Raises coming for UGA football coaches Mark Richt, Todd Grantham

Georgia is expected to step up with more years and more money to keep Mark Richt and Todd Grantham together to lead the Bulldogs' football program.

Georgia is expected to step up with more years and more money to keep Mark Richt and Todd Grantham together to lead the Bulldogs' football program.

ATHENS – The Georgia Athletic Association end-of-the-year board meeting is scheduled to get started tomorrow morning at the Ritz Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee. Actually, current and emeritus members will gather there to socialize tonight, then commence with business first thing in the morning.

And I’m expecting a lot of business to be conducted. UGA so far has offered only a very vague agenda for the meeting, which lists things like “AD’s Report,” “New Projects” and “Financial Update” and the like. But the most important item of business isn’t spelled out there and we all know that it’s going to take place (likely during AD’s report).

Georgia is expected to finally reveal the details of football coach Mark Richt’s new five-year contract. Legal representatives for both Richt and the university have been dickering over the final form of the new deal for months, going back to the end of the regular season last December. We know from Georgia’s announcement back in January that Richt’s new deal takes him through the 2016 season, but little beyond that.

What we don’t know are the particulars such as how much of a raise, if any, Richt is to receive, and what the terms and conditions of any buy-out clauses might entail. Those are the truly important details. Georgia hasn’t shared any of that so far, despite numerous freedom of information requests for copies of any drafts or memos of understanding, which are subject to state open-records laws. AD Greg McGarity says all documents remain in the hands of the respective lawyers, and therefore remain protected, and that he’ll first share the details therein with the members of the board on Thursday.

My guess is that Richt will receive a modest pay increase to at least keep his place among SEC coaches. That is behind national championship holders such as Nick Saban ($5.32 million), Les Miles ($3.6), Gene Chizik ($3.5) and Steve Spurrier ($3.3), but get ahead of less experienced and less successful coaches such as Florida’s Will Muschamp ($3.2). Bobby Petrino was making $3.6 million at Arkansas but that little market adjustment he took care of himself.

Not including outside sources, Richt currently earns about $2.9 million annually in UGA-arranged income. Look for that to go up over $3 million. Longevity and performance bonuses allow Richt to earn much more than that. . . .

* * *

It’s unclear whether or not Todd Grantham’s new deal will be included in this week’s proceedings. The third-year defensive coordinator’s contract has also been agreed to in principle for quite some time. We know he’ll have a new three-year deal that will expire after the 2014 season. But he, too, is probably looking at a substantial pay increase.

This time last year, Grantham was the second-highest paid defensive coordinator in America at $752,000 a year. At the moment, he’s not even the second-highest paid DC in the SEC.

Alabama’s Kirby Smart got a raise to $950,000 a year, Brian VanGorder left the Atlanta Falcons and joined Auburn for $850,000 per year and Sal Sunseri got $800,000 to leave Alabama and become Tennessee’s defensive chief. Meanwhile, LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis is awaiting approval from that school’s trustees that will pay him $900,000 this year and $1.1 and $1.3 million in the subsequent two years, an average of $1.1 million.

Based on that hierarchy, look for Grantham to fall in somewhere between $800,000 and $850,000 per year. Under his leadership this past season, the Bulldogs finished fifth in the nation in total defense (277.21 ypg). That was impressive, but Alabama, LSU and South Carolina were one, two and three in that category. Georgia was 23rd in points allowed, well behind those other teams.

More important for Georgia — or Georgia fans, as the case may be — is what Grantham’s buyout clause will look like. If it stays pretty much the same as his previous contract, which is UGA’s only multiyear deal for an assistant, Grantham would incur no penalty for leaving for a head coaching job or one as an NFL defensive coordinator. But he’ll likely have to pay Georgia for any remaining years to leave for what could be perceived as a lateral move.

* * *

The identity of Georgia’s new gymnastics coach is expected to be revealed, if not at the board meeting then sometime before the end of this week. It has been widely speculated that McGarity and senior associate Carla Williams have settled on Danna Durante, pending background checks. Durante is the current head coach at Cal and a reknowned balance beam expert. Durante, 39, has been head coach at Cal only one year. She was a longtime assistant at Nebraska and Washington before that and was a gymnast at Arizona State, earning a bunch of 10s on the balance beam.

Durante, if that’s indeed who it is, will have the unenviable task of following Jay Clark, who unceremoniously resigned a couple of weeks ago after three mostly disappointing years as head coach.

* * *

Other business expected to be conducted at the board meeting will be a vote to make substantial improvements at Foley Field, the Bulldogs’ baseball stadium. First and foremost, that facility needs an elevator up to the press box and other handicap-access accommodations. Georgia does, after all, have two former players who are in wheelchairs. And the stadium has been far surpassed in recent years by others in the SEC.

* * *

I’ve fielded a lot of questions lately about Georgia baseball coach David Perno and whether his future is in question. The Bulldogs are stumbling here at the end of the season. They face elimination against Auburn tonight in the SEC tournament, which would likely end any thought of an NCAA tournament bid. But Perno has led the Bulldogs to three of the school’s six College World Series appearances, got hit with some unfortunate injuries this season and his mother is not well.

All of which is to say I just don’t think UGA will take any action. But it’s doubtful Perno’s contract, currently set to expire after the 2014 season, will be extended. More than likely the Bulldogs will stand pat and look for improvement next season.

* * *

I expect there will be a good bid of bragging on UGA’s part about the athletic department’s accomplishments in 2011-12. The Bulldogs, as we learned Wednesday, finished second in the SEC’s all-sports competition, sponsored by Halifax Media Group. Florida, as one might suspect, finished first.

Highlighting the year for Georgia was an Eastern Division championship in football, an SEC title in women’s swimming and diving, an SEC tournament title by men’s tennis and several top fives across the board. Also, the 533 UGA student-athletes earned a cumulative GPA of 3.05 for the spring semester of 2012, including 17 with 4.0s and 133 with 3.50 or better. Women’s gymnastics led all sports with an overall GPA of 3.52.

* * *

At least that’s what I think. Tim Tucker, the AJC’s astute sports business reporter and part-time UGA beat guy, will cover the actual meetings while I report on the NCAA tennis tournament. But check back right here for updates all day Thursday. I’m sure even more news than I’ve mentioned here will come out.

310 comments Add your comment

Focus on the Family

May 23rd, 2012
2:36 pm

- and teachers are being laid off left and right.

Big Wally Butts

May 23rd, 2012
2:42 pm

Teachers don’t provide an income to the university and are a dime a dozen. Not saying that this is the correct priority but it is a fact of life.

old dog

May 23rd, 2012
2:43 pm

Hey….get some o-linemen and really earn it please, coach R!!!!

Voice of Reason

May 23rd, 2012
2:45 pm

I mean, what a deal these guys have. Mediocre yeah after year, run talent filled squads into the ground and then get a raise. Come on man. If they cant get it together with the weak schedule they have this year, they are never going to do it.

Buckeye

May 23rd, 2012
2:47 pm

And, The UGA...

May 23rd, 2012
2:49 pm

…does NOT pay the coaches salaries, they are paid by the athletic foundation…

Andrew Garvin

May 23rd, 2012
2:51 pm

So that’s one reason why my tuition is going up 25%…

I’d say give it to Grantham, but Richt has yet to really prove he deserves it in my eyes.

And...

May 23rd, 2012
2:51 pm

…the athletic foundation is NOT part of The UGA, rather, it is a PRIVATE foundation that operates to benefit The UGA and its athletic teams…

old dog

May 23rd, 2012
2:52 pm

@focus,
I come from a family of teachers and appreciate and respect them. However, very few could coach a Division I football team. They could go through the ranks, work for every small school getting paid nothing and recruiting all week and riding the bus to games. Then the few with success could gradually work their way up! Point: it may look glamerous but it ain’t easy!!!

Destin Dawg

May 23rd, 2012
2:54 pm

PAY Todd Grantham !!! he’s the MAN… Junkyard Dawg defense only getting better.. going up hill in Athens !!!

Cassius

May 23rd, 2012
2:57 pm

As salaries increase, so will the price of tickets!!

fedup_11

May 23rd, 2012
3:01 pm

Focus on the family needs a focus on reality. As stated by others, these coaches are key to bringing in millions each year. Teachers, not so much. Mostly, these teachers create Marxists graduates, imo. Rest easy knowing all benefit from the AD achievements. College is a business and a very lucrative side of the business IS the AD. Be thankful and respectful for what the coaches do for the U. .

old dog

May 23rd, 2012
3:03 pm

Get Friend (and I think he can) to get the o-line in the upper level of the SEC…..it sure as heck is NOT right now! Then, maybe HE will get a raise, and maybe we will get to the next level!

From Chip - To Chip

May 23rd, 2012
3:06 pm

Hey Chip – I am not positive, but I thought Coach Perno’s signed a new contract after the 2008 CWS campaign – Is his contract for 5 years (expires June 30, 2013) – $ 425K per year plus incentives.
http://blog.al.com/bn/2010/05/sec_baseball_coaches_contracts.html
If I am correct, that would leave him with 1 year on his deal. I think that is a big difference, considering that Mr. McGarity has stated “I judge my Head Coaches by SEC and National Championships” – what else can he do, but make a change
Right now we are hoping they make a regional tournament this year, but it looks doubtful. That being the case, I think Coach Perno needs to move on and we need a Head Coach who can make changes that will get us back in contention in the SEC and hopefully at a National level – Thoughts? – Thanks

jo

May 23rd, 2012
3:10 pm

Has Richt and his crew won anything of significance to be given raises? Along those lines, has anyone at UGA won anything of significance since 1980? Teacher furloughs, staff cutbacks, tuition hikes, cuts to HOPE, yet the football coaches will get a raise…beautiful.

Todd Grantham

May 23rd, 2012
3:10 pm

I’m ready to kick some &^%!!

College Sports - MAKE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

May 23rd, 2012
3:13 pm

FYI – the Geology Department does not exist with out the 104 MM DOLLARS the football program brings in a year. Sure there are layoffs and cutbacks, our economy is in the tank – but without sports, it would be ugly

VinnyD

May 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

Janitors make work hard too and provide a valuable service, however they do not get paid the big bucks for a reason. Welcome to reality/ business school. My wife is a teacher but there are a lot more people that can do what she does. There are a lot less people who can coach a big time team or hit home runs, dunk basketballs. Supply and demand.

old dog

May 23rd, 2012
3:19 pm

@VinnyD,
Be careful….the truth may hurt some of these folks………

Soapbox

May 23rd, 2012
3:19 pm

I couldn’t help but to laugh at the word “dickering”. Haven’t seen that word used for “bickering” for a long while.

Jason

May 23rd, 2012
3:20 pm

Richt is the Tommy Tuberville of the East. He has a bad season once in a blue moon but usually has an above average respectable season. But never ever is able to get that last little bit that seperates champions from runner ups. He will have a respectable win-loss percentage over the course of his career but will never have an undefeated season. If championships were awarded for best record over the course of a decade, Richt would be in good shape, but that’s not how football works.

If UGA wants a championship, they’re going to have to get a coach with that extra little something. But if the dawgs simply want to have a respectable showing year after year with only one bad year every decade or so, you can’t go wrong with Richt. Of course there is a risk involved. Replace Richt with the wrong coach and you end up as the next Tennessee (where Fulmer at least did win a championship before being run off).

BulldogBen

May 23rd, 2012
3:21 pm

It is what it is. This just ratchets up the pressure. The fan base is already voting with their wallets as season tickets have YET to sell out along with single game tickets available.

Having tix available almost in June would’ve been unfathomable in the past. It’s clear people aren’t buying the run from last year. Anything short of an SEC title this year with our schedule will be a disappointment.

U.S.S.R.

May 23rd, 2012
3:21 pm

Marxist graduates from UGA ?

daflava

May 23rd, 2012
3:23 pm

I love how saint richt and his apostles are all continuing to get raises every year because the school feels they have to keep up with all of the other successful coaches who earned their raises with SEC and national championships!

Kinda like Vandy getting all that money every year just for being in the SEC even though they don’t win anything……….wait…………that’s georgia too.

Nevermind…………

Gettin his money

May 23rd, 2012
3:25 pm

Richt and his staff is getting their money before Adams leaves. Once Adams is gone, that entire coaching staff will be out the door with him. Adams is the only reason why Richt and his staff is still at UGA.

@jo

May 23rd, 2012
3:31 pm

Women’s Gymnastics has six titles……..the only winning thing coming out of UGA.

Captain

May 23rd, 2012
3:31 pm

Using Greg McGarity’s own criteria for evaluating the success of Head Coaches within the Georgia Athletic Department, Perno will be gone. Otherwise, McGarity has invalidated himself as a leader when taking into account the recent firing of Jay Clark for his inability to take the gymnastics program to championship level. While Perno may have gone to Omaha three times, that last visit is but a distant memory and the last three years have been medicore at best and nowhere near bordering on championship calibre. You do realize he has a losing record in the SEC, which according to McGarity is how he is judged primarily. Then there’s the matter of women’s golf coach Kelly Hester. The women’s golf program is sinking like a concrete block thrown off the Thomas St bridge into the N Oconee.

If McGarity won’t make the call on dismissing Perno hopefully University President “Coach” Mike Adams will.

reality

May 23rd, 2012
3:37 pm

How much did the PRIVATE Athletic Association donate to the PUBLIC University of Georgia last year? The answer would surprise the “too much for athletics” crowd.

What a ya got

May 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

$2.9 million is not enough to
truly study the game of football,
the trends,
and what’s going on.

oh no

May 23rd, 2012
3:39 pm

As a Hartman Fund contributor/season ticket holder, I was offered another season ticket a few days ago. Are sales that bad?

GTBob

May 23rd, 2012
3:49 pm

Well if anybody deserved a raise, it’s Mark Richt. UGA has really been on fire the past few years.

go-BRAVOS

May 23rd, 2012
3:50 pm

A big UGA fan but what exactly has CMR done to deserve a raise? The past 4 years have seen the Dawgs regress and winning 10 games last years is irrelevant when you look at the schedule they played. I like CMR and hope he can turn things around but I don’t think he will ever bring a NC to UGA. He is just doesn’t get the most out of his players and to often loses to lesser quality teams/coaches. UGA=Braves=Hawks=Falcons, I guess it’s just a Georgia thing.

Go Dawgs!
Go Braves!

Taylor Wooten

May 23rd, 2012
4:04 pm

Perno sucks.

Ask around. Its well known in baseball circles.

UGADawg83

May 23rd, 2012
4:09 pm

@jo-Gymnastics has ten national championships–at least get your facts right before you pop off.

GTBob-On fire enough to burn yall’s butt thats for sure. Your best team in ten years (though tainted and stripped of its title) failed to beat one of our worst.

To all the Richt Bashers-There are 117 FBS schools; being in the Top 25 is not mediocrity.

mcdaviddawg

May 23rd, 2012
4:10 pm

Richt is costing us 25 to 30 mil in giving. We have fallen way behind Fl, LSU and Alabana. Not many years ago we were in the top 5 in the nation year after year. So let’s give him a big raise out of our dimishing returns. Great job Richt.

jimmy

May 23rd, 2012
4:11 pm

And there is GTBlob… Trolling as usual.

Tucker

May 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm

If only one person is underpaid in this state, it has to be CMR.Raise ticket prices through the roof. Jack up student activity fees. Tax the general public. Divert funds from the Corrections Department. Do whatever is necessary to get this done.

Gary

May 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm

I am shocked by the constant Ricth bashing from “fans”. I guess people don’t really remember the Bulldogs history. I have never seen a coach at Georgia show up consistantly with such good football teams. We had one really bad year under Richt and a few recent seasons where we lost a couple of games we shouldn’t, but with exception to (Florida who has been manhandling Georgia since 89) RIcht has had the better of most SEC teams and a pretty good out of conference record. If you looks at the SEC, Auburn was a one and done because they had their H Walker for a year. LSU and Bama have both taken advantage of Sabans talent and he will not be coaching at Georgia any time soon. The year we really had a title shot we got killed with injuries. The year Les got his Richt could have done the same thing but the voters said no SEC no NC (funny how that did not apply to Bama last year?). The fact is Georgia fans leave a lot more games smiling than we ever did under any other coach except when we had the HW monster under Dooley, but that was just 3 years. These days we own Tech, we don’t loose to Tennessee very often, Kentucky and Vandy rarely ever are a threat, we go back and forth with Auburn, SC has only really had the last two years but that will not last, and Florida will be Florida. You crystal trophy or nothing people are some miserable individuals. SEC’s and Sugar Bowl wins were unheard of in the late 80’s and 90’s. Now that is not only the expectation, but a dissappointment? Maybe we need to go back to the days when USC, Ohio State, FSU and Miami were the only teams in the NC conversation. Just cause your neighbor can afoord a big new car doesn’t mean you deserve one. Based on my history with Georgia I am very happy to sit in that stadium and support this coach. Everyone deserves some slack after success. Even Bama will fall again. Remember the mighty Tennessee. Remember when Auburn owned Bama. When Marcus leaves SC they are done. One of these days things are going to click and we will have the right players with the right schedule and our opportunity may come. You have to realize, it is pretty damn hard to win a National Championship when you keep having to play the teams favored to win the NC. Based on the expectations I read here, 100 coaches should be fired every year and every school should be trying to haire Saban. Only Texas can afford to steal him.

barneyfife

May 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

Einstein was right about insanity. As a once proud graduate of UGA, I am embarrassed by the bowing at the Shrine of Mediocrity. We are paying MILLIONS for a lackluster result year after year. I love Coach Richt as a man, but in the private sector, he would have been fired about 4 years ago. And we reward him?

Kids with 4.0 GPAs and stellar resumes can’t get into UGA, lower division classes have hundreds of kids in them, many classes taught by grad assistants who can’t speak English, not much in the way of faculty mentoring to the masses, thus kids slipping through the cracks just by the sheer size of the Athens behemoth. And a mediocre football product where some are paid obscene amounts of $$$ to produce reigns supreme. I hate to say it about my Alma Mater, but UGA- you ain’t all that. You all in Athens need to get over yourselves.

Gary

May 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

Hey GTBob could you tell someone at Tech to finish that awful thing on tenth street that looks the old fashion oven top foil popcorn popper.

ozzfest

May 23rd, 2012
4:22 pm

DID WE SCHEDULE A QUALITY NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT?….THAT IS ALL I CARE ABOUT.

WHATTA YOU GOT GREG (KING WIMP)?

RTR22

May 23rd, 2012
4:30 pm

By all means possible keep CMR….

Name Required

May 23rd, 2012
4:30 pm

I work for the USG and I have not had a raise in 5 years. I was furloughed a year or so ago and furloughed again this year. I wish I was a coach because when I did get a raise it was only 1 percent or a huge 2 percent. I am one of those employees who actually helps educate our students after all this is an academic driven job, is it not?

Spanky

May 23rd, 2012
4:30 pm

Hey Bob, any Tech raises going out?..No?…that’s what I thought, now go bother someone else!

tide roll

May 23rd, 2012
4:32 pm

It worked Richt. You know what gets McGarity and those other rednecks that make what UGA is today hot! No matter that you lose to Central Fla. Colorado and Mich St. Just keep bringing in those white private school offensive linemen. Yeah Baby. The Georgia Way. 31 years and counting. Who cares.”Everybody. Listen up. WE GOT RAISES ANYWAY!” What a program. Sheesh

tide roll

May 23rd, 2012
4:33 pm

What a joke of a program.

jo

May 23rd, 2012
4:37 pm

LOL, there’s always women’s gymnastics! They do draw more than the basketball team to Stegman at least.

jo

May 23rd, 2012
4:37 pm

Other than when Kentucky comes to town!

Gary

May 23rd, 2012
4:38 pm

Barneyfly – We could let him go and be Tennessee, Mississippi State, or Ole Miss, overnight. You don’t think they would want our success and coach. Lets see what Will does with all his Florida Talent. What I need from Richt this year. Spit SC and Florida (just win one). Beat everyone else. Try to give us four quarters at the SEC (if we make it) instead of two and loose to the next National Champ – Bama. Then win your bowl game. If that is mediocre I feel sorry for the other 90 programs that do not have a chance at that kind of year. I also pitty any Georgia fan who cannot enjoy that.

ole yeller

May 23rd, 2012
4:39 pm

Coach Friend will get the job done. He has more talent to work with than any other coach has had at UGA in a while. Everyone is keeping a eye on the “O” line because of the past. TRUST me there is a new SHEIFF in town named Coach FRIEND. He will deliver. REMEMBER this is only his second year in charge of the “O” line. Give him a chance to prove he’s the real deal. No one is questioning the “D” under coach “G” and for good reason. But, the “O” will go in 2012.