FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman has received a raise that pushes his annual salary to $500,000, according to an amended letter of agreement obtained through a Freedom of Information request Monday.

It's a hefty raise for Pittman, who was originally slated to earn $275,000 through June 30, 2014.

Pittman also received a two-year extension with his new letter of agreement.

The raise came after Pittman was pursued by another program — believed to be Alabama — for an offensive line position. Pittman, who joined the Razorbacks last December after working with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney at Tennessee in 2012, is now the third-highest paid member of the staff behind Chaney and defensive coordinator Chris Ash ($550,000).

Bielema has often said one of the reasons he left Wisconsin was because of his inability to retain assistants, who left for other higher-paying positions. Bielema said in an interview Monday "it feels great" to retain assistants when other conference programs try to lure them away.

"It’s been good to keep some guys, especially when you get in some in-conference battles," Bielema said. "I know this: my coaches think we have a great situation here. I think they like being here. I think they’re very intrigued and excited about the environment, the culture."

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau