UGA Football

Mel Tucker, other Kirby Smart assistants, receive major raises following 2017 football season

Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. Georgia Sports Communications

Mel Tucker is now a million-dollar man at Georgia.

After a 2017 season that saw Georgia's defense improve considerably en route to an appearance in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Tucker, the Bulldogs' defensive coordinator, will now earn an annual salary of $1.5 million. That is a $600,000 increase from the $900,000 he earned during the 2017 season. This figure was obtained in an open records request submitted by The Telegraph.

Tucker's defense finished the past season sixth in scoring defense by allowing only 16.4 points per game. Georgia was also ninth in the nation in total defense by averaging only 294.9 total yards each outing.

Tucker wasn't the only one to earn some extra money following the season.

Assistant coach James Coley will see his total compensation nearly double from last season. Making $450,000 in 2017, Coley will earn $850,000 with Georgia this coming year. Coley was a candidate for the offensive coordinator job at Texas A&M but ended up turning it down. While Coley has been a receivers coach for two years, he is likely changing responsibilities in 2018 now that Georgia has hired former Vanderbilt receivers coach Cortez Hankton.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is receiving a $100,000 raise, which will have him earning a salary of $950,000 per season.

Offensive line coach Sam Pittman will now earn $825,000, which is an increase of $165,000.

Running backs coach Dell McGee will earn an additional $200,000, moving his 2018 salary to $550,000.

Inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann will earn $325,000, a $50,000 raise, and defensive line coach Tray Scott will make $420,000, a $20,000 raise.

Strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Sinclair's salary will now be $450,000, an increase of $150,000.

Previously reported 2018 salaries included Hankton ($375,000), outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning ($325,000) and assistant Scott Fountain ($300,000).

Including the strength and conditioning staff assistant salaries — Ed Ellis ($180,980), Jamil Walker ($101,125), Rodney Prince ($90,000) and Ben Sowders ($85,000) — Georgia is paying its football assistants just over $7 million in 2018.

Head coach Kirby Smart is expected to receive a major raise following Georgia's spectacular 2017 season. Over the past two seasons, Smart earned $3.75 million as a part of the initial contract he signed upon his hiring. Given that Florida's Dan Mullen and Auburn's Gus Malzahn are making $6 million or more in 2018, Smart is likely in for a big pay day.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is the highest paid coach in the SEC at $11.1 million per season. Texas A&M hired former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher to a 10-year deal worth $7.5 million per season.