Contract extension likely for Mark Richt, but what about Todd Grantham?

Georgia head coach Mark Richt (L) and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham have proven to be a pretty good tandem for the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia head coach Mark Richt (L) and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham have proven to be a pretty effective tandem for the Bulldogs this season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS — It’s reasonable to assume — and we have to assume since Athletic Director Greg McGarity is reserving comment — that Georgia will extend the contract of head coach Mark Richt after the season  if the Bulldogs get past Kentucky on Saturday to secure a spot in the SEC Championship Game.

Richt has only two years remaining on his agreement following this season and it would only seem logical that UGA would lengthen that by at least three or four years sometime after the season.

But there’s another contract matter with which the 15th-ranked Bulldogs are going to have to deal if the season continues to progress as it has.

The three-year contract that Todd Grantham signed to come to Georgia to coach its defense expires on Jan. 31, 2013. And while that’s still 14 months away, what the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator has done on his side of the ball in Year Two has made him a pretty hot commodity.

So says Grantham’s agent, at least. Michael Harrison, an attorney out of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., said he has already “gotten inquiries” from some NFL teams about the possibility of his client returning to that league as a coordinator. Harrison also said he has “gotten feelers” indirectly from colleges gauging Grantham’s interest in becoming a head coach.

Grantham came to UGA from the Dallas Cowboys, where he coached linebackers, and he was a defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns before that. It’s Grantham’s stated desire to one day become a head coach — the buyout in his contract is waived if he does — and several college positions have already opened up. More will surely become available at the conclusion of the regular season, and Harrison expects Grantham to be a part of those conversations.

“Todd wants to be at Georgia, though,” Harrison insisted. “But we’d like to get an extension.”

Here’s the rub: McGarity is not likely to be keen on providing multi-year deals for assistant coaches. It’s something he never did in 18 years as Jeremy Foley’s right-hand man at Florida.

Georgia’s multi-year contract for Grantham was executed by former UGA Athletic Director Damon Evans, who previously also had not offered extended deals for assistants. Grantham is the among the top three highest-paid coordinators in college football at $750,000 a year, according to a survey by USA Today, and the only UGA assistant coach with a multi-year deal.

How McGarity might actually feel about the situation we have no way of knowing because he’s not willing to comment on it at this point.

“We don’t talk about anything like that during the season,” McGarity said Monday, referring to both Richt and Grantham. “Our full focus is on our players and our opponent and right now that is Kentucky. We’ll deal with all that after the season.”

Asked whether the decision on Grantham would ultimately be his, McGarity said, “the head coach makes decisions on his staff.” But you can be sure McGarity will have input.

This much is also certain: Georgia’s defense has looked a lot better under Grantham’s guidance. After Georgia’s 45-7 win over No. 20 Auburn this past Saturday, the Bulldogs (8-2, 6-1 SEC) moved up to No. 4 in the nation in total defense. They’re also No. 5  against the run, No. 5 against the pass and they lead the SEC in quarterback sacks and tackles for loss. The TD it allowed in the first quarter against the Tigers was just the ninth in the last eight games against the defense.

In fact, Georgia’s defense has improved significantly in national ranking in every category kept in Year Two of Grantham’s leadership.

2010—-Defensive category—–2011

24————-Total————-4

27————-Rush————-5

72———–Pass Eff. ———–5

34————Passing———-15

40————Scoring———-12

51————-TFLs———–10

52————-Sacks———–25

The improvement over 2009, before Grantham was defensive coordinator, is even more significant.

Of course, Grantham does not come without faults. He was roundly criticized for making choke signs at a Florida kicker as he prepared to make the game-winning kick against Georgia in overtime in 2010. And Grantham ended up in a shouting match with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin at the end of the Vanderbilt game last month. Both incidents resulted in internal reprimands from UGA and certainly could be a factor in any job considerations going forward.

Harrison said he does not believe it will be an issue. “A lot of people want a coach with Todd’s fire and passion for the game,” he said.

Certainly it would be in Richt’s best interest to keep Grantham. Richt has spoken glowingly recently of his defense and its coordinator.

“It’s a lot more fun to coach when you’ve got a good defense and the guys are playing the way our guys are playing,” Richt said Saturday. “It makes up for a lot of deficiencies. It just kind of helps you iron some things out sometimes. . . . Todd studies defenses and offenses as well as anybody I’ve been around. He will have a plan and he will understand what needs to be done. But then he’ll try to make it as simple as possible for our guys. He understands tendencies, he understands formations and groups and when different guys are in the game. He knows the percentages and he’s got fire in his belly. He’s really doing a great job.”

So I put the question to you. Should the Bulldogs move to lock up Grantham as soon as they can for as long as they can? Or should Georgia remain guarded in their approach to long-term contracts?

– Chip Towers

882 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

November 14th, 2011
10:49 am

McGarity can blow it like was done with BVG or he can lock Grantham down for the same number of years as Richt.

Lose him and Richt will be back to hiring another DC and all the momentum we have gained will be trashed.

We have all bashed Bobo too but, I really think the 3 coaches need to stay together.

Bobo is a DGD and loyal. Even if he got moved to QB coach only, he is very valuable as a recruiter.

Stability is a rare thing these days in college football.

Who cares what was done at florida?

They fire coaches at the drop of a hat and Muschamp is next.

Lock ‘em down Greg

Thomas Brown

November 14th, 2011
10:50 am

Give him contract extension for beating Auburn Florida and Tennessee who in the last 30 years have not lost as many games, combinbed, as they have lost already ?

Fridawg

November 14th, 2011
10:52 am

I’m worried about Grantham leaving, but that is a good sign for our program. Hopefully we have enough young guys that know the system that we could pick up another young 3-4 D-coordinator if he does go. I say you extend him with a nice salary bump to avoid him leaving. If he does anyway (a strong possibility for a head coaching gig), go find a replacement.

Extending Richt is absolutely the right thing to do. He has proven that the slump is over. This team is YOUNG and is poised for a good 2-4 year run if we keep the staff.

superDawg

November 14th, 2011
10:53 am

Todd Grantham should be the Head coach in waiting.Give him respect he has turned into a BAD DAWG and the rest of the SEC does not want to come in our yard.

Joe Mac

November 14th, 2011
10:57 am

This coaching staff is starting to shape up like the first two (RB coach was let go mid-season remember).

The program is feeding off the defense like it did in the best years of the past.

Keep it together as long as you can. Whatever it takes; years or money.

71 Dawg

November 14th, 2011
10:58 am

Remember the Martinez years – don’t let Grantham get away – as this year has proven, defense wins football games! Maybe a win against LSU in the Dome will seal the deal. . .

DCJohn

November 14th, 2011
10:58 am

Absolutely. He will be a head coach one day and both Georgia and Todd Grantham could benefit by having him for a longer term deal until that day comes.

UGA vs LSU

November 14th, 2011
10:59 am

Let us see how the dawgs do against LSU – they stop them and that is something – remember SC and how they ran through the new “system”. Lot to see yet.

Fact

November 14th, 2011
11:00 am

superDawg couldnt be more right. Love grantham and his intensity. Lets lock it up long term

Big Wally Butts

November 14th, 2011
11:01 am

Well, we can all see how that “next head coach in waiting” worked out for Florida. I would like to see Georgia lock him in for at least 3 more years.

UGA vs LSU

November 14th, 2011
11:01 am

I don’t think we concern LSU or Ala at all.

DawginLex

November 14th, 2011
11:01 am

So let’s follow the Thomas Brown idiot plan:

1.)No extension for Richt
2.)No extension for Grantham

Want to know what will happen?

Grantham will leave.

Recruits will go to other schools because of the perceived lack of stability and commitment from the AD to the staff despite winning the SEC East.

You Thomas Brown the idiot, will then blather on and complain about how Richt can’t recruit and that another coach should be hired.

Idiot

frank

November 14th, 2011
11:01 am

The schedule was super weak, those are facts. I hope they dont get too carried away with the extension. Make it fair, but make it something they could easily walk away from in 2 years.

If grantham leaves and its back to the same ole same ole.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

November 14th, 2011
11:02 am

If this staff continues the rest of the season as it has thus far and ends up 11-3 with the lose coming in the SECCG then hell yes you extend both of them. In fact you go and make CTG the highest paid DC in the nation due to the fact that he has those options unlike many other college DC of going to the NFL as a DC.

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
11:02 am

Georgia should never take the position as the rest of the “followers”, waiting to see what some other teams/universities are doing. Take the lead demmit. Grantham has reversed a 7-8 year trend. Even if he is the highest paid assistant, he has done his job and what he was brought here for. It’s pretty simple really, does Richt/McGarrity want this to continue? If so, sit down with Grantham and pay him what he is worth with some security. If not, look for Grantham to bolt.

sogadog

November 14th, 2011
11:03 am

Grantham did NOT have to be restrained after the Vanderbilt game. He was running his mouth but he never got physical.

McGarity should do what it takes to keep Grantham.

frank

November 14th, 2011
11:03 am

I mean they beat probably the worst florida and tennessee teams in 30 years and auburn was running a 1927 offense. They had nothing. No chance. Tech would beat auburn.

Lets not get too excited here.

DawginLex

November 14th, 2011
11:03 am

Then, our new DC won’t run the 3-4, so recruiting will have to go back to square 1 and our defense will stink for the first year.

Thomas Brown the idiot plan

UGA vs LSU

November 14th, 2011
11:03 am

wasn’t this the same group that complained that Grantham was the 5th choice for the job?

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 14th, 2011
11:04 am

SC didn’t run through anything.Their offense put up 21 pts against UGa

DawginLex

November 14th, 2011
11:05 am

then, we will lose 4 or 5 games and Thomas Brown the idiot, despite UGA following his idiotic plan, will be screaming for Richt to be fired.

Thomas Brown the idiot plan

WDE

November 14th, 2011
11:05 am

3 more years is fine with me, I love his passion but I have to think as a head coach that could lead to trouble.

Chip is teh AWESOME

November 14th, 2011
11:05 am

Spends the monies and keep the Todd Granthams.

DawginLex

November 14th, 2011
11:06 am

UGA vs LSU

I didn’t complain about Grantham. I saw what Smart and Chavis were doing. Using UGA for $$$$$

NFL experience is NFL experience.

ARdawg

November 14th, 2011
11:06 am

It’s not rocket science. If McGarity and Richt let him walk, their job security comes into play if they can’t replace him adequately. Grantham is a good hire. Something Richt hasn’t done in quite a while. Reward the man and invite him to be around at least 5 more years. Thats the minimum they’ll offer Richt (5 years)

UGA Insider

November 14th, 2011
11:07 am

UGA has more money than anyone in the league. Give them what they want and move on. Evans was stingy and you could tell by the product on the field. Bama has grad assistants making over $100k is a good example of paying for good coaches.

BG

November 14th, 2011
11:07 am

Lock Grantham down! Pay him 1 million a year!

robodawg

November 14th, 2011
11:07 am

If McGarity has a rule about no multi-year contracts for assistant coaches, TG should be the exception.

7576DAWG

November 14th, 2011
11:07 am

McGarity has spoken. He will not address the issue of contract extension until after the season is over. I hope that means once we beat Kentucky and clinch the east division of the SEC that he can start negotiating. Recruit’s need to know if CMR is going to be there the whole 4 year’s.

russ

November 14th, 2011
11:08 am

Enter your comments here

superDawg

November 14th, 2011
11:08 am

Ethan

November 14th, 2011
11:09 am

Extend Grantham to whatever length Richt gets, keep the salary where it is or modest boost, and tie bonus payouts to defensive metrics that if reached would make him the highest paid DC in CFB. If he chooses to go elsewhere for a Pro or HC position than we will just have to thank him and wish him well.

Boo Boo the Magnificent

November 14th, 2011
11:10 am

All of these clowns and kool aid drinkers have been fooled once again by one game. Dont be surprised if UGA comes out very flat against Kentucky. UGA will get its clock cleaned in the dome in a few weeks.

DawginLex

November 14th, 2011
11:13 am

boo boo

Care to tell us who your team is?

russ, your comment is idiotic. fire the man who just called plays better than anything I have seen in 11 years?

idiotic

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 14th, 2011
11:14 am

This kind of conduct will not work in ATLANTA.
If you want to be a Drunk Moron please don’t come to Atlanta for the UGA v GT game………………………Nearly 50 arrests made after UGA-Auburn game

Police in Athens say they arrested nearly 50 people on charges mostly related to alcohol following the University of Georgia’s home game against Auburn University.
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that 20 people were booked into jail on underage drinking charges. Seven suspects were jailed on intoxication charges and a dozen others were accused of disorderly conduct.
Authorities say 10 other suspects were charged with drunken driving in the hours after Saturday’s game.

Rdawg

November 14th, 2011
11:14 am

Hello how stupid would it be to let this guy go, between him and coach T and as of late (can’t believe I’m saying this Bobo) they are putting on a clinic of how to prepare,execute,and adjust to opposing offenses and defenses. CTG has earned an extension and a raise. GM would be an absolute moron to let him get away from this program. GO DAWGS

ca dawg

November 14th, 2011
11:15 am

no, thomas brown, you extend his contract because he’s coached up the 4th best defense in the country. we need to get this done ASAP–grantham is the real deal as a coach and recruiter.

JT

November 14th, 2011
11:15 am

Lock him up with an extension and a buyout clause.

Bama has Grad Asst...

November 14th, 2011
11:15 am

…making $100K? hahahahahahaha – what sort of insider are you? G.A.’s are unpaid volunteer coaches getting their foot in the coaching door – I believe the NCAA rules allow for only 10 paid coaches, and G.A.’s surely are not part of that list…..

UGA>GT

November 14th, 2011
11:16 am

Pay the man!

I don’t think you can really consider early year performances. The young UGA team needed time and I think they’re in a pretty good place now. I’d hate to regress with a new DC.

Robinwood

November 14th, 2011
11:17 am

They would be fools to let CTG get away. His presence and leadership have brought the Junkyard Dawgs back to prominence. The defense has kept our offense in the game and allowed them to get their collective act together.

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 14th, 2011
11:17 am

I wouldn’t worry too much about Grantham, he’ll be a head coach next year. Kentucky would be a good place to start, unless he goes back to NFL.

DawginLex

November 14th, 2011
11:17 am

hey kool aid bar idiot

Did you know that over half of the people arrested had on Auburn orange and blue?

Yeah

So shutup now.

piermontdawgny

November 14th, 2011
11:18 am

keeping Grantham is a must…extend his contract, increase his salary and layer the the agreement with performance incentives as well…

DtDawgFan1

November 14th, 2011
11:18 am

No matter what people say this has been a great comback year for the Dawgs! Also no matter what all the teams you beat r still SEC Teams. Stop complaining and watch what they do Go Dawgs!!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 14th, 2011
11:18 am

DiLex…………….do you really think Bobo still needs to be the OC? Sorry I don’t see it. He did a good game play, but like many were saying Auburn is not that good after all.
I never though Richt was going, but it is fun poking the dawg fans with a stick. Some have been after Richt for years and others love him no matter what.
I don’t think Richt & Bobo will win and SEC title though.

Matthews Dawg

November 14th, 2011
11:19 am

Extend CMR for 4 more years minimum, extend CTG the same amount of time and give him a raise. CMB is doing a great job as OC and I don’t think he is going anywhere. When you have players that can play and know their assignment and execute those assignments, then the OC and DC look great. That is what we have going for us at UGA. Keep the “big mo” rolling and beat UK, the Gnats and then on to the SECCG. But, it won’t surprise me if we come out a little flat against UK, but we still should win going away.
Can anyone explain the tie breaker in the West if Arkansas happens to beat LSU? That is 3 teams with one loss and they all have beaten each other.

Go Dawgs!!

LoganvilleDAWG

November 14th, 2011
11:19 am

Thomas Brown, you are a dipstick!!! The real Thomas would never say the crap you do, he is a GREAT young man. Don’t you have something to do instead of complaing about the UGA football program, you are such a loser.

I agree 100% that Coach Richt & Coach Grantham need to get a 4-5 year extension. If you do it for that length of time you show stability in the program. Number 1 for the current players, number 2 the recruits & the parents and number 3 for the true positive loyal DAWG fans.

GO DAWGS!! BEAT THE CATS!!

1eyedJack

November 14th, 2011
11:19 am

Pay the man.

savdiddydawg

November 14th, 2011
11:19 am

CTG has done a phenomenal job with the defense. With the way the team has played, they do not have to make any apologies for their performance. Players play the games that are set before. If anything, I wish we could have played Boise State with the same intensity that’s being demonstrated now. However UGA has always played better when they are in the role of the underdog. At least over the tenure of Coach Mark Richt. If we are now willing to walk in the so call “Big Boy Shoes” of the SEC, it requires the team being able to consistently perform as the Lead Dog and not the backup. Going Forward, I don’t think it will make a difference if we lock Coach TY or not because if the defense has another powerful year next year, he is probably gone anyway. But I do believe that we made the correct hire became the guy from Air Force who everybody was high on at the time ( I think his name is spelled Tim DeGuyter), has done nothing but make Mike Sherman’s job even hotter at Texas A&M. Even Manny Diaz, formerly of Mississippi State, has had struggles at Texas although this is his 1st year there.