It’s that time of year where rumors swirl constantly regarding coaching jobs and transfers and the like. On cue, no sooner had Brian VanGorder left the Atlanta Falcons to take the defensive coordinator’s job at Auburn this week than rumors began to circulate that the Falcons may come after Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
Kind of funny when you think about it, especially with all the arguments that developed this season between Bulldogs’ fans about which DC was better at UGA, VanGorder or Grantham.
Anyway, those rumors must have made their way to Grantham on Wednesday because the Bulldogs’ second-year coordinator issued a statement through the UGA athletic department reiterating that he isn’t looking to leave Georgia and/or return to the NFL. Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity confirmed to the AJC last week and again Wednesday that he and Grantham have already agreed in principle to a new three-year contract. They’re in the process of finalizing the paperwork, which may drag out another week or more. But it’s effectively a done deal and Grantham’s statement underscores as much.
Here’s what Grantham sent via email:
“This time of year there are a lot of rumors involving coaching openings. Because of the terrific recruiting class we are assembling and the juniors that have communicated to me their desire to come back to Georgia I felt it important to address some of these current and any future rumors. I’ve had discussions with Coach Richt and (AD) Greg McGarity and we are on track to finalizing details on a contract extension. My family enjoys Athens very much. I love the passion and excitement of our fans. We have the program headed in the right direction and I want to be a part of bringing Georgia a championship. My desire is to be at UGA for a very long time. Go Dawgs!”
Jan. 11, 2012
I suppose you could split hairs about the semantics and, of course, some folks already are. But that seems pretty cut-and-dried to me.
Grantham — who exited the season as the nation’s second highest-paid defensive coordinator at $750,000 a year — led the Bulldogs’ defense to a No. 5 overall national ranking this past season. He has nine of 11 starters due to come back and is making some hay on the recruiting trail. Most recently he nailed down a commitment from defensive end/outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, the state’s No. 1 prospect.
Most of the time these rumors are generated by opposing teams just trying to blunt recruiting momentum. Just to be certain, the sooner UGA gets Grantham’s contract finalized the better. With just one year left on the current deal, Grantham’s buyout is relatively miniscule. But the one included in the first year of a new three-year agreement will have considerably more bite to it.
In any case, McGarity doesn’t seem in a rush.
“We have talked about what we are going to do, so we are all on the same page,” he said.
That’s definitely a good thing for Georgia.