New contract provides glimpse into philosophies of Richt, McGarity

Mark Richt insists he has no plans to do anything other than to coach Georgia for the forseeable future. (UGA photo)

Mark Richt insists he has no plans to do anything other than to coach Georgia for the forseeable future. (UGA photo)

ATHENS — For those of you who are into such minutiae, following are some of more intricate details regarding Mark Richt’s new five-year contract. That is followed by a Q&A with Richt from his teleconference call Thursday night with reporters and some left-over comments from athletic director Greg McGarity.

Obviously the primary media focus was on the lowered buyouts of the new agreement, both for Georgia and for Richt. Richt’s $2 million minimum penalty for leaving was waived and Georgia’s per-season payout for dismissing Richt was cut 66 percent after the 2013 season.

But McGarity was positively defiant that this was not some kind of omen that a parting of ways is imminent (as Georgia’s competitor’s will surely claim). He insisted it is his general philosophy that an established coach who has been successful at a high level should not be “anchored” by a hefty buyout.

Here’s a glimpse into McGarity’s thinking on that:

“I do think that someone who is in the first part of their contract, if they’re a brand new coach at an institution, I do believe in being high on both sides – a high buyout and high liquidated damages – because you’re trying to establish a program. There’s a lot of money invested into getting people on campus, relocating, things of that nature. And I do think if you go past a decade, perhaps those anchors can be removed. Basically you have a working environment where you’re kind of free to do what you want to do. I’ve always felt that was important and I don’t think money should be an anchor to keep someone from doing something or keep them from making a decision that they want to make.

“I’ve always felt that way, especially when you’ve been established at an institution for a long time. I just feel like there should not be a financial anchor. But there has been nothing that has been any kind of indication or anything that Mark is going to do that. I just think it’s a basic philosophy, just a management philosophy. If somebody doesn’t want to be there, why should they work at an institution feeling like they can’t leave because there’s such a big financial penalty they can’t afford it?”

McGarity

McGarity

To balance that, McGarity doesn’t believe the institution should be as financially burdened in the case it decided to make a change. But, again, McGarity said the contract adjustments should not be perceived as a precursor for imminent change.

“There’s no question Mark Richt wants to be at the University of Georgia; I can guarantee you that. He and I are in a good place here. . . .  I know a lot of people will focus on that. But what you need to know is he and I are in a great place. This is a very positive deal. It’s something we all feel good about moving forward. And I don’t want anybody to read anything into that other than it’s all good on both sides of the ledger here.”

Richt, separately of McGarity, concurred that the buyout adjustments were initiated by McGarity due to his managerial philosophies. You probably read at least part of Richt’s comments on that subject. Here they are in full:

“It’s Greg’s philosophy on the contract. It was not something that I was asking for; it was something that he had suggested. And I said, ‘that’d be fine.’ I think the bottom line for me is, gosh, I think I’ve been here long enough for everybody to understand – and if anybody was at my first press conference when I took the job at Georgia they heard this — Georgia is my home; Georgia is where I want to be; Georgia is the only job I want, the only job I’ve ever wanted as a head coach. That’s just the way it’s been from the very beginning and that hasn’t changed. My mom, my dad, my mother, my two sisters, they all live in Athens. This is my home and this is where I want to be. So that hasn’t changed one bit.”

OK, enough of that. Here are some of the contract details:

  • It’s not a contract extension. It’s a brand new five-year contract. And it’s really long, 33 pages including the two-page “General Release” form attached at the end.
  • There actually was a raise included in Richt’s contract. Georgia increased his base salary by a whopping $13,000 to $400,000 per year. But it was really just mathematical semantics to arrive at a certain place.
  • Richt will receive $1.12 million annually for “media compensation.” It’s compensation for radio and TV shows, not necessarily for having to deal with reporters like me.
  • Richt gets $129,340 annually for operating the Mark Richt Football Camp.
  • Richt is to receive $1.162 million for “equipment compensation.” This is mainly for using Nike products.
  • Added together the above figures (found in different clauses spread over the first 11 pages of the contract) come to $2,811,340 and that is Richt’s total compensation from UGA.
  • That’s not all the money makes for being Georgia’s football coach. He also is able to receive outside income from endorsements, as long as they are approved by the athletic association. Richt currently has deals with Ford, Coca-Cola and and Carpets of Dalton, among others.
  • Richt’s longevity bonus, which used to be paid to him separately and withheld until the completion of the terms of his contract, has been rolled into his annual pay structure. That’s an extra $420,000 a year he is now free to invest. “We are making Mark whole every year,” McGarity explained.
  • Richt will receive a lump sum payment of $2.28 million in December of 2013 as payment for his longevity bonus in the previous contract. McGarity wanted to go ahead and pay it off now but Richt’s camp declined due to the tax liabilities and penalties he would incur.
  • Richt’s bonus structure was virtually doubled and this is where he can make some serious money should the Bulldogs have a successful run. With the exception of the bonus for a Tier 3, non-BCS bowl (ie: Music City, Liberty, Independence, etc.), they were all doubled under the new agreement. Here’s the complete breakdown:

Winning SEC Championship Game: $200,000
Playing in Tier 1, non-BCS bowl: $100,000
Playing in Tier 2, non-BCS bowl: $75,000
Playing in Tier 3, non-BCS bowl: $50,000
Playing in BCS bowl: $200,000
Playing in BCS Championship: $300,000
Winning BCS Championship: $500,000
Top 5 finish in AP or Coaches’ poll: $100,000

  • The maximum total for all the bonuses is $800,000. The previous maximum was $400,000.
  • Richt could earn another $50,000 for being named SEC Coach of the Year and $100,000 for national coach of year. So to run the gamut would mean close to $1 million for Richt.
  • Like in his previous contract, Richt gets a $50,000 bonus if the team’s grade-point average is equal to or greater than that of the UGA student body.
  • UGA also provides Richt with two cars and insurance for each.
  • Richt’s contract expires Dec. 31, 2016, or the date of any postseason bowl game thereafter.
  • Should Georgia decide to fire Richt after the 2012 season, it would cost the athletic association $4.8 million. But that’s less than before. And the buyout decreases to $800,000 per season after the 2013 season.
  • Should Richt decide to quit or leave for another job, it would cost him nothing. Under the previous contract Richt would have owed Georgia a minimum of $2 million. “At the end of the day, I’ve always believed that money should not be a determining factor for people to stay,”McGarity said. “I just feel like that shouldn’t be an anchor around anybody’s neck. Life’s too short. If someone wants to move on, I have no problem with that. This allows people to do what they really want to do.”
  • McGarity didn’t rule out future raises or extensions for Richt. “It’s called base salary for a reason,” he said. “We can adjust those numbers as we desire. These are not locked in by any stretch of the imagination. Contracts can always be adjusted, so we have that flexibility down the road. I’m aware of where the markets are and I keep up with that in all our sports every year. We know where our staffs are placed and we want to be consistent in our approach.”

Now here’s everything Richt had to say about these developments late Thursday night:

On contract finally being completed . . .

“It has been [a long time] but I’m glad it’s done. I’m very happy with it.”

On beginning discussions after SEC Championship game last December . . .

“If you had asked me when we started I couldn’t have told you. But I’m sure that’s when it was. We’ve been talking about it. I think it started out mostly with number of years. Then it went into, I don’t even remember what all it went into. But that’s when it all started, and we agreed on a lot of the stuff when it came to number of years and buyout and all that kind of stuff. Those are the bigger items for most contracts. And then, when you change a contract enough, there are enough things, everybody’s got to have peace with it, I guess, and it just took a while to do that. I don’t think everybody was working at breakneck speed on it the whole time through, either. It was a situation where I was very comfortable and confident that Georgia wanted me to continue here and Georgia was very comfortable and confident that I wanted to be at Georgia. So it didn’t feel like it was a high priority where we had to get it done right now type of thing. I think both parties were very confident that we wanted to continue this relationship. So it wasn’t happening at a speed that would make you think somebody was worried one way or another.”

On performance incentives being doubled . . .

“That, again, is something that Greg believes in philosophically, as far as giving big incentives for a high level of achievement. The higher the achievement, the more you want to be able to reward that. So, again, that was something that Greg wanted to do and I was perfectly fine with that as well.”

On whether similar bonuses will be made available to assistant coaches . . .

“We’re working on that. Greg and I have talked about that. I think Greg feels the same way about the assistant coaches. I’m not exactly sure how it will end up but he has a desire to do something similar to that for the assistant coaches as well.”

On what his main points were  in contract negotiations . . .

“You know what? I really wasn’t too concerned about anything other than it’s a good, solid, strong document. The one that I had, the one that we’d worked on in years past, I’d had lawyers look at it and basically assure me that it was a good, sound, solid document, that I understood everything that was in it and how it could affect me. It wasn’t so much cookie-cutter, but it was a contract I had a comfort level with. We didn’t quite tear up the old contract and start from scratch, but there was enough changes in it that I wanted to really understand what everything meant and make sure it was a good solid document that I have peace with. That just took a little bit of time.

“But if Georgia wants to extend my contract, I’m excited about that. I don’t want to have to ask for an extension; I don’t want to ask for a raise; I don’t want to ask for whatever. If Georgia wants me to stay, that’s where I want to be. If Georgia wants to give me a raise, then I’m fired up about that. If Georgia wants to double my incentives for excellence, I’m fine with that, too, you know. I feel like a very blessed man to be at Georgia and to have an opportunity to continue to coach these young men and work with the staff together and with the athletic administration and the educational administration and President Adams and all that. I’m just thankful and proud to be a Bulldog.”

On what he’s been doing . . .

“We had a camp today, a 7-on-7 camp. So we’re talking about some of the guys that were there and also talking about some of the guys that are going to be there [Friday]. So I just broke out of that meeting. And we do have a team meeting tonight, coming up any minute.

“I’m really looking forward to this season as well, I can say that. Tonight’s the night where the majority the team is back for summer school, so it’s an exciting time of year to have everybody back over here and putting in the work that it’s going to take to have an excellent season.”

On how, if at all, he might celebrate the new contract . . .

“As soon as Coach Fox figures out the date and the time, we are going to have a celbratory meal at the waffle house. That was something we decided on a long time ago. In fact, I think the entire basketball staff is in on this one. I think [Fox] said something along the lines of “whenever you sign your contract, you owe me a meal at the Waffle House,” and I said, “You’re on.” I don’t know how many months ago that was but I don’t think he’s forgotten it and neither have I. So one of these days soon we’ll be at the Waffle House.”

– Chip Towers, The UGA Blog

72 comments Add your comment

BigDawg

June 8th, 2012
7:51 pm

Glad to have Richt and Grantham back!

BigDawg

June 8th, 2012
7:52 pm

Now, Bobo needs to step it up!

BigDawg

June 8th, 2012
7:52 pm

This could be the year, go Will and OL!

Paul in NH

June 8th, 2012
8:17 pm

A fair contract for both sides. McGarity definitely knows what he is doing.

BigDawg

June 8th, 2012
8:39 pm

Glad to have McGarity too rather than Demon Evens! Don’t drink and drive…

Dawgmess

June 8th, 2012
8:42 pm

Daltons of Carpet???

jb

June 8th, 2012
9:45 pm

What prompted the talks on Dec 9? Those nasty rumors of Richt being courted by the likes of Texas A & M. Within 1 hour of Tex A/M beat writer confirming Richt was a candidate, McGarity decided not to wait until the end of the season, and go ahead and verbally support Mark Richt and open contract talks. McGarity’s hand was forced.

Grantham's the man

June 8th, 2012
10:44 pm

Glad to have a man of high character like Mark Richt leading the Red & Black.

bwell

June 8th, 2012
11:11 pm

I love CMR. I hope UGA keeps him for life. Look at Joepa and what he did for Penn St. Ga is on the right path and WE WILL WIN some Nat’l under CMR. Be patience. God speed to CMR and family and the AD and staff.

funny...

June 8th, 2012
11:15 pm

What I think this says is that he’s doing enough to not lose his job but not doing enough to warrant a large raise.

Here’s to good things.

Gotta beat Mizzou and South Carolina coach.

funny...

June 8th, 2012
11:19 pm

I’d also like to see what people think is acceptable for this year.

A. Georgia has basically the same season as last year. SECCG appearance, Outback or Citrus bowl appearance.

B. 9-3. Losses to pick three Mizzou, USCe, UT, UF, GT. Win Chik-Fil-A bowl

C. 8-4. Losses to four of the previous five.

D. 6-6. Disaster season, maybe Murray gets hurt, who knows.

funny...

June 8th, 2012
11:20 pm

And obviously the last scenarios don’t count out a major improvement like an SEC Championship, BCS Bowl Game, or even a Natty appearance.

I have a tough time believing that UGA will win the natty next year. But wouldn’t that be awesome!

And this is why

June 8th, 2012
11:27 pm

They wonder what is wrong with the country. The economics of everything doesn’t add up. Great for people on high bad for people below.

Troup Co. Dawg

June 9th, 2012
1:52 am

I’ve had my doubts about CMR, but I still believe we can get a BCS title, I could care less about the trolls that will try to bring you down any minute now. Can CMR and CTG get these guys fired up about winning it all, they need to get a hold on these guy’s off the field issues and get some leaders to step up and be accountable! I still believe!

Jimmy

June 9th, 2012
2:50 am

Chip,

I’m curious as to why coaches contracts are broken down like they are. He’s to be paid 2.8 million, but his base salary is only 400k??? The 1.12 mil for “media compensation,” the 129K for the football camp, and the 1.16 mil for “equipment compensation” is all paid for by the athletic department, right? So what does it matter how it’s actually broken down??

Integrity

June 9th, 2012
5:31 am

If I were the parent of a young football player coming out of high school, and given the opportunity, I would be most honored that my son be coached by Mark Richt over any other in the nation. In addition, the state of Georgia, is so fortunate to have the best talent, the finest academic state university, and top notch facilities/setting….not to mention the perfect location for an SEC town. UGA is the complete package and I feel that more and more young men and their parents are coming to realize that.

bubba4dawgs

June 9th, 2012
7:37 am

It is indeed a blessing for UGA to have Coach Richt, Todd Grantham and the entire football staff!! It just can’t be scripted any better than that! Georgia is loaded with football talent! No doubt UGA has the facilities and the coaches have the incentives to “get the job done”! I consider UGA definitely one of the elite in the SEC and this is where they should be! Now, that said, they need to step up recruiting and get the best players to come to UGA! That starts with winning and a chance this year and next to make that happen! It sickens me to have Nick Sabin and Gene Chizic pluck prize players from Georgia, not to mention Will Muschamp (Florida has enough down there)

Let’s go DAWGS, show’em whatcha go!! Love Mark Richt, Todd Grantham, UGA and the DAWGS!!

Newnan Bill

June 9th, 2012
7:40 am

Really good to see so much em[phasis on GPA and not so much on winning. LOL.

Congrats Coach Richt

June 9th, 2012
8:02 am

The vast majority of GA fans, who never read the childish vents of people like Thomas Brown, are strong supporters of Coach Richt. I am very proud to have him at Georgia and hope he is our coach longer than Dooley was. We are blessed and we have our priorities right…

Joey

June 9th, 2012
8:12 am

Good stuff Chip. As always.

Joey

June 9th, 2012
8:16 am

Yeah, Carpets of Dalton, Dawgpoop (8:42pm).

I suppose you would turn them down if they offered you an advertising gig?

@Dawg Uno

June 9th, 2012
8:34 am

You’re excused. Bye!

@Bzzzzz

June 9th, 2012
8:36 am

You might can brag a little with baseball and basketball, but football? That’s funny.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

June 9th, 2012
9:25 am

We agree with the others, as long as UGA doesn’t Have to play any Top 20 teams, UGA will be just fine.

FRED

June 9th, 2012
10:36 am

McGarity is in a box he knows UGA will never win the big one with CMR but CMR is popular and he can not dump him and CMR wins just enough to save himself preventing McGarity from getting rid of him.

OkieDawg

June 9th, 2012
10:52 am

“My mom, my dad, my mother, my two sisters, they all live in Athens. This is my home and this is where I want to be. So that hasn’t changed one bit.”

So CMR has two mothers. He is truly blessed…but exactly how does that happen.

BigDawg

June 9th, 2012
10:52 am

To Buzzzzz, I love your beautiful safe campus, abundance of lovely coeds, sellouts at your massive stadium in one of the largest cities in the USA, and humility of its students and alumni. Congrats!

ABAC-North Doggies

June 9th, 2012
11:59 am

Joey

June 9th, 2012
12:46 pm

Buzzzz..whatever….zzzz,

Are you really proud of that? Seriously?

I’m assuming since you didn’t list it, y’all didn’t win at ping-pong? Debate club?

Y’all can win at all that stuff – we know what we, and y’all care about . . .

Joey

June 9th, 2012
12:48 pm

BigDawg, don’t forget that highly popular, lunch w/tickets benefit.

2 tickets, 2 hot dogs, 2 cokes . . . .

Joey

June 9th, 2012
12:53 pm

Yeah, evil, we also lead the nation in die-hard fans, as evidenced by the #2 in the entire NCAA ranking for Athletic Assoc income. In other words, we don’t just support our teams when the going’s good.

So, while your mind is stuck on “sucking” . . . . suck on that!

BigDawg

June 9th, 2012
1:41 pm

Good one Joey! I guess Buzzzzzz and Saint Simons are in the tickle pile again!!

Joey

June 9th, 2012
3:43 pm

evil, you know I rail on here all the time about the seemingly nonchalant attitude of our Athletic Dept, and some fans as well, about our football program.

But to call UGA a loser in the SEC is over the top, even for you.

Can you imagine what the income of some of the other SEC football programs would be if they weren’t at the top? It’s easy to look up.

I look at things in Athens now as Bear Bryant once looked at Gainesville – with the right coach, UF will be a beast. And just like UF was when SOS took over, UGA will get our guy one day.

At any rate, UGA fans are all-in, every year, no matter what.

Joey

June 9th, 2012
3:52 pm

evil empire, you are a UF fan, right?

Dawg Squeeze

June 9th, 2012
4:22 pm

I predict UGA will also lead the conference in professors posing as transvestite prostitutes…another bulldog point of pride!

TampaGator

June 9th, 2012
6:05 pm

McGarity…….Look what you left behind. Florida won its 4th national title in 2012…..this one in track. Is baseball next? You certainly learned from the best….Jeremy Foley.

Ghost

June 9th, 2012
6:21 pm

Buzz, 55 years of football dominance over Tech, surprised your not posting rushing yardage, or an old football score from years past.

YO

June 10th, 2012
2:36 am

The Florida Gators have won the NCAA Mens Outdoor Track and Field Championships today. That gives us 3 this year, Indoor track (men), womens tennis. Maybe we get a shot at baseball also. Bama just nip us in Gym time by .025. All in All… its great to be a GATOR!

JB

June 10th, 2012
8:15 am

ALL BS. The guy who replaces Richt if it happens will earn 4 to 5 mil….And Richt, other than 2-3 lousy years, has done a good job. No NC while other SEC elite have won 1 or 2 the last 7 years, But other than the playing field, you gotta blame some of that on Dr. Adams. He’s allowed it. The contract is fishy. The dean of SEC coach’s. Although last year was disappointing, he won 10 games, and will add 11-12 wins this year…..AND NO RAISE AND A BUYOUT CUT 66%. BULL ! Something is not adding up.

JB

June 10th, 2012
8:17 am

Me thinks Richt has arranged a 2013 retirement without damaging recruiting.

beanster

June 10th, 2012
9:36 am

Playing in a Tier 3, non-BCS bowl earns him a raise of $50K? Shouldn’t that be a deduction of $50K?

Falcon 34

June 10th, 2012
12:48 pm

Quick, name the last big game of consequence we’ve won………

A really crappy Hawaii team and average to below average Auburn teams don’t count. Yeah, fantastic job by Richt. Really a big game coach, eh?

Please

Your Girlfriend

June 10th, 2012
2:46 pm

@Falcon 34
June 10th, 2012
12:48 pm

Quick, name the last big game of consequence we’ve won………

Georgia 52 – LSU 38
October 25, 2008

Mobile Dawg

June 10th, 2012
5:47 pm

I hate to agree with the enemey but really, a win of consequence?

A.B.

June 10th, 2012
7:21 pm

I guess McGarity is scared to look at what UGA RECORD IS VS. TEAMS THAT FINISHED IN THE TOP 20 !! If he ever did look at those numbers under CMR,,IT SURE WOULD BE BYE-BYE CMR for damn sure ! UGA fans, please look at these records and then we can f DECIDE IF YOU WANT CMR all these upcoming years for approx $4ML/season–WHY ????

Chip Towers

June 10th, 2012
7:49 pm

A.B.: Richt’s record is 30-26 against ranked teams. You might try comparing that to other coaches nationwide before you declare him a dolt. And I can promise you McGarity knows Richt’s records coming and going against every kind of team and in every possible situation. I’ve been able to observe McGarity long enough to know that he spends almost all his time evaluating his coaches and comparing and contrasting them with the best in the country. It’s naive to think he doesn’t.

perk

June 10th, 2012
8:43 pm

total class…..we are lucky to have him. I was on his tail the last 2 years as an alum about his staff. The fire in the belly is as strong now I believe as it was 10 years ago.
DGD for life!

perk

June 10th, 2012
8:44 pm

A.B. see the light brother

Falcon 34

June 10th, 2012
8:49 pm

Your — I would not consider beating an 8-5 (3-5 in SEC) LSU team as a win against a big opponent. I would have to go with 2006 going into Auburn and beating them when they were ranked #5. Problem is that we had already chumped on the season.

BTW, I’m a grad and a fan, just tired of absolute mediocrity, and more importantly the fact that many UGA fans accept it.

DawginLex

June 10th, 2012
9:23 pm

All the losers want to talk about last year an dthe last time we did this blah blah blah

All loser talk

McGarity has supported Richt through an awful time and Richt made the changes warranted

The excuses are gone

McGarity did not give him a raise, but performance bonuses

Time to win Coach Richt and win BIG