ATHENS - Georgia football coach Mark Richt received a raise in salary from $2.8 to $3.2 million and had another year added to his contract at the Georgia Athletic Association board of directors’ winter meeting on Tuesday.
Richt had received a new, five-year, incentive-laced contract just last June. But UGA President Michael Adams and Athletic Director Greg McGarity felt Richt earned a raise and extension after winning 12 games this past season, playing for the SEC title and finishing with No. 4 final ranking. After meeting with Richt Monday night, they brought the recommendations for a raise and extension to the full board at its quarterly meeting on Tuesday. It was unanimously approved.
“We thought we had a great year and Mark continues to represent us well on the field and off the field,” Adams said.
Asked what precipitated the move, McGarity said: “Well, just the tremendous job he’s doing leading our program and the manner in which he’s done it. It was just something we felt like we needed to do.”
Richt now is the fourth-highest paid head coach in the SEC. The three league coaches who earn more than him – Alabama’s Nick Saban, LSU’s Les Miles and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier – all have won national championships. Arkansas coach Bret Bilemma, recently hired away from Wisconsin, also makes $3.2 million per season.
“You’re always concerned about where your coaches stand in the hierarchy,” McGarity said. “You’re talking about someone who’s the dean of the SEC coaches. We’re all in a good place.”
The Bulldogs went 12-2 this past season and played in the SEC Championship Game as the Eastern Division champions for the second straight year. Georgia lost that game 32-28 to eventual national champion Alabama. The game ended with the Bulldogs on the Crimson Tide 5-yard line as time expired.
Richt is 118-40 (.747) in 12 seasons as Georgia’s coach. He has won two SEC championships and made five SEC title game appearances. He’s one of only seven coaches in history to have won 102 or more games in his first 11 seasons.
Richt issued a statement through UGA after the meeting adjourned.
"I'm honored and very thankful to Dr. Adams, Greg McGarity, and the Athletic Board for their support in what are working daily to accomplish," Richt said. "I look forward along with our staff to preparing this team for the challenges of another season. From what I've heard, our team is working hard in the off-season conditioning program and paying the price necessary to be successful in the fall.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will be the next Georgia football coach to get a raise. McGarity couldn’t say how soon it would come or in what form it might be initiated, but he allowed that a contract adjustment is imminent for Bobo.
“Mark and I are talking about it,” he said. “We haven’t landed on it, but we’re talking about it. I would expect there to be an adjustment on it.”
Bobo currently has a one-year contract that pays him $335,000 a year, which puts him in the bottom half among the SEC’s 14 offensive coordinators. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who earns $825,000 annually, has a three-year contract and is the only Bulldog assistant to have a multiyear employment agreement. That’s likely to change with Bobo, whose offense set school records for points and yardage this past season.
“We’ve talked about (multiyear) in broad terms,” McGarity said. “We just haven’t finalized all that.”
UGA unveils Young Alumni Ticket program
The athletic board on Tuesday approved the “Young Alumni Ticket” a program, which will allow recently-graduated UGA students to get into the Bulldogs’ season-ticket program.
Starting this fall, 2,000 tickets will be provided for graduates at $40 apiece and the contribution to the Hartman Fund – required by regular donors for seating priority -- will be waived in the first year. In year two they will be required to donate $250 to retain the tickets and that amount will increase to the standard base level ($500) in year three.
Georgia will be pulling the tickets from the UGA undergraduate student ticket allotment. The school provided 17,910 season tickets to students (all who requested) this past season, but the average scan rate since 2009 has been 11,802, according to UGA data. So essentially the school will be over-subscribing its student ticket allotment to accommodate the new patrons.