Georgia's Richt gets new 8-year, $16 million deal

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia coach Mark Richt received a new
eight-year, $16 million contract Wednesday that gives the two-time
Southeastern Conference champion a $500,000 a year raise.

The contract boosts Richt's annual salary to $2 million from
$1.5 million, putting him on par with the highest paid coaches in
the SEC. Richt can also earn up to $400,000 in bonuses if he meets
various incentives, including incentives tied to his team's
graduation rate.

The Bulldogs won the SEC championship in 2005, their second in
the last four years. Before Richt's arrival, Georgia had not won an
SEC title since 1982.

Richt had five years remaining on his current contract. The new
contract extends through the 2013 season and retains a stiff buyout
clause. Richt would have to pay Georgia the remaining value of the
contract if he were to leave for another coaching job.

"I don't view the money issue as profoundly as I view the
long-term consideration on both sides," university president
Michael Adams said.

"He wants to be here and we want him to be here."

Richt is 52-13 in five years at Georgia. His 2005 team was a
preseason pick to finish third in the Eastern Division of the SEC,
but instead it won the division for the third time in five years.

He was out of town on a recruiting trip Wednesday but said in a
statement he is "pleased and appreciative" of the new contract.

"It says that the university wants us to be at Georgia and this
is certainly where my family wants to be," he said.

Adams said the new deal "should put a lot of those other issues
to rest."

Richt, the former offensive coordinator at Florida State, has
been included in speculation about the eventual successor to
Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden.

"Coach Richt has told us this is where he wants to be, and the
university has answered to the world that we want him here," Adams

Georgia was ranked No. 10 with a 10-3 record in the final
Associated Press poll for the 2005 season. It has had four straight
top 10 finishes under Richt, winning 10 or more games each of those

Adams said the graduation rate incentive has not yet been
defined, but the rates of Georgia football players may be measured
on a national level or against other SEC schools.