VOL. 132 | NO. 96 | Monday, May 15, 2017
Memphis Extends Contract of Football Coach Mike Norvell
By Don Wade
After a winning season in his first year at the University of Memphis, head football coach Mike Norvell has had his contract extended through 2021.
U of M athletic director Tom Bowen made the announcement Friday, May 12. At the same time, Bowen said the assistant coach and staff salary pool has increased by $250,000.
“This is a part of our continual commitment and support for Coach Norvell and his staff for the incredible work they do building our football program and leading our student-athletes,” Bowen said in a statement.
"Coach Norvell is one of the best coaches in America,” said university president M. David Rudd. “We’re thrilled with the progress he's made in such a short time and look forward to many good years to come."
In his first year at Memphis, Norvell tied an FBS record for wins by a rookie head coach (8) and became the first Memphis rookie coach to defeat a ranked opponent since 1975 (48-44 victory over No. 18/21 Houston).
Norvell’s 2016 offense was the second-most prolific in school history, rolling up 6,028 yards and scoring 505 points. His offense’s 34 touchdown passes set a Memphis record and the Tigers’ 3,957 passing yards were the third-most in program history.
On defense, the Tigers ranked in the top 20 in the FBS in turnover margin (+8). For the season, the defense forced 29 turnovers (tied for fifth in the nation) and the Tigers’ 13 fumble recoveries ranked sixth in the country.
Special teams also performed well. Freshman Tony Pollard was named the AAC Special Teams Player of the Year while Jake Elliott, the first kicker selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, helped the Tiger kick-return defense rank second in the country with 16.04 yards per return.
Memphis reached a third-straight bowl game (the previous two bowls were under Justin Fuente) and now Norvell has netted the top-rated recruiting class in program history.
Norvell thanked Bowen and Rudd for their support and the ability to “keep continuity with our staff.”