Money flowing right now for Georgia football coaches

Georgia's efforts to keep its present football staff intact and replace the two that have left will likely mean salary increases totaling more than $1.5 million

Georgia’s efforts to keep its present football staff intact and replace the two that have left will likely mean salary increases totaling more than $1.5 million. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is set to receive a $450,000 a year raise. (AJC photo)

Georgia’s salary pool for assistant football coaches was $3.3 million coming into this past season. That’s about to go way up.

The Bulldogs already have approved a $450,000 raise for defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. And while contract figures are not yet available for new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, it’s clear he’ll earn significantly more than former OC Mike Bobo, who was making $575,000 a year.

Trying to find a verifiable data base of NFL assistant coach compensation is nearly impossible. But based on published reports, Schottenheimer was set to earn “nearly $2 million” a year back in 2009 when he was offensive coordinator for the New York Jets. It would follow that he was probably making more than that with the St. Louis Rams.

Publicly at least, Schottenheimer was in good stead with the Rams and head coach Jeff Fisher before opting to leave to accept Georgia’s coordinator position earlier this week. But between the heat on Fisher and Schottenheimer himself in St. Louis, it would indicate that Schottenheimer was seeking more security elsewhere.

To supply that, UGA will sure offer him its standard three-year contract it uses for coordinators. My guess is that would be in the range of $1.5 million a year. I would almost guarantee it would be for no less than Pruitt’s $1.3 million. So going that number, the Bulldogs are due to pay $725,000 more annually for an offensive coordinator than it did previously.

VIDEO UPDATE FROM SCHOTTENHEIMER’S INTRODUCTORY NEWS CONFERENCE:

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Georgia is set to provide promotions and raises for defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and running backs coach Bryan McClendon. Like Pruitt, they were offered coaching opportunities elsewhere in 2014. They are due to make $300,000 and $250,000, respectively, this fiscal year.

So a low-balling guess of $200,000 in annual increases for those two coaches would place the salary-pool increase for football of $1.5 million for 2015. And that doesn’t include the still vacant position of offensive line coach. Will Friend earned $300,000 as Georgia’s O-line coach and running game coordinator last year.

Georgia has also announced that it is working on a contract extension for head coach Mark Richt following the 10-3 campaign of 2014. That will sure come with a pay increase as well. Richt’s $3.2 million salary had fallen from fifth to 12th among the 14 SEC coaches over the past two seasons. He’d have to make $4 million to be back among the top five.

All this money being thrown around certainly undercuts the notion that UGA is thrifty when it comes to football or athletics in general. Consider tat, before all these raises are set to hit the books, Georgia’s salaries for its 10 on-field coaches for football ($6.5 million) represented 6.5 percent of the athletic association’s total operating budget (approximately $99 million). And that’s obviously about to go up considerably.

Comparatively, that’s about the same as South Carolina’s (6.6 percent), slightly above Arkansas’ (6.4), well above that of Texas (5) and behind Alabama and Auburn (8 percent), according to published figures.

Richt wouldn’t disclose Schottenheimer’s salary Friday but said he’d receive three-year contract. I’ll continue to look into this closer as actual salary and contract figures come available.

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