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.