By Dalton Ray–

Baseball coach Dan McDonnell has been given a contract extension that will make him the nation’s highest paid coach.

McDonnell’s new deal will pay him $1 million a year and goes through 2026, a total of $10.6 million over ten years. McDonnell’s new contract includes a loyalty bonus of $150,000 if he remains with the team through next summer and again in June of 2020. The bonus goes down to $100,000 over the 2022 and 2024 seasons.

Former Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido, who retired earlier this week, was making just over $1 million a year. The next closest salary goes to Paul Mainieri of LSU, who has a base salary of $750,000 a year.

During the announcement Wednesday afternoon, Athletic Director Tom Jurich had high praise of the program’s all-time winningest coach.

“In my opinion, he is second to none – not only as a coach, but also as a person, and that is what sets him apart,” Jurich said. “He is a perfect fit for this baseball program, this university and this community, and he’s built this into something very special.”

McDonnell has guided his  team to a 47-12 record this year along with a second consecutive ACC Atlantic title. Over the past five years, Louisville is the only team in the nation with at least 40 wins in a season, hitting the mark in nine of the last ten seasons. McDonnell’s career record at U of L is 453-189 and includes seven regular season conference championships.

After the retirement of Texas’ Garrido, there was speculation that the Longhorns would come after McDonnell. Jurich said that he would, “go down fighting” in order to keep his program’s coach. The AD expressed how McDonnell has taken his opportunity and ran with it.

“Dan came here in the summer of 2006 with an incredible vision as well as a specific plan on how to accomplish that vision,” Jurich said. “The results have exceeded any and all expectations.”

In McDonnell’s first season, 2007, his team made the program’s first ever trip to the College World Series. Under McDonnell’s guidance, U of L would reach the CWS two more times in 2013 and 2014. Louisville has a chance to make their third CWS appearance in four years this postseason. Louisville’s journey to Omaha begins Friday at 6 p.m. against Western Michigan.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal