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Mitch Barnhart signs contract extension

You’d be hard-pressed to find a time when UK Athletics was as collectively good as it’s been under Barnhart, so this was well-deserved.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Citrus Bowl - Kentucky v Penn State Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Much success has come across UK Athletics over the course under Mitch Barnhart

Last year, two different UK teams (volleyball and rifle) won national titles, while the athletics department as a whole finished 12th in the Director’s Cup.

As of now, seven different UK programs are ranked in the top 15 in the country in their sports. With that much success across the board, a lot of praise goes to Barnhart. According to the Courier-Journal, he just earned another reward for it.

Barnhart and Kentucky reached an agreement on a contract extension at the beginning of September, according to the UK Office of Legal Counsel. The extension will keep him in Lexington through 2025-2026, as his old contract was set to expire in 2023-2024.

The extension will pay him at an increased rate starting next year at $1.2 million until it finishes at $1.425 million in the final year of the deal.

There are also bonuses in the deal for both retention and grades. If he stays locked into that contract through June 30th each year until 2026, he’ll be paid bonuses anywhere between $350,000 and $450,000.

For grades, Barnhart will make $2,500 if 10 teams make a 3.0 GPA and $7,500 if 15 teams do. If the Athletics program as a whole reaches a 3.0 GPA in any semester, that bonus jumps to $12,500. This differs from Barnhart’s previous contracts, as there will be no benefits related to APR, academic goals, or Director’s Cup Standings.

Barnhart has also played a role in college sports outside of Lexington as chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee last year, as the present chair of SEC Athletic Directors, and as a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

Barnhart has a lot on his resume during his 20-year career in the Bluegrass. As it stands now, it looks as if there will be more to come for at least a few more seasons with Barnhart at the helm.