Mark Richt gets new 5-year contract, Grantham extended 2 years
ATHENS — So much for a nice, slow Monday.
Last week, Georgia scheduled a press conference for football coach Mark Richt for today to discuss the relatively mundane details surrounding next week’s start to spring football practice. As it turned out, news came pouring in from multiple directions.
- The day started with news breaking of starting cornerback Branden Smith’s arrest in South Alabama for marijuana possession. Richt confirmed that was the case and that he had spoken briefly with Smith. Later, AD Greg McGarity confirmed that the arrest would mean a mandatory suspension of up to two games at the discretion of the head coach.
- UGA also released the news that it had reached agreements on new contracts for Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Richt received a new five-year deal that will extend him through the 2016 season. Financial details are “still being tweaked,” according to McGarity, but Richt is expected to receive a slight raise from the $2.81 million salary he currently receives. That does not include annual longevity bonuses that boost his earnings to more than $3 million annually. Grantham received a two-year contract extension that will guarantee his salary of at least $750,000 through the 2014 season.
- As for on-the-field football business, Richt confirmed his decision to move wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell to cornerback for spring practice. Mitchell had said he was going to try to play both positions next fall. But because of position meeting conflicts and the challenge of learning the Bulldogs’ defensive system, Richt said he made the decision to have Mitchell work with the secondary full time when spring practice begins March 20. A decision for where Mitchell will line up in the fall has not been made.
- Richt also confirmed the completion of the Bulldogs’ strength and conditioning staff. UGA hired Penn State’s head strength coach John Thomas as senior associate director under Joe Tereshinski and “speed specialist” Sherman Armstrong of Tampa as associate director.