ATHENS - Georgia has seen a lot of upward movement on the coaching salary front lately: Head coach Mark Richt is getting a raise and an extension, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt just got bumped up to $1.3 million a year, and while new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's salary isn't official yet, a source said he is receiving well more than $1 million.
So without prompting, Richt offered a public thanks on Friday.
"Just want to thank our administration and thank President (Jere) Morehead with the support and being able to bring in Brian, and being able to do some stuff with our staff that's important," Richt said. "So I wanted to make that clear."
Richt was asked if the recent contracts had allayed any concerns he's had with support from the administration.
"I don’t think I’ve ever made any comments to the contrary," Richt said. "But there’s no doubt that we’ve done some things that are going to help us."
Asked if more raises for assistants are coming, Richt said "there’s some things cooking." In any case, it's clear that the salary pool for Richt's staff is undergoing a dramatic increase this year. Last year Pruitt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo earned a combined $1.425 million, and Pruitt's salary alone this year will come close to that.
"Any time you hire new people, any time coaches get pay raises and things of that nature, it’s always the final decision by our administration, by our president, as far as giving the OK on things. That’s been true for 14 years. So that’s pretty typical," Richt said. "But a lot of these things are market driven, so to speak. There are people that pursue our people at times and there’s just the fact there’s a cost of doing business at times as well. There’s a little bit of both that going on. But that’s really true everywhere.
Richt's salary last year was approximately $3.2 million. McGarity has announced that Richt is receiving a new contract, but hasn't specified the amount yet. When a reporter, asking in general about staff salaries, alluded to Richt being in line for an extension and raise, Richt interrupted, deadpan: "That’s what I hear."
Offensive staff update
Georgia still has to hire an offensive line coach, and Richt didn't indicate whether that was close. He said he hoped it was by the time the recruiting dead period ends next Thursday.
"There’s been some conversations with people," Richt said. "But as far as physically sitting down, there’s been one to this point."
The remaining offensive assistants - Bryan McClendon (running backs), John Lilly (tight ends) and Tony Ball (receivers) - are all sticking around, presuming they don't head on their own for other jobs. Richt had not received any indication of that.
Regarding Jonathan Taylor
Alabama announced Wednesday that Jonathan Taylor, the defensive lineman dismissed last summer by Georgia, had enrolled at the school. Taylor is still facing charges for a felony domestic violence arrest. He was indicted in November and is awaiting arraignment.
When announcing Taylor's enrollment, Alabama athletics director Bill Battle said they not only spoke to Taylor but others about him. That evidently didn't include his former head coach, who was asked if Alabama talked to him, or anybody on Georgia's staff.
"I didn't get contacted," Richt said, not elaborating.