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Arkansas, Van Horn agree on new contract

by Tom Murphy | July 30, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas baseball Coach Dave Van Horn has signed up to stay on at his alma mater for the next decade.

The Razorbacks have also worked out extensions and raises for Van Horn’s top two assistants, pitching coach Matt Hobbs and hitting coach Nate Thompson, as the program comes off an SEC regular-season title and the school’s first SEC Tournament championship.

Van Horn signed last week an agreement that will raise his salary to $1.25 million and extend his contract through 2026 with automatic 1-year rollovers each season that would take him through 2031, when he will be 70. The contract calls for raises of $50,000 every year and raises of $100,000 each year the Razorbacks qualify for the College World Series.

Van Horn has taken the Hogs to six College World Series during his 19 seasons, including the program’s first back-to-back appearances in Omaha, Neb., in 2018-19.

UA Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek promoted Van Horn’s new deal on social media on Thursday with a graphic that read “Dave Van Horn: Head Hog Through 2031.”

Yurachek signed the agreement on Monday and UA system president Donald Bobbitt completed the document with his signature on Wednesday, one day after acting Chancellor Bill Kincaid signed it.

“Dave Van Horn is Razorback baseball,” Yurachek said in a statement. “Since returning to campus almost 20 years ago to lead the OmaHogs, he has embodied what it truly means to be a Razorback: Hard work, passion, loyalty and excellence.

“Coach Van Horn’s new contract provides he and his family with … security and provides our passionate Razorback fan base with the comfort of knowing our baseball program remains in great hands for the foreseeable future.”

Arkansas won its first outright SEC championship since 1999 this spring, earning Van Horn SEC Coach of the Year honors, and entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed after becoming the second SEC team to win all 10 conference series in one season.

Hobbs, who has coached Arkansas’ pitchers for three seasons, signed a three-year extension through 2024 with a $60,000 pay raise to $300,000 per year.

Thompson, who just completed his fourth season as the Razorbacks’ hitting coach and recruiting coordinator, received a two-year extension that includes a $35,000 annual pay raise to $225,000.

Van Horn had been working under an agreement signed in 2018 after the Razorbacks’ run to the championship round of the College World Series. He was set to earn a $1.025 million salary from the UA in 2022 based on that contract after leading the Razorbacks to the NCAA Tournament for the 17th time in his 18 completed seasons over 19 years.

With rollovers included, Van Horn was previously under contract through 2025, so his new deal amounts to a six-year extension.

Van Horn’s previous agreement included an extra $175,000 through an individual equipment contract with Easton through 2020. The UA is currently negotiating a new equipment contract that will not include pay for Van Horn.

Van Horn is 750-402 (.651) at Arkansas. The Razorbacks are coming off a 50-13 season in which they were ranked No. 1 for the final two months.

Their bid for a third-consecutive trip to the CWS was foiled in a super regional loss at Baum-Walker Stadium to North Carolina State.


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