Commit to the paycheck

The days of Mark Richt coming out of his own pocket to pay bonuses to his assistant coaches are definitely in Georgia’s rear-view mirror now.

The run to the national championship has indeed become a financial boon to the staff of football coach Kirby Smart, whose 10 on-field assistant coaches will earn a combined total of nearly $2 million more than last year.

The highlights on the new salary pool for the 10 assistants, which is $6.42 million, up from $4.56 million:

  • Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has received a raise to $1.5 million, up from $900,000 last year. Georgia’s defense was one of the best in the country last season.
  • Assistant coach James Coley, expected to move from receivers coach to another position, has been bumped to $850,000 from $450,000 last year. Coley turned down a job offer from Texas A&M to become offensive coordinator.
  • Offensive line coach Sam Pittman will now earn $825,000 after earning $660,000 last year.
  • Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney received a $100,000 raise, and will now earn $950,000.

Strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Sinclair also received a significant bump, and will now earn $450,000. Sinclair earned $300,000 last year.

Here is the outlay for the 2018 staff, and what it earned in 2017:

2018 staff: $6.42 million

Mel Tucker, $1,500,000
Jim Chaney, $950,000
James Coley, $850,000
Sam Pittman, $825,000
Dell McGee, $550,000
Tray Scott, $420,000
Cortez Hankton, $375,000
Glenn Schumann, $325,000
Dan Lanning, $325,000
Scott Fountain, $300,000

2017 staff: $4.56 million

Mel Tucker, $900,000
Jim Chaney, $850,000
Sam Pittman, $660,000
James Coley, $450,000
Tray Scott, $400,000
Kevin Sherrer, $375,000
Dell McGee, $350,000
Shane Beamer, $300,000
Glenn Schumann, $275,000

Throw in the pay bumps to the S&C staff

Including the strength and conditioning staff assistant salaries — Ed Ellis ($180,980), Jamil Walker ($101,125), Rodney Prince ($90,000) and Ben Sowders ($85,000) — Georgia is paying its football assistants just over $7 million in 2018.

… and you’re talking about some real money.

Now, some of the bump can be attributed to adding a tenth member to the coaching staff, but there’s no denying that Tucker and Coley are the recipients of some sweet increases there.

Should we assume that the rest of the $6.6 million McGarity is raising with the season ticket price increase will go to Kirby?  If so, that would put him roughly in the $8 million dollar a year arena.  (At least that’s what I would argue if I were Jimmy Sexton.  Hey, I mean, it’s what the man said, right?)


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

24 responses to “Commit to the paycheck

  1. J-DawG

    Considering the size of the other guys raises $100,000 for Chaney seems a bit low especially when Tucker got bumped $600,000. Is Kirby sending a message there?


    • My guess is that it has more to do with other programs /teams sniffing around after Coley and Tucker.


      • JasonC

        I thought that Coley made out like a bandit too, especially in light of what Pittman is making. I think if you asked any UGA fan, who has their hearts, it’d be Sam.


      • J-DawG

        I understand that, but why the chump change raise for Chaney? I think he deserves more.


        • Greg

          May have a point, the offense went from #102 in the country to # 20 in PPG (’16 vs ’17). The biggest improvement when comparing the two those years (offense vs defense). The defense actually regressed when comparing ’15 to ’16….I believe it went from something like 16 PPG allowed in ’15 (Pruitt) to 24 PPG in ’16 (Tucker). In ’17, they are allowing about the same as in ’15….but still they improved (’16 vs ’17) just not as much as the offense. The defense had basically the same personnel in ’15 – ’17.

          Not saying that Tucker did not deserve a raise, but the one for Chaney makes you want to ask a bunch of questions.


  2. they definitely earned it, Kirby deserves to be in the top 3 salaries in the conference IMO, but we shall see…McGarity is probably scared for the rainy day fund and will increase ticket prices again next year.


  3. UGA '97

    Agents and TV money, where the Athletic Departments and the employee salaries collide. CFB isr clearly deep into a bull market and no clue when the bubble will pop, maybe more cord cutting will lead to a market correction. Pittman’s bump is about performance and well deserved. Coley is definitely a keeper as his ability to recruit the state of Florida is worth every penny.
    Although, continuity at coaching positions means far less than years past, because of the vast data analytics resources available to programs. But the real fun here is the image is McFrugal’s gulps when writing these checks.


  4. Down island way

    IT I$ WHUT IT I$……….


  5. Macallanlover

    About time, now let’s get KS among the top 10. I know McGee and Schumann got nice hits but I believe they are still very attractive targets for other schools that want to, think I would have let them know what they did in recruiting is valued higher. May be nitpicking this but feel we will have to fend off others again this December and we need all hands on board to protect what the staff has gotten started.


    • “we need all hands on board”

      Does that mean season ticket holders should accept another 30% price increase or accept a dip into the hallowed reserve fund/rainy day fund/apocalypse fund?


      • Macallanlover

        Nay, nay, but I know you enablers will continue to reward the bad behavior of Puppet Master McDoofus. And those of us watching on TV appreciate the usually packed stands in Sanford. Just wish it was a fair fight for you ee, the guy is winning every round and blocking every feeble jab. Other than Carroll Minick’s letter last season, I have never seen much effort to reel the guy in other than message board posts. Doubt he would have lasted two years in a business environment, but then, he should have been weeded out long before he got in over his head. Education and other government institutions are not known for spotting the incompetents hiding among the lifers. I feel your pain…sorta.


  6. Bright Idea

    Unlike we fans coaches understand this game on paychecks and those who get jealous won’t last long in the business.


    • McTyre

      Well said. Some in the Drama Dawg camp don’t get it that staff cohesion is vital to program success and many coaches – depending on age, family and quality of life considerations – don’t singularly depend on publicly-disclosed base pay bumps to determine their professional satisfaction. In a program that demands so much – always be closing being one Smart hallmark – coaches surely have to value their work environment and staff esprit de corps to stay. Plus, not EVERY assistant wants to be a HC and deal with the heightened visibility, politics and diminished coaching time with student-athletes. Chaney and Pittman by age and temperament come across that way. Does Del McGee yearn to be a HC or even an OC? Time will tell I suppose if he/they gets offers.


  7. lakedawg

    McGee definitely hit the jackpot, Kirby sees something there that has not been shown in his checkered past. From being terminated at a couple stops to 350 grand DB coach at Bama to 1.5 in a 3 year period?


    • Russ

      Hush money? 😉


    • TomReagan

      I assume you meant Tucker, not McGee. Kirby showed his faith in him by bringing him in to be DC in the first place and was rewarded with a couple of great defenses. Looks like he earned his pay raise from my perspective. Some guys just fit the college game better than the pro game. Coaches like Nick Saban, for example.


  8. truck

    Eight million a year? Yet another arena I haven’t been in.


  9. Cosimo Medici

    As a Red and black paisan, I want the best coaching staff that money can buy – period. Bravo to the pezzonavante pulling the strings in Athens.