Daily Archives: January 2, 2015

Everybody gets paid.

Remember how McGarity said he gives Richt a salary pool for the assistants and Richt figures out how to parcel the money out among them?

Well if that’s the case, either Mark Richt is a financial wizard or he’s not going to pay the new offensive coordinator anything, because Jeremy Pruitt just made bank.

As Georgia’s first-year defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt made quite the impact for the Bulldogs this fall.

Friday, head coach Mark Richt extended Pruitt’s contract by a year to 2017 and boosted his salary to $1.3 million per season. Pruitt had two years left on his original deal at an annual salary of $850,000 per season.

“Our defense has performed at a very high level this season and much of it is due to Jeremy’s leadership,” head coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “It’s important that we solidify his tenure at Georgia and continue to build our defense in all areas, including recruiting, defense and player development.”

As Weiszer notes, that puts Pruitt in Kirby Smart territory.  That’s a lot of love to show there.

The key words from Richt there are “solidify his tenure”.  Dasher hints that McClendon and Rocker are next in line, presumably for the same reason.  Nobody else is going anywhere.  You could say that McGarity has given in to recognizing the reality of the current market for coaches.

It’s good to see this getting settled.  Richt can move forward and point at this with recruits and the applicant pool for the open staff positions as evidence of administration’s support of the football program.  It’s perfect timing for a sense of momentum.

B-M has stepped up.  Now it’s time for the coaching staff to do the same thing.

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That tenth win must have been bigger than we thought.

Greg McGarity has sent an email to donors disclosing that the school is negotiating a contract extension with Mark Richt.

“I look forward to working alongside Mark in the future and in helping him move our program forward in all areas.  We will be working on a contract extension with Mark over the coming days.  I know Mark is focused on completing his coaching staff and recruiting,” McGarity said in the email. “Our support staff is also focused on a number of construction projects, including the indoor practice facility and future enhancements to football areas in Sanford Stadium.  We will keep you updated on progress in these areas as they develop.”

Did McGarity blink in the face of steady criticism of his management, or was the Belk Bowl the tipping point for Richt’s future at Georgia?  Beats me (although McGarity’s message praises the effort and preparation for the bowl game).  In any event, the die is cast and it’s time to get the rest of the players on the same page.  That starts with making sure the assistants who are underpaid by market standards get an adjustment.

In any event, those of you who want Mark Richt gone are going to have to wait a while.

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Filed under Georgia Football

2015 returning starters

Phil Steele has what is probably a way-too-early list for the SEC programs here.  It’s going to be subject to adjustment, obviously, as we start to hear about early entrants for the NFL draft, but it still gives some indication of who next year’s more experienced teams may be.

The other thing to keep in mind is the-rich-get-richer factor.  ‘Bama may be losing starters, but it subs liberally and it’s not like what’s waiting in the wings isn’t talented.

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Lists

A couple of items for you to chew over this morning:

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Filed under Georgia Football

The Pruitt effect

Georgia’s latest verbal commitment was impressed with the crowd at the Georgia Tech game, but he was even more impressed by something else:

The atmosphere was a factor, but Briscoe said the most impressive part of Georgia’s pitch was Coach Mark Richt’s commitment to building a championship-caliber staff.

Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt won three national championships as a coordinator at Florida State in 2013 and a defensive backfield coach at Alabama in 2011 and 2012. Pruitt’s position group produced two first-round picks in the 2011 NFL Draft in safety Mark Barron and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Georgia also tapped Alabama for Mark Hocke, whom the school announced as Director of Strength and Conditioning on Dec. 21.

“I want to be coached to my best ability,” Briscoe said. “Going after guys like that, that have won national championships, it’s pretty special.”

Briscoe said Pruitt stressed the opportunities available for a deep class of defensive backs to contribute as true freshmen.

There is something about the intensity of this year’s approach to recruiting that is different from what we’ve seen before.  And it’s having an effect.

Georgia retakes the No. 1 spot from Alabama, which had taken the national lead from the Bulldogs. Mark Richt’s program has never been a highly ranked in recruiting rankings as they are currently. In fact, in the past five years Richt’s program has averaged a 5th-place finish in recruiting rankings in the SEC.

Yeah, yeah, I know all the usual caveats apply about getting the horses in the barn first.  But this isn’t a post about prematurely counting chickens.  It’s about what Pruitt has brought to this program in less than one year.

  • Coaching.  Nationally, Georgia is currently 16th in defensive scoring, 5th in passing defense, 20th in total defense and 16th in takeaways.  All of those are significant improvements over the 2013 results.  When you consider all the departures on that side of the ball and what Pruitt had to work with this season, that’s little short of miraculous.
  • Recruiting.  See above.  There’s little question how much more aggressive Georgia appears on the recruiting trail than in years past.  And it’s not as if the pre-Pruitt staff had a bunch of slackers on it.  These guys are challenging and they’re doing it everywhere.  They’ve locked down most of the top prospects in state even as a significant part of this upcoming class will come from outside Georgia.
  • Attitude.  You don’t have to scream on the sidelines to have an edge.  He’s not the most diplomatic of people – bitching about how the lack of an IPF is affecting recruiting while you’re bringing in what looks to be Georgia’s deepest class ever is certainly nervy – but he’s got a clear vision of what he wants and isn’t afraid to make that known.  That approach seems to be rubbing off on Mark Richt, too.

We were excited when the announcement came about Pruitt joining the staff because of his track record on the field at FSU and Alabama.  But I don’t think anyone expected the total package he’s brought.  I just wonder about how this holds together.  I’m not one to say he’s always right, but it’s clear Pruitt’s motivated by a desire to get what he thinks is best for the program’s success, damn the consequences.  Let’s just say that while that may be an attitude appreciated in many places, it’s a big time culture clash in Athens.  Something’s bound to give, no?

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Friday morning buffet

New year, new buffet.

  • John Chavis is your new Texas A&M defensive coordinator.  Pay is in the Muschamp range.  Sore point with LSU was a clause in Chavis’ new contract, which he never signed.
  • Seth Emerson tells us something that should come as no surprise after watching the Belk Bowl.
  • I admit that sometimes I’m still a sucker for the romance of college football.  Jonathan Chait swoons over Michigan’s hire of Jim Harbaugh.
  • Shorter Utah AD:  what is this “rift” with Kyle Whittingham to which you refer?
  • “But Coach,” Grange said. “You make money off of football. Why can’t I make money off of football?”
  • And here’s a liberal’s criticism of this era’s head coaching salaries.
  • Mark Richt had a Plan B after Mason’s Belk Bowl injury:  “Then being able to react once we lost Hutson and had to go to Plan B. Plan B was kind of I guess it made it a little bit simpler. Just give it to Nick.”

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Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

The Chiz is back.

He’s a solid defensive coordinator, so it’s not a dumb hire by any means.

I just wonder how much less he’ll be making than Boom.

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Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit