$700,000-plus appears to be the new going rate for defensive coordinators in the Southeastern Conference.
South Carolina’s Ellis Johnson had his annual compensation doubled to $700,000 yesterday when the executive committee of the school’s board of trustees approved a contract extension that adds two years to his contract (through 2013).
That makes Johnson one of four SEC defensive coordinators who’ll make at least $700,000 this year, joining Georgia’s Todd Grantham ($750,000), Alabama’s Kirby Smart ($750,000) and LSU’s John Chavis ($700,000).
Only one SEC defensive coordinator made more than $450,000 last year.
Smart and Chavis got raises of $390,000 and $250,000, respectively, after being pursued for the Georgia job. Johnson got his $350,000 raise after reportedly being offered the Tennessee DC job by new Vols coach Derek Dooley.
Georgia is paying Grantham, who spent the past 11 years as an NFL assistant, about $425,000 more than it paid former defensive coordinator Willie Martinez ($325,815 last year).
The run-up in SEC defensive-coordinator salaries started last year when Tennessee paid Monte Kiffin, now at Southern Cal, $1.2 million in base salary. But the SEC’s next highest paid DC last year, Chavis, made $450,000.
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