UGA rewards basketball coach Mark Fox with new $8.5 million deal (UPDATED)

Mark Fox is now among the upper half of SEC coaches in salary. (AJC photo)

Mark Fox is now among the upper half of SEC coaches in salary. (AJC photo)

Updated 12:55 p.m. with reaction from Fox. . . .

Georgia rewarded basketball coach Mark Fox with a contract extension and a $400,000-a-year raise on Thursday.

The Georgia Athletic Association Executive Board approved a new five-year deal worth $8.5 million for the second-year coach during a specially-called meeting Thursday. The contract was extended one year through June of 2016 and his salary was increased to $1.7 million annually, effective April 1. Fox’s previous contract paid him $1.3 annually and was set to expire in 2015.

The boosts were recommended by to the board by UGA President Michael Adams and Athletic Director Greg McGarity. The motion was unanimously approved.

“It was evident to me we needed to do a couple of things to extend Mark,” McGarity told the board. “He was not among the top half of SEC coaches [in salary]. This effort was to place him in the upper half. He’s the man we want to lead our program and build our program the right way.”

Fox led Georgia to a 21-12 record this past season as the Bulldogs earned their first at-large NCAA tournament berth since 2002.

“I’m very honored to be the basketball coach at Georgia,” Fox said on a conference call with reporters. “I want to thank Dr. Adams and Greg McGarity for their support of our staff. Georgia is committed to building a basketball program and that’s been evident with the support we’ve had here for two years.”

Fox’s name began to surface for other job openings soon after the season was over. But he quickly denied interest in leaving Georgia and said he intended to remain for the long haul.

As soon as Georgia’s season ended with a first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, McGarity said that he would seek to extend and enhance Fox’s employment agreement with the university. The new deal was not a reaction to other offers, he said.

“Trust me, this is all proactive,” McGarity said. “You go ahead and let individuals you’re paying attention and you don’t have to worry about people knocking on your door to say, ‘hey, I need a raise.’ This was all initiated by us. It was not initiated by Mark”

Fox will have his work cut out for him in the first year of his new deal. The Bulldogs lost four players from last year’s squad, including top scorers and rebounders Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, both of whom entered the NBA draft as juniors.

“We’re going to have a young team,” he said. “It makes you a little green than you want to be. But that just means more opportunities for the young guys. And Marcus Thornton and Donte Williams have had the best springs of everybody on our team.”

Fox was asked how he might celebrate his $2 million windfall.

“I probably won’t, to be honest with you,” he said. “Many of you know my wife. She gets my checks and I don’t ever see them. I just go to work. It’s really about getting up tomorrow to figure out how to make Georgia basketball better. That’s what drives me.”

62 comments Add your comment

Timbodog

April 28th, 2011
11:59 am

Was he going to leave otherwise?

Skidawg

April 28th, 2011
12:13 pm

Good guy to keep in Athens! This saves him from leaving to go to another school.

rduck...

April 28th, 2011
12:14 pm

Good move but is it enough to keep the guy around when other schools come calling?

GT65

April 28th, 2011
12:16 pm

Great for him…Coach Fox has earned it. I really enjoyed watching your team play this year.

Fox is a Con Man

April 28th, 2011
12:17 pm

Already making excuses for the bad years ahead – “that process certainly is one that takes some time”. Not in basketball it doesn’t! UGA just bought a bad investment. Ask folks in Nevada. So glad he is gone!

Timbodog

April 28th, 2011
12:18 pm

I’m not even trying to be negative. I just don’t understand raising a contract when it’s unmerited. Weren’t there already incentives in the contract?

If he starts sucking it up now, won’t it just be an albatross?

Fox is a Con Man

April 28th, 2011
12:18 pm

What is Fox’s buyout?

Hoopster

April 28th, 2011
12:30 pm

Oh McGarity, you just made a bad investment. No need to do this and a bad, bad move.

DawginLex

April 28th, 2011
12:34 pm

UGA basketball=Kentucky football

UGA basketball DESPERATELY needs stability. It is somewhat of a gamble to extend him after 2 years but he can coach and is honest. At this point he is somewhat of a hot commodity so go ahead and nail him down.

KY football did the same thing with rich Brooks/joker Phillips. The jury is still clearly out on Joker too but UK football has lousy tradition with no stability and the only time they won was when they cheated.

See the similarities???

Barkin'Dog

April 28th, 2011
12:44 pm

Fox is a Con Man is a douche bag! People who come on these blogs spouting their bile for no reason but to amuse themselves (low-lifes as they are) absolutely amaze me. No other coach in recent memory deserves this more than Fox. Whatever you think, Fox is a Con Man… it doesn’t hold a candle to the sense this makes for UGA. He is building a winning team (not will build, it’s a fact, he IS BUILDING). So, go soak your fat, inflated head and bloated ego, you schmuck!

DAWG ONE

April 28th, 2011
1:18 pm

These doubters and sleeze bags are not Georgia fans or basketball fans. Pathetic losers is what they are. Nothing good to say about anyone but themselves, if that.

Glad to have this extension and CMF around for more years to prove himself.

D A DoubleU G

April 28th, 2011
1:18 pm

Welcome to UGA Football, 4 Star ATH Leonard Floyd!!!!

http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&p=8&c=1&nid=4985435

Stan Cartwright

April 28th, 2011
1:18 pm

Chip:

Any chance you can still provide 10 @ 10 on your Bulldog beat? Michelle – how little work can I do and still keep my job – Carvell has ruined the great work you provided. He’s more interested in providing responses to his lousy stories then actually taking the time to provide information that people other than himself care about. Please look into that possibility.

Reaper

April 28th, 2011
1:19 pm

Great job on keeping a great coach. He will make the BB team relevant once again. They will be young this year but, we can still do big things. We still need a PG but that will come in time. 2012 need to be a big recruiting year and we need to keep the local talent in state and the kids need to give him a chance. He did great things with Nevada and can do greater things with UGA.

Yellowjacket

April 28th, 2011
1:21 pm

Congrats to Coach Fox. He’s a class act.

D A DoubleU G

April 28th, 2011
1:22 pm

Stan Cartwright,

I find it funny that Chip has already tweeted the news that UGA got a commit from 4 star ATH/DE Leonard Pope today, and Michael Carvell is likely hanging out in the breakroom at ajc catching up on American Idol rumors.

What do you bet recruits still stay in contact with Chip Towers more than Michael Carvell??

Gordon

April 28th, 2011
1:34 pm

Who has the better gig, Hewitt or Fox?

Fox gets 8.5 million for coaching UGA the next 5 years. Hewitt gets 7.5 million for doing nothing.

All in the Family

April 28th, 2011
2:05 pm

Wow……. another overpaid coach who wont win a national championship at UGA. Can you say Mark Richt II?

Fox is a Con Man

April 28th, 2011
2:06 pm

Even McGarity is treading cautiously. See this quote:

Asked why Fox’s contract not extended more, AD Greg McGarity: “You really want your staff on edge a bit.”

Fox had two years go off his original contract yet McGarity only gave him a 1 year extension. Interesting to say the least. Sounds more like McGarity was interesting in the perception of UGA being at the top half of the SEC in salary than he is in Fox.

Fox has only signed one recruit worth a lick. Caldwell-Pope. All others are after thoughts. Now that he loses the majority of Felton’s guys Fox will show his true inabilities. Oh wait. Mr. Timeout already did that!

DawginLex

April 28th, 2011
2:24 pm

Con man idiot,

McGarrity is doing what he does because he is smart. No one can predict 100% success for any coach.

Why don’t you take your worthless drivel elsewhere?

You are dumber than a mushroom. Some of the haters are at least smart.
You are just an idiot.

Mark (another one)

April 28th, 2011
2:34 pm

McGarrity is paid to make these decisions and its done. Fox is the coach for the next five years. The original contract had a buyout clause and I expect this one does as well. That said, …

Who the hell is Laugher and is he still beating his wife? I hate the haters on these blogs. This is a small story about a big deal to UGA fans. We are all happy with Coach Fox and hope he stays a long time and keep driving UGA BB forward. The negative comments are signs of sick minds.

Mike

April 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

McGarity is one slow reactor. He waited until other teams came knocking on the door to start talking to Fox. Lack of foresight as an AD. Thankfully, Fox didn’t sign with another team while McGarity took weeks to get this deal done.

DawginLex

April 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

Laugher,

you are another idiot.

Present the facts moron.

I’ll help you:

Cindy Fox was the Associate AD at Nevada. She and her husband in 2005, were at a party. The volleybalcoach(female) and the soccer coach(female) walked up together and Coach Fox said “you 2 look like you are on a date”. He was kidding but of course after the soccer coach got fired for being a lousy coach, she files a sexual harassment complaint over the comment. Cindy Fox was asked to not participate in the investigation because it was her husband.

If that is your definition of “committing crimes”, so be it.

I still say you are a full blown idiot.

Chip Towers

April 28th, 2011
2:43 pm

Mike: You’re wrong. McGarity informed Fox they wanted to enhance his deal the same week the season ended. Just took this long for lawyers to has out the details. Contract effective April 1, so that’s when there was an agreement.

Chip Towers

April 28th, 2011
2:43 pm

Mark (another one): Yes, same boyout included.

Chip Towers

April 28th, 2011
2:45 pm

Stan Cartwright: We’ll see about resurrecting the 10@10 here. Stay tuned.

Saban

April 28th, 2011
2:48 pm

Followed Fox`s teams here in Reno and UNR. He has sucker punched you folks. Another Mark Richt in training.

Top Recruit

April 28th, 2011
3:15 pm

If he wanted to leave for a better payday, it was there. Why leave when you have the opportunity to make name for yourself and a program. It is amazing how people can make something out of nothing. It is good compensation package in a good, solid basketball conference and division. Hell, look where Duke was a few decades ago. When I hear a coach say all he wants to do is work. I’ll take him at his word…his record the past two seasons stand behind that. Now dribble on down techwood drive you naysayers.

DawginLex

April 28th, 2011
3:16 pm

At least he is not another Nick Saban in training!

He’d be leaving next year.

LawDawg

April 28th, 2011
3:41 pm

Shoot, I wish someone was clamoring to give me a $400k raise. But in all seriousness, this was well-deserved and a good sign that McGarity knows what he is doing.

EW

April 28th, 2011
4:02 pm

GT65, thanks for the class. Rare sight on these blogs.

Dave

April 28th, 2011
4:15 pm

Rumors of other teams wanting Fox were swirling around Mar 14.

McGarity REACTED to these rumors by signing a deal April 1?

Not proactive.

Here’s Jeff’s article about the rumors, way back. No way McGarity was ahead of these teams.

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2011/03/14/report-mark-fox-may-be-targeted-for-opening-at-n-c-state/

Dawg in Malta

April 28th, 2011
4:21 pm

Mark Fox is doing a good job with UGA’s basketball program.
But I thought you hit the jackpot in Vegas??
2 years @ Georgia as the basketball coach and you get 400,000.00/year raise???
Any longtime resident of Athens would love $400,000.00/year much less a raise of that much??
Come’on…I thought the lies were in Nevada….What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…
not in Athens!!!

Snoop Dawg

April 28th, 2011
4:24 pm

I only hope andpray that UGA isn’t making the same mistake with Fox in his second year that they made with Richt’s fat multi-year contract. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We haven’t even seen a single season of Fox coaching his own recruits yet… If he is a one year flash in the pan, he’s now too expensive to buy out.
Did any of the UGA big wigs study business in college?

It matters not to the Haters, because they never lose

April 28th, 2011
4:26 pm

The haters can scream insults at the U of SO and SO and cheer for any team they want to. Hater’s teams never lose, they never miss a major bowl bid or not play for the NC. How?

Haters …………. pull for whatever team that wins big and then they go to the mall and steal a hat with that schools’s logo and proclaim “My team won the NC”. That allows them to bad mouth the rest. They usually never attend even a juco.

The mark of a true hater is their jealousy and ignorance and immaturity.

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooo Dogs.

Dave Braine?

April 28th, 2011
4:32 pm

The Dawgs have a Dave Braine on their hands. The guy makes it to the 1st round and loses and gets a big raise???? At least Tech’s coach had to make it to the Final Four. This is hilarious. Tech in a bad and disappointing year made it to the 1st round. (note: Tech in a terrible year sits at home, which did happen under Blewitt a time or two). UGA thinks it’s a great feat if they make the tournament! HA LAR EE US (yes I know that is phonetic spelling and not proper)

Saban

April 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

LexDawg,

You must be a Tech troll.

Dave

April 28th, 2011
4:45 pm

I give Coach Richt & Coach Fox a mulligan in 2010. Good grief, McGarity had the boys working out from trailers, conditioning was not even high school calibre, and both teams were competitive, but tired out in the 4th.

PMC

April 28th, 2011
4:47 pm

Nice to see them investing in Basketball. Stegman has never looked better. Fox deserves the appreciation.

The campus around that area is gorgeous now.

GoooDawgs

April 28th, 2011
4:50 pm

Great for Mark Fox, hope he’s our coach for a long time & continues to build the program.

Hey CMF – glad to see we have something in common (I just come to work & it seems like my wife gets all my paychecks too).

Beast from the East

April 28th, 2011
5:00 pm

Good move my McGarity. UGA basketball desperately needs some stability and they just locked down a solid coach. That should help with recruiting now that kids know he’ll be there their entire 4 years. Congrats,Coach Fox……the Gator Nation looks forward to facing your squad for years to come.

Beast from the East

April 28th, 2011
5:01 pm

Typo…..should have been “by” McGarity, not “my” McGarity!

Buckeye

April 28th, 2011
5:02 pm

Good for Fox. but won’t change the fact that Howard ( before I was NBA) is no more. .500 at best.

Beast from the East

April 28th, 2011
5:16 pm

Buckeye,
You’re probably right about the .500 record next year, but don’t you think it was the right move to make by locking Fox up for a few more years?

jason

April 28th, 2011
5:36 pm

Honestly I am happy Mark Fox is back. Though a tad pricey since many UGA employees have been let go. On the other hand so is Mark Richt. Mr. Fox has done an amazing job to say the least since the Jim Harrick debacle and the kids have done wonderful on and more importantly off the court. His leadership and putting the focus on his team and not himself at the start of the season is a breath of fresh air.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 28th, 2011
6:20 pm

not a good move. He was one and done in the NCAA’s and didn’t even deserve to be there with 2 soon to be NBAer’s

bob

April 28th, 2011
6:21 pm

Fox gets $8.5Million, but is illegal for the players to even get a ” We earned Coach Fox $8.5 Million, and all we got was this T-Shirt” t-shirt.

Laugher

April 28th, 2011
6:41 pm

DawginLex, not even close. First of all the soccer coach won the championship and made the NCAAs. She was an absolute stud. The comment by Fox? Where did u get that lue? That is lawyer fabrication. You know that layers lie right? Fox called and harassed his wife’s subordinate. That is sexual harassment. The volleyball coach had nothing to do with it. She was just fired for losing.

Fox’s wife has fabricated evidence, falsified court document, committed perjury, and lied to the cops. Do u want more? She is part of a criminal grand jury investigation. Some of these acts were committed while Fox was at UGA!

Get your facts straight before you fly with lawyer and media spin.

Google UNR corruption and read all about his wife. Sick stuff!

Laugher

April 28th, 2011
6:49 pm

Dawg, ask yourself why his wife would commit crimes if Fox just made a single comment? She wouldn’t! The Fox’s are in a mess and you know it. Hence your defense mechanisms to talk on something you know NOTHING about!

Lawyers lie. Media spins. Fox runs from Reno as fast as he can and accepts a $2 million buyout and does not even negotiate. Do the math.

Dawg1

April 28th, 2011
8:52 pm

It’s a good move.

McGarity isn’t an idiot; if he had a character issue he would let him go to another school

Laugher – maybe your right – maybe your wrong about what happened in the past. Bottom line, if it were happening under McGarity he wouldn’t be signing him long term.

Most of the stuff in here is the typical ‘hater’ stuff – snore…

UGA is on the right track in Basketball and Football feels much better than this time last year. We’ll see.

Have a great summer folks…