Coaches salaries rising, and so could Richt's

semerson@macon.comJanuary 23, 2013 

ATHENS - Mike Bobo may not be the only Georgia coach getting a raise next month. His boss could be too.

Last year, when head coach Mark Richt received a new contract, he didn't actually get a salary increase. But at the time athletics director Greg McGarity said Richt's contract would be revisited at the end of every year.

Well, with Georgia having just completed a 12-win season, it appears Richt's contract will be revisited in his favor. McGarity on Wednesday declined to confirm that, only saying that if so it would happen at the UGA athletic board's Feb. 12 board meeting.

Richt's guaranteed salary is $2,811,340. But his incentives add up to a possible total of $800,000 - this year Richt has earned $350,000. (That's $150,000 for winning the SEC East, $100,000 for finishing in the top five of the AP or coaches poll, and $100,000 for making the Capital One Bowl.)

Beyond having a good season, another factor that could lead to a Richt raise is the explosion in coaching salaries elsewhere.

On Wednesday came word that Louisville is about to increase Charlie Strong's salary to $3.7 million a year, which will make him the nation's seventh-highest paid coach.

Richt was the fifth-highest paid coach in the SEC entering this past season. But he has since been passed by Bret Bielema (given $3.2 million by Arkansas) and Butch Jones (getting $2.9 million from Tennessee.)

Of course one of the coaches who had been earning more than Richt was Gene Chizik, who has since been fired by Auburn. Replacement Gus Malzahn is getting $2.3 million, with additional bonuses of a possible $1.5 million per year.

Kevin Sumlin, hired just last year, has already received a raise after guiding Texas A&M to an 11-win season. The details of his new deal haven't been revealed yet; Sumlin was earning $2.4 million a year.

Ole Miss gave Hugh Freeze a $500,000 raise after his strong first season, taking him up to $2 million a year.

Here are the SEC coaches base salaries (not including incentives), culled from the USA Today coaching salary database and reports:

Nick Saban, Alabama: $5,316,667
Les Miles, LSU: $3,751,000
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: $3,550,000
Bret Bielema, Arkansas: $3,200,000
Butch Jones, Tennessee: $2,900,000 (approximate)
Mark Richt, Georgia: $2,811,340
Gary Pinkel, Missouri: $2,700,000
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: $2,600,000
Will Muschamp, Florida: $2,474,500
Gus Malzahn, Auburn: $2,300,000
Mark Stoops, Kentucky: $2,200,000 (approximate)
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M: $2,436,000 (set to increase)
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss: $2,000,000

James Franklin, Vanderbilt: Not available (private school)

Earlier this month, McGarity hinted strongly that Bobo would be receiving a raise, after an outstanding season for the Georgia offense. In fact, Virginia Tech sent a plane to Athens in an effort to hire Bobo as its offensive coordinator, but Bobo rebuffed the advance.

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