Florida rewards athletic director Scott Stricklin with three-year contract extension, salary raise

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin received a three-year contract extension that nearly doubled his salary and made him one of the highest-paid administrators in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference.

He agreed to the new deal in April and signed it in July, according to a public records request the school returned on Monday.

Stricklin is now under contract through October 2027. His total compensation jumped to $1.725 million from $1.151 million annually. His base salary increased to $1 million from $545,900. He also received a $120,000 annual bump for media obligations.

Stricklin's compensation package includes a $250,000 retention bonus paid annually, a $110,000 longevity incentive paid annually and an annual expense account totaling $95,000. He gets an additional $62,000 every year in fringe benefits.

The contract puts Stricklin near the top of the AD pay scale in the SEC. Tennessee's Danny White heads the list at $1.8 million annually.

Stricklin has been Florida's AD since November 2016 and spearheaded sweeping changes. Most notably, he lured longtime SEC playcaller Dan Mullen from Mississippi State to rejuvenate a stale football program and then moved quickly to replace Mullen when it plateaued. Stricklin hired Billy Napier last month in hopes of taking the Gators to new heights.

Florida also has spent nearly $280 million over the last six years on capital improvements affecting academics, football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse, many of which Stricklin played a key role in getting from concept to completion.

The coronavirus pandemic delayed progress on Florida's $85 million football facility, which is now scheduled to be completed next spring.

Florida's athletic department had a $54.5 million shortfall during the 2020-21 fiscal year because of the pandemic, significant financial losses the Gators were able to weather with a supplement from the SEC and a sizeable reserve.

Stricklin avoided layoffs, furloughs and salary cutbacks. The Gators did stop pension payments for a year and eliminated bonuses for everyone on their payroll, including coaches.

Stricklin's tenure hasn't been totally smooth. He gave Mullen a contract extension in June following a tumultuous season that included several public missteps and an NCAA recruiting violation that landed the Gators on probation for the first time in 30 years.

He also gave women's basketball coach Cam Newbauer a contract extension in March despite years of complaints and concern about a toxic culture that included verbal abuse toward players, assistants and staff members.

Considering the way the Mullen era ended, Stricklin's tenure will be tied to Napier's run and whether the coach can turn around a proud program that has lost its way. Last week, the Gators lost to Central Florida in a bowl game in Tampa, the program's first-ever loss to the neighboring Knights.

Florida closed the season 6-7 and has lost several key players into college football's transfer portal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.