LSU says Chavis gets raise, will stay

UPDATED 4 P.M.

Georgia’s football program still doesn’t have a defensive coordinator, but the opening continues to prove lucrative for coaches pursued for the job.

LSU said Thursday that its highly regarded defensive coordinator, John Chavis, received a pay raise and agreed to stay in his current job after being offered the Georgia position.

Georgia’s chase of Chavis played out similarly to its earlier pursuit of veteran Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who said he turned down a UGA offer after the Hokies considerably sweetened his contract.

Chavis’ decision could prolong an already month-long Georgia search for a successor to the fired Willie Martinez. UGA coach Mark Richt said for the first time Thursday that the search could extend beyond the first week of the new year.

“I don’t know if it will or not, but it could,” said Richt, who previously had said he hoped to have a new coordinator hired by  the end of the first week of January.

Richt declined to discuss Chavis or any other candidate Thursday, saying: “I’m not going to make any comment on these things until we’ve got our man.” But he did say that Rodney Garner, the only holdover on Georgia’s defensive coaching staff, isn’t under consideration for the coordinator position.

“No, Rodney is not a candidate for the job, and he knows that,” Richt said. “We’re just still in the search.”

LSU athletics director Joe Alleva, in Orlando for the Tigers’ Capital One Bowl game against Penn State on Friday, told Gannett Louisiana Newspapers that Chavis was offered a raise Wednesday night to turn down a Georgia offer in the neighborhood of $600,000 per year over three years.

“We did what we needed to do to keep him,” Alleva said.

“I’m staying at LSU, and I’m excited about remaining here,” Chavis said in a statement. “LSU is a great place.”

Chavis was not available for further comment.

Georgia has been aiming high for a veteran defensive coordinator. Foster has been Virginia Tech’s defensive coordinator for 15 years, and Chavis also has held the position in the SEC for 15 years, 14 at Tennessee and one at LSU.

Foster reportedly made $402,000 and Chavis $450,000, plus bonuses, in 2009. To keep Foster, Virginia Tech added an annuity to his contract that will pay him a lump sum, reportedly as much as $1 million, if he remains at the school another five years. And to keep Chavis, LSU gave him a raise competitive with what Georgia was offering, Alleva told Gannett.

A third coach, Vic Koenning, acknowledged talking to Georgia about its defensive-coordinator position before leaving Kansas State to accept the DC job at Illinois. Koenning apparently was not offered the Georgia position.

Other coaches believed to be on Richt’s radar include Dallas Cowboys defensive-line coach Todd Grantham, a former Virginia Tech assistant, and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, a former Georgia player who has given no indication that he would leave the Crimson Tide for a coordinator’s job. But there are many other names also circulating in an overactive rumor mill.

“I’m not taking any pleasure at all in what people might be going through out there,” said Richt, referring to fans craving an answer. “All I can say is … when I do have that decision made and it’s ready for public consumption, we’ll let everybody know. My goal is to get the right man for the job.”

Richt had hoped to make a hire by next week because that’s when coaches return to the road visiting recruits. But he raised the possibility Thursday for the first time that the new hire might not be in place before a second recruiting “dead” — non-contact — period  is observed for the national coaches’ convention. That “dead” period runs from Jan. 10 through Jan. 14.

“It may not be until after the second  ‘dead’ period  that we get our new coach and coaches out into the homes,” Richt said. “There will be plenty of times to get into those homes [before national signing day]. I’m just hoping that these young men will continue to be patient and know that my goal is to make a decision that will really affect them throughout their time at Georgia, so I want to make sure that we do the very best job in that regard.”

Richt fired Martinez and two other defensive coaches Dec. 2. He has said the new coordinator will have considerable input into filling the other two positions.

308 comments Add your comment

frank

December 31st, 2009
10:45 am

frank

December 31st, 2009
10:45 am

true UGA fan

December 31st, 2009
10:47 am

i’m with you on that coach, get the right man for the job

Big G

December 31st, 2009
10:48 am

boudreax

December 31st, 2009
10:50 am

BMDPD

December 31st, 2009
10:51 am

This makes me wonder if Chavis turned us down.

scdawg

December 31st, 2009
10:52 am

Its all good . . .

Mustang

December 31st, 2009
10:52 am

30-24……Take your time Coach. However, please get Coach Bobo to steal some pages out of the Auburn playbook from when Ronnie Brown and Cadillac were there. We have 2 horses now.

SirReal

December 31st, 2009
10:54 am

UGA sucks and they wont be elite again for a while. Richt has become stale and it doesnt matter who he brings in.

max

December 31st, 2009
10:54 am

BMDPD

December 31st, 2009
10:54 am

We will probably hear about a Chavis pay raise soon.

militaryDawgInDC

December 31st, 2009
10:55 am

who cares about chavis..he’s a tennersee man and doesn’t fit
in the red and black Richt will do the right thing…

UGASlobberknocker

December 31st, 2009
10:55 am

I’m hoping for Smart although Chavis would be huge upgrade. The two grad assts were a huge upgrade over Willie for that matter.

UGA 2010

December 31st, 2009
10:56 am

Take ur time Coach, make sure you get the RIGHT guy to lead us back to the way we have ALWAYS been, before Martinez…..

Larvell "SugarBear" Blanks

December 31st, 2009
10:56 am

I’m really starting to wonder…….this sounds like he is moving more in the direction of the NFL which does concern me. This Grantham guy I keep reading about concerns me greatly. My money is still on “Smart” though

Derwood

December 31st, 2009
10:57 am

i WOULD LOVE FOR HIM TO GET AN OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR AT SAME TIME. BOBO SHOWED IN BOWL GAME HE CAN’T CALL A GAME. THE SPECIAL TEAMS PULLED HIS BUTT OUT ON THAT ONE.

DamntheButcher

December 31st, 2009
10:58 am

Carlton

December 31st, 2009
10:58 am

Smart ain’t ooming, people….

Carlton

December 31st, 2009
10:58 am

or coming…

scdawg

December 31st, 2009
11:00 am

Chavis gets a raise,at LSU. That’s all this is about. I’m guessing the delay is regarding talks with Smart . . . if not Smart then look for someone for the NFL. Chavis is likely third or fourth on the list anyway . . . remember, even Foster wasn’t offered the job. Richt has to talk to people in case Smart, or an NFL guy, doesn’t work out. Patience wins . . . .

ugalivz

December 31st, 2009
11:00 am

Hey, I’m the 16th person to comment…..!!!!!!!! yeah for me…. You first guys are idiots!!!!!!

blueneutron

December 31st, 2009
11:01 am

Nah, no offensive coordinator yet. Cox isn’t good enough to lead a high caliber team, and the Aggies were determined to stop the run (until the Dawgs tired them out by the 4th quarter).

BMDPD

December 31st, 2009
11:01 am

At first I thought Smart was coming, but all signs point to no. Sure I would like to have Smart, but it seems as if we were going to get Smart, then we wouldn’t have gone after Foster and Chavis. I don’t think Smart is coming. I would be happy with Chavis, though.

BMDPD

December 31st, 2009
11:03 am

I think the improved run offense against A&M was due to a change from a Vance to a Bean.

[...] told Tucker this morning that Garner is not a candidate for the coaching job. That confirms what most of us thought — that if he was going to get the job, it [...]

blueneutron

December 31st, 2009
11:08 am

Good point about Vance. Do you guys really, really think that Smart has the experience to lead a successful SEC defense on his own? It seems to me that having Saban as HC is what is really pulling the Alabama D along….

BMDPD

December 31st, 2009
11:11 am

blueneutron, I think that the rumors of personality conflicts with Smart probably hold some water.

scdawg

December 31st, 2009
11:11 am

I kind of agree blueneutron, I like Smart, great player for uga and obviosly is running a great D at Bama, but, I’m not sure if I’m that disappointed if we go elsewhere. I think the answer may be in the NFL. NFL defenses, and defensive coaches, seem to be much more effective in college than college coaches and offenses seem to be in the NFL. I’m okay with the delay regardless, let’s just be patient and get the right man!!!!!!!!!! We’ve got a chance to make a run at the East again next year, and, in a couple of years, maybe even an SEC title.

Gordon

December 31st, 2009
11:12 am

Looks like the job isn’t all its cracked up to be outside of Athens. How far down the list is Richt now? Hiring at the same time as Florida and Florida State makes it even worse. Why not just promote Garner to avoid further embarrassment?

stw

December 31st, 2009
11:12 am

SIR REAL: Since CMR and UGA suck (as you say) where did you matriculate (def:-went to school and hopefully graduated) and who is your coach (who evidently does not suck)??

Spurrier

December 31st, 2009
11:13 am

It’s sad to see the dawgs begging for a DC.

La Jolla Dawg

December 31st, 2009
11:14 am

Maybe he is trying to take the heat off of some of the candidates?

Meyer

December 31st, 2009
11:15 am

It doesn’t matter.

Mike Hunt

December 31st, 2009
11:15 am

What about Muschamp?

Dick Nixon

December 31st, 2009
11:16 am

Best man on defense I ever had was Rumsfield. Get him you want need anyone else. A bottle of single malt scotch, a cigar and a map and the man could whoop anything!!!

BullDawg Rick

December 31st, 2009
11:16 am

We’re waithing for the Saints season to end….

TRAVIS JONES for DC!!!

OneNationUnderDawg

December 31st, 2009
11:17 am

Totally agree with BlueNeutron and scdawg about Smart. And we shouldn’t give the grad assistants too much credit for stifling A&M. Did anyone else notice at that ESPN kept flashing that A&M had no draftable prospects. Makes our performance on offense and defense very concerning to me. So even as we search for a DC, I am beginning to think that our offense was shut down by a team with no draftable prospects….hmmm. Bobo – you are now on my sh*t list!

DamnDawg

December 31st, 2009
11:18 am

Anybody is better than Free Willie

Willie James Huff

December 31st, 2009
11:18 am

Hire Doolittle and Hartley to be co-coordinators! They did a better job working with Coach G than WM, Fab and Jancek did!

AJC

December 31st, 2009
11:19 am

DAVID POLLACK

Tombo

December 31st, 2009
11:19 am

Maybe our fourth or fifth choice wants to finish a bowl game before announcing he is leaving…rather than abandoning the kids like so many coaches do.

Dick Nixon

December 31st, 2009
11:19 am

Gordan,you rainbow warrior you!! Stupid is as stupid does. Get the right man, forget about what other people think. I took that advice and wound up with G Gordan Liddy.

Ole Yeller Dawg

December 31st, 2009
11:20 am

Translation: The guy we are looking to hire works for a NFL team that is currently in the playoff picture and can not be hired until his team loses.

or

I’m just putting pressure on a top collegiate DC to make him think we are in negotiations with a NFL coach trying to get him to step up to the plate.

Damon Evans – Mark Richt: DON’T YOU BUY NO UGLY TRUCK!!!!!!!

SPEND the MONEY get the BEST!

ChuckWDawg

December 31st, 2009
11:22 am

Threre are a lot of very qualifed coaches out there that would take the UGA DC job in a heartbeat. The fact that half of the schools in the country play in bowl games means a lot of potentially good candidates are preoccupied. Unless it is a proven “earth shaker” (who should probably be more interested in stepping up than laterally) hiring someone before Mid-January would lack the necessary due diligence to be certain you had the very best guy. My hunch is that guy will probably be a Van Gorder type. Look for a fiery guy with a good plan from a mid level program or maybe a BCS level program that’s has limited resources relative to the elite programs.

scdawg

December 31st, 2009
11:22 am

Good point yeller dawg!

toph

December 31st, 2009
11:23 am

Good insight ChuckWDawg

Loran, Whatayagot?

December 31st, 2009
11:23 am

Chavis’s team defensive stats look good. But he is known for dropping into Prevent Defense at the end of close games and the Vols have lost a significant number of those games. Plus we need an up and coming DC whose best is yet to come.

Zeus

December 31st, 2009
11:24 am

Derwood,

What the heck are you talking about? Bobo called a very good game. Its not his fault the line (mainly Vance) decided not to play the first half. If you’re coming out of that game complaining about Bobo, you need to go get on some meds. You’re being way too critical.

Red Neck

December 31st, 2009
11:25 am

Refusal of good DC’s to go to UGA, signals that they see program continue to slide. Who would want to work for Richt? MEDIOCRE.

CMR lacking Smarts and will not get Smart

December 31st, 2009
11:28 am

What does CMR have to offer an Asst in the form of quality knowledge or professional growth. IMO Nothing. CMR proved he is a horrible OC, he continues to struggle as Team CEO with mistake after mistake and boneheaded calls. Pretty obvious he has nothing to offer and thats whats keeping the quality coaching prospects away. Wait and see… the hire will come out left field and dissappoint the fanbase.