- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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Fresh off winning the BCS national championship, Auburn coach Gene Chizik is getting a bump in salary that will make him one of the Southeastern Conference's highest-paid coaches.
Chizik has agreed to a new contract that will pay him $3.5 million annually and run through 2015. The coach's salary last season in leading the Tigers to the national title was $2.2 million.
"We believe that we have the best coach in college football," athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement announcing the deal. "More importantly, coach Chizik is a great mentor to our student-athletes, he represents Auburn with class and integrity in all that he does, and he is an outstanding ambassador for Auburn University."
With incentives, Chizik could earn up to $4.5 million with the new deal. He cashed in on incentives and bonuses last season, earning an extra $1.3 million for such accomplishments as winning the national title and national coach of the year honors.
Chizik does not have an agent, but worked on the deal with Birmingham attorney Russ Campbell.
"I want to thank President (Jay) Gogue and Jay Jacobs for their leadership and vision and believing in the direction that we have established for the Auburn football program," Chizik said in a statement. "I deeply appreciate their commitment to me and to the future of Auburn football.
"The success that we've accomplished in the past two seasons has been possible because of the collective efforts of the football coaches and staff, players, our administration and the entire Auburn Family. We will continue to work tirelessly to build the foundation of the Auburn football program so that we can compete for championships regularly."
Chizik now ranks fourth among SEC coaches in annual salary. Alabama's Nick Saban tops the list with an average of $4.7 million after signing a new deal in 2009.
Chizik, entering his third season at Auburn, is 22-5 as coach of the Tigers, who beat Oregon 22-19 in January to win the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game. The victory capped a 14-0 and gave Auburn its first national title since 1957.
Chris Low covers the Southeastern Conference for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.