ATHENS – It’s likely to be a very good Christmas for Mike Bobo and his family.
Not only did Georgia’s offensive coordinator lead the Bulldogs to a record-breaking season that netted 11 wins and another SEC Championship Game bonus, but he’s also in line to have his compensation increased in 2013, either by Georgia or somebody else.
Bobo’s name has surfaced as a head coaching candidate at Southern Miss and, according to his agent, he is drawing interest for other jobs as well. Even if Bobo declines the overtures, it would likely result in an enhanced financial agreement from UGA.
Russ Campbell, the Birmingham-based attorney who acts as Bobo’s agent, confirmed that his client is being considered for jobs but declined to discuss specifics.
“I can tell you that he’s getting some long overdue consideration,” said Campbell, who was in California with Sonny Dykes, who was being introduced as the California Bears’ head coach on Thursday. “It’s unbelievable what Mike has done at Georgia; his track record speaks for itself. People are finally starting to notice.”
Bobo coordinated and called plays for an offense that already has set school records for touchdowns in a season and is on pace break records for scoring average (currently 37.2 ppg) and total offense (458.3). He also serves as quarterbacks coach Aaron Murray, who leads the nation in pass efficiency and is the first player in SEC history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Murray has thrown for 9,662 yards and 90 TDs with 30 interceptions under Bobo’s guidance. Bobo, Georgia’s quarterbacks coach since 2001, also developed No. 1 NFL draft pick Matthew Stafford. He was a finalist this year for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes annually to the nation’s top assistant football coach.
Oddly enough, Bobo has often been the subject of criticism by a vocal portion of the fan base, particularly for play-calling. In Georgia’s SEC Championship game lost to Alabama this past weekend, he was second-guessed for not having Murray spike the ball to stop the clock with 10 seconds remaining at the Alabama 8.
“It’s good to see (Bobo attract head coaching interest) because it has continued to baffle me how all these other coordinators get mentioned,” Campbell said. “He gets lost because of this false perception about the job he’s done there. I think it just must be one of those situations where familiarity breeds contempt and he’s been there too long. When you drill down and look at it, he’s done a phenomenal job. He went toe-to-toe with Kirby (Smar t)in the SEC Championship game; it went down to five yards, right? You hear Kirby’s name all over the place.”
Bobo’s name has also been attached to Smart, who has mentioned as a candidate for several high-profile coaching jobs. Alabama’s defensive coordinator and Bobo are best friends since childhood and attended UGA together. The thought is that the two could join forces in the right situation. Smart interviewed for the Auburn job, which went to Guz Malzahn, and reportedly is a candidate at Tennessee.
Bobo is ripe for the taking as he is not among the best-paid offensive coordinators in the SEC. He currently makes $335,000 a year (not including bonuses), which ranked 10th among SEC offensive coordinators coming into the season. He also has operated with a one-year contract, while the majority of SEC offensive coordinators have two- to -three year deals.
Bobo, who earned a $45,000 bonus for Georgia’s appearance in the SEC Championship game, is the second-highest-paid assistant on Mark Richt’s staff. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham makes $825,000 annually and has a three-year contract.
UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said he is aware of reports circulating that Bobo is a candidate for jobs. But he said he won’t get involved unless Richt asks.
“That would go straight to the head coach,” McGarity said Thursday. “That would not come to me. If it reached a certain level of interest, Mark would have a conversation with me. But we haven’t had any communication like that.”
Neither Richt nor Bobo returned messages seeking comment.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray told reporters toward the end of the season he didn’t think Bobo would leave UGA because “it’s his dream job.” Bobo has always been reticent to speak on the subject.
“I have no idea what’s going on,” Bobo said last week of being mentioned for head coach openings. “To be honest, the only thing I’m really focused on is the job I’ve got in hand right now. . . . If I worried about anything else I’d be cheating these players.”
SEC O-C PAY
* Head coach Steve Spurrier serves as South Carolina’s offensive coordinator.
* Vanderbilt’s finances are not subject to open record.