Mark Richt, Georgia agree to terms

ATHENS, Ga. -- After leading Georgia to its first SEC East title in six seasons last fall, Georgia coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham agreed to terms on contract extensions, the school announced Monday.

Richt's new deal adds three years to his existing contract, taking him through the 2016 season, while Grantham received a two-year extension, keeping him under contract through 2014.

Contract details have not been finalized on either deal.

"We've agreed to all the big stuff," Richt said Monday. "There's still some things that have got to be ironed out. But I'm excited about the new contract. I've never really changed my stance on how I feel about Georgia from the first day I got the opportunity to be here."

Richt's current compensation is $2.81 million per year. Athletic director Greg McGarity would not reveal whether the extension would include a pay raise for either Richt or Grantham, who makes $750,000 per year.

"We're tweaking some things," McGarity said. "I don't want to go on record and say some things. We're tweaking things [for] both he and Todd."

Richt started last season on the hot seat, following his first losing season at Georgia -- a 6-7 result in 2010 -- and losses to Boise State and South Carolina to start the 2011 season. But Richt's Bulldogs responded to those trying circumstances, winning 10 consecutive games and claiming the program's first division title since 2005.

Grantham's defense was one of the key factors in the revival, ranking fifth in the nation in total defense and tying for seventh nationally with 32 turnovers created.

"My goal and my wife Katharyn's goal was to build our life in Athens, Ga., and raise our children here and finish my coaching career here. That thought has never changed for me," Richt said. "I'm thankful that Mr. McGarity and the University of Georgia are excited about me continuing on as the head coach. So that's good news."

By pushing the length of his contract to five years, Georgia also allows Richt to tell 2013 recruits that his deal with the university would run the length of their college careers.

"That's good," Richt said. "Any guy we're recruiting right now, most of them think four's the most they'll be around. A lot of them think they'll be gone in three, so I don't think that's a problem at all. I think that's a good thing."

McGarity also did not reveal whether Richt's contract buyout would change under his new deal, although he said lawyers for both parties are working to simplify the language in the contract.

"We're going through that right now to where the language is [suitable] because it is kind of a different contract," McGarity said. "In other words, we're blowing up the old contract. I shouldn't say blowing up, but we're starting over with new terminology and things like that that probably will make it easier to read, easier to understand."

McGarity and the coaches actually initiated talks for the extensions in early December, but obligations including bowl practices and recruiting pushed talks to the back burner.

McGarity confirmed in December that contract negotiations had begun. But he and Richt preached patience throughout, with both men saying that their conversations had been cordial and they did not see the need to rush.

Now the new deals are nearly finalized, with McGarity noting the documents are "in the lawyers' hands now."

"We've always been on the same page," McGarity said. "It's just a matter of when can we sit down and talk through it and meet and sort of discuss some different points of it."

David Ching covers Georgia athletics for DawgNation.