UTPB signs McCullough to a contract extension

Photo courtesy UTPB Athletics

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Kris McCullough led UTPB to historic success in his first season with the Falcons. On Monday, the university rewarded McCullough with a three-year contract extension. The extension follows a 10-2 campaign, the Falcons' first Lone Star Conference title and first appearance in the NCAA Division II playoffs in program history.

“What Kris has accomplished in his first year is incredible; he has earned this contract,” Vice President of Athletics Todd Dooley said in a statement. “Kris is a highly sought-after coach, and we are grateful that we have him locked-in as a Falcon for several more years. Kris is dedicated to our football program and his players, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for him.” 

“My family and I are looking forward to continuing our journey in the Basin. This first season has been amazing, and we look forward to continuing to build on our foundation of success,” McCullough said. “This contract wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for our staff and their tireless work to build this family and continue to grow these young men on and off the field. I’m very thankful for this opportunity at UTPB.”

According to sources, the new contract includes adding one full-time coach position on staff and one of the highest pools of money for assistant coaches in Division II. The contract could be extended through 2029 if incentives are met. The average base pay for the new contract is $165,000, with the possibility of another $55,200 per year in incentives.

“We are so excited about this opportunity to match the contract to the momentum in the program,” UTPB President Dr. Sandra Woodley said. "Kris has been an effective and inspirational leader who delivered a Conference Championship during his first year as a Falcon. Even more impressive, he has built a close-knit family with our student-athletes by setting high standards for his team in the classroom and in our community. We are all thankful that Kris has decided to commit to UTPB and achieve even higher levels of excellence in the future.”

McCullough led the Falcons to the program’s first winning season since the school began sponsoring football in 2016. For his efforts, McCullough was named Coach of the Year for the All-Texas Non-FBS team and the Lone Star Conference. He arrived in Odessa after leading East Central to a 9-3 record and a Fun Town RV Heritage Bowl win.

During his two seasons as a head coach, McCullough mentored the Great American Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2022 (Devon Roush) and the 2023 Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year (Kenny Hrncir), Receiver of the Year (Jeremiah Cooley), Defensive Lineman of the Year (Dominique Varela), and Linebacker of the Year (Hayden Kelly).

A rising star in the coaching profession, the 28-year-old McCullough has been named to Dave Campbell’s 40-under-40, the American Football Coaches Association 35-under-35, and the 247 30-under-30 list. He’s also established lasting relationships with his players. Hrncir and Kelly are set to join the Falcons staff as graduate assistants for next season.

This story was updated with quotes following the press conference.

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