recruiting that we have the support and confidence in our long-term vision."
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UF coach Jim McElwain points to the crowd during Gator Walk prior to Florida's 20-14 overtime win against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 21, 2015.