The AJ-C does a little compare and contrast with a coaching salary story today about Georgia’s situation. It’s all about the rising salaries happening at places like Auburn and Tennessee versus the stability of places like Florida and Georgia.
Rodney Garner explains his dilemma.
“I’m staying for a man, not for money,” Garner said, referring to his close relationship with Richt. “But I turned down a significant amount of money to do so. My family and friends think I’m crazy. I’m serious, they think I’m nuts. At some point, it’s going to get to the point that I have to think about securing my future.”
Mark Richt and Damon Evans explain theirs.
“Well, I think it’s impacting everybody,” said Richt, who determines his assistants’ salaries with input from athletics director Damon Evans. “I don’t know where it’s going to end. But it’s happening right now, and everybody’s going to have to make life decisions on what they want to do about it.”
“Do I have concerns about where coaches’ salaries are headed? I would say each institution has to do what they feel is best,” Georgia’s Evans said. “As far as keeping up [with the competition], you’re talking about two or three institutions that have made some significant changes to their staff that have caused their salaries to go up. I think you’re going to see that more. When you see programs that may be down and they want to make a change, when they make that change, typically it costs you more money.”
Yes it do. Especially with the tsunami of TV money crashing through the SEC now.
Here’s the stability side of the picture:
… Indeed, it’s the coaching staffs with the most stability —- and some might say the most success —- that seem to be benefiting the least from the escalation trend. Two-time BCS champion Florida, like Georgia, offers its assistants only one-year deals. Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is the Gators’ highest-paid assistant at $310,000. Including a supplement and longevity bonus, Martinez is the only Georgia assistant to make more than $300,000 ($320,300).
So far the Bulldogs have been able to avoid turnover, a cornerstone of Richt’s coaching philosophy.
“If you’ve got the right staff, which I think we do, I think staff stability is very important,” he said. “Prior to us getting here, I think Brian VanGorder was, like, the fifth defensive coordinator in five years. I think Neil Callaway was the fifth line coach in four years. Georgia was certainly talented prior to us coming in, but having that stability was valuable for having the success that we have had.”
Richt was asked if increased salaries and multiyear contracts were necessary to maintain that stability.
“Well, you’ve got to stay competitive, I do think that,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you need to blaze the trail.”
Charlie Strong at $310,000 a year has to be the bargain of the conference.
Note at the end of the article that the total gap between the Tennessee coaching salary pool for 2009 is a little more than $500K greater than Georgia’s for 2008. When the new numbers for Richt and his staff come in, expect that number to shrink, even with Coach Eason’s salary being replaced with a lower one for Bryan McClendon. That’s because stability has its own cost: the position coaches at Georgia are for the most part better compensated than their Tennessee counterparts due to their longer tenure in one place. The same is true for the head coach.