ATHENS – Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity confirmed Friday he is in the midst of working on a contract extension for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
Grantham’s California-based attorney, Michael Harrison, told the AJC in November he was was seeking an extension for his client. Grantham signed a three-year contract that pays him $750,000 annually when he was hired by coach Mark Richt from the Dallas Cowboys in January of 2010. Grantham has 13 months remaining on that contract.
Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity never had an assistant coach under a multi-year agreement in 18 years while he was at Florida. But he is making an exception for Grantham.
“That’s what we’re working to right now,” McGarity said Friday. “We’re discussing it. Mark and I have discussed it and we’re trying to work through that right now. It’s just tough to get everybody together because of coaching conventions and recruiting and things like that. But we’re moving along in that direction.”
McGarity indicated that any new deal with Grantham would likely resemble the old deal. In other words, two years would be added to the existing agreement to get Grantham back to three years. But negotiations are ongoing.
That said, don’t expect a tremendous pay raise for Grantham, if any. He is currently the second highest-paid defensive coordinator in FBS. Alabama’s Kirby Smart is first at $850,000.
“The most important thing is the longevity piece,” McGarity said. “From a compensation standpoint it’s hard to argue that we’re not being fair to him. My whole thing is being fair to people and I think we’re being fair.”
As is his practice, McGarity is dealing with Grantham directly and not his attorney or other representation.
Georgia’s defense has definitely improved under Grantham’s leadership. The Bulldogs finished the 2011 season ranked in the Top 20 nationally in all seven primary statistical categories, including No. 3 in total defense (268.5 ypg), 4th in pass efficiency (98.27), 7th in passing yards allowed (165.9) and 11th in rushing (103.4). Nine starters are currently slated to return to that unit and recruiting prospects are starting to line up to play for Grantham.
The question now is whether McGarity will relax his stance on multi-year contracts for coordinators. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is working on a one-year contract, as are Georgia’s other assistants.
“We have not had those discussions,” McGarity said of a multi-year for Bobo. “I’m focused on Mark’s and we’ve talked a little bit about Todd’s. That’s what we’re working on right now.”
– Chip Towers