It's obviously Georgia Day in terms of contract news.
We learned that head football coach Mark Richt's new deal was finalized after six months of discussions. We also found out that athletic director Greg McGarity will receive a raise, and the latest bit of news is that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is getting a raise and going to $825,000 annually over the next three years (through 2014).
Grantham, entering his third season on the Bulldogs' staff, becomes the fourth highest-paid defensive coordinator in the SEC. LSU's John Chavis has agreed to a new three-year deal that will pay him an average of $1.1 million per year. He'll make $900,000 in 2012, $1.1 million in 2013 and $1.3 million in 2014. Alabama's Kirby Smart received a raise following the 2011 season that took him to $950,000 annually, while first-year Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder is making $850,000 per year.
Grantham was at $750,000 last year and earned every penny of it. The Bulldogs finished fifth nationally in total defense and third nationally in third-down conversion defense. They led the SEC and tied for seventh nationally with 32 forced turnovers.
But more than just statistics, Grantham brought a mental toughness to the Bulldogs' defense that had been missing, and it rubbed off on the entire team.
Noteworthy in Grantham's new deal is that he can leave without penalty to take a head coaching job in college football or the NFL. He also wouldn't owe Georgia anything if he were to leave for an NFL coordinator's job. Grantham was previously the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator from 2005-07 and was the Dallas Cowboys' defensive line coach prior to coming to Georgia.
He's definitely a keeper in Athens.