Mark Richt

UGA board approves Richt raise, extension

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Upon receiving a new contract in May of 2012, Mark Richt wasn’t the beneficiary of any type of pay increase.  This time around?  A nice bump for the Georgia head coach.

At a meeting of the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors Tuesday, the school board approved a contract extension and raise for the coach.  The meeting has long been considered nothing more than a rubber-stamping of the contractual process.

With the one-year extension, Richt is now signed through the 2017 season.  His total compensation was also increased from $2.81 million to $3.2 million.

That equals the amount given to new Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema, and puts Richt behind four other SEC coaches based on 2012 pay — Alabama’s Nick Saban ($5.316 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($3.751 million) and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier ($3.55 million).

Gene Chizik, fired by Auburn following the 2012 season, was at $3.5 million.

“[He’s done a tremendous] job leading our program,” said athletic director Greg McGarity said of Richt. “Twelve wins and the manner in which he’s done it, it’s just something we felt like we needed to do.”

Richt, who will be entering his 13th season at UGA, is coming off two straight SEC East titles and 22 wins the past two seasons.

Through 12 seasons, Richt holds a 118-40 mark as the Bulldogs’ coach.  UGA has not won a conference championship since 2005, and has not qualified for a BCS-level bowl since the 2007 season.

After winning just 14 games in 2009 and 2010, Richt came under tremendous fire and was thought to be on the hot seat entering 2011.  The past two seasons, however, Richt seems to have righted the listing UGA ship.

“I’m honored and very thankful to Dr. Adams, Greg McGarity, and the Athletic Board for their support in what we are working daily to accomplish,” said Richt.  “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.

“I do want to express my gratitude to Dr. Adams for his support and continuing confidence in our program over the years.  He’s been a special supporter who has always been in our corner.  And we look forward to working with President-select Jere Morehead.  He’s been in several roles in the University administration, including a former Faculty Athletics Representative, and always supported our program in every respect.”

It should be noted that the final details of the contract are expected to be completed in short order.

‘Bama officially announces Derrick Ansley as DBs coach

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A handful of days after Nick Saban had reportedly filled a hole in his Alabama coaching staff, the Tide officially brought out the shovel Wednesday.

The football program confirmed in a press release that Derrick Ansley has been hired by Saban to coach the Tide’s defensive backs.  Ansley will replace Mel Tucker, who left last month to take the job as defensive coordinator on Kirby Smart‘s new Georgia staff.

This is a return home of sorts for Ansley as he spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons at Alabama as a graduate assistant.

“We are very happy to have Derrick and his family back at Alabama,” Saban said in a statement. “Derrick did an outstanding job when he was with us as a graduate assistant, and he has a very good understanding of how we run our program and what is expected. He is a bright young coach, and he will be a great addition working with the defensive backs. We also believe he will be a tremendous asset to our staff in the recruiting process.”

Ansley had spent the past three seasons at Kentucky, the first two as cornerbacks coach and the last in charge of the entire secondary. Just prior to leaving for the Tide, he had been named as the Wildcats’ co-defensive coordinator.

His first job at the Power Five the defensive backs coach at Tennessee (2012).

USC: Pat Haden ‘stable… resting comfortably at local hospital’

Steve Sarkisian, Pat Haden
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Following up on reports of a “health event” involving outgoing USC athletic director Pat Haden, the university offered up a release Wednesday night on the administrator’s condition.

According to a release, Haden is in stable condition and “resting comfortably at a local hospital” as of late last night.  The 63-year-old Haden undergoing medical testing, but “plans to be back soon watching his Trojans in action.”

“He thanks all for their concern,” the release added.

Early Wednesday afternoon, reports surfaced that Haden nearly collapsed outside of Heritage Hall and was treated by paramedics called to the scene. Shortly thereafter, per reports, he was taken to the hospital via ambulance.

In the release, the university clarified the chain of events:

Haden was walking back from an on-campus meeting this morning and felt lightheaded, similar to how he felt at the Notre Dame game last October. He sat down outside Heritage Hall and the athletic department’s medical personnel attended to him. Haden was alert and talking as he walked under his own power up to his office in Heritage Hall. Medical personnel continued to attend to him there before transporting him to his doctor off campus.

A similar episode prior to the Notre Dame game last season prompted Haden to step down from his position as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee. Lingering health issues played a role in his decision earlier this month to step down as USC’s athletic director later this year.

Stanford plucks Oklahoma defensive line coach Diron Reynolds

MIAMI - 2007:  Diron Reynolds of the Miami Dolphins poses for his 2007 NFL headshot at photo day in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Getty Images)
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On Tuesday, Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart announced his retirement. On Wednesday, the Cardinal found his replacement.

Stanford hired one of its own according to reports from Sports Illustrated and FootballScoop (where I am also a writer), pulling former assistant Diron Reynolds away from Oklahoma after one season with the Sooners.

While Stanford has not formally announced Reynolds’ hiring, Oklahoma has already confirmed his departure.

“Diron did an excellent job for us here at OU,” head coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “This move is going to allow him to reunite with his wife and children. We appreciate the work he did and wish him the best.”

Reynolds was Stanford’s assistant defensive line coach in 2014, and prior to that spent five years in the same capacity with the Minnesota Vikings. He inherits a defense that ranked in the top 30 nationally in rushing defense and sacks.

For Oklahoma, 2016 marks the second straight season the Sooners will be on the hunt for a defensive line coach after Signing Day. OU’s hiring of Reynolds last year was necessitated when defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery left for the Green Bay Packers.

D-line coach Mark Hagen leaving A&M for Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 14:  Nate Sudfeld #7 of the Indiana Hoosiers runs with the ball against the  Michigan Wolverines at Memorial Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Bloomington, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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There are two types of coaching moves: the ones coaches want to make and the ones they’re told to make.

It’s with that in mind we review the news that Indiana has hired Texas A&M defensive line coach Mark Hagen to coach the same position, the Hoosiers announced Wednesday. Hagen is a former Hooiser that coached at his alma mater in 2011-12 before leaving for College Station in 2013. And Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin coached with Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson for five years at Oklahoma. If you wanted to find a landing spot for an assistant you were looking to replace, this is the type of job you would look for.

Texas A&M insider Billy Liucci, as much an insider as one can be, certainly presented this move as the second type of coaching change.

When a head coach is feeling heat, it’s often his assistants that pay the price, and especially when a high-profile coordinator is brought in, as was the case with the hiring of John Chavis.

“It’s exciting to be able to come back home again,” Hagen said in a statement. “These last three years have been fun. It’s something I felt like I had to do a few years back, but being a part of Coach Wilson’s program again and getting on board on the front end with Coach Allen is something I could not pass up. I’m looking forward to the challenge of coaching the entire defensive line and building a championship defense.”

Hagen coached one of the nation’s top pass-rushing duos in College Station in the form of Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall.