As arms race beckons, a look at Georgia's current support staff

semerson@macon.comFebruary 22, 2013 

ATHENS - There's a lot of talk these days about a coming "arms race" in college football, with teams supposedly set to splurge for quality-control assistants and others who "advise" the team. There's a limit on the amount of on-field assistant coaches each team can have (nine) - but no limit on support staff.

On Thursday came word that Auburn has hired away Dell McGee, who spent the past seven years as the head coach at Carver High School in Columbus, for an as-yet undefined support staff role. Texas head coach Mack Brown said this week that everyone is trying to keep up with Alabama, where Nick Saban has had a revolving door of quality-controllers, and recently hired Kevin Steele (a longtime NFL and college coordinator) in such a role.

"Alabama is ahead of all of us with the number of personnel they've hired, and that's something everybody's looking very closely at," Brown told coachingsearch.com.

So what about Georgia? Well, Mark Richt also hired a high school coach to become his team's recruiting coordinator ... last year.

Daryl Jones has been in the on-campus recruiting coordinator role for nearly a year now, and earns $110,000 a year. In fact last year also saw Richt take a novel approach with the strength and conditioning staff, hiring a speed coach (Sherman Armstrong) and opening up the checkbook to bring in John Thomas, who ran Joe Paterno's strength staff for two decades.

Here's a list of the notable members of the non-assistant coaching support staff that deals with just the football program, and how much they earn:

Dave Van Halanger, director of player welfare ... $168,570
Ron Courson, director of sports medicine .... $115,704
John Eason, director of player development ... $105,000
Brad Hutcherson, director of football operations ... $65,000
Brett Greene, video coordinator ... $69,999
Bryant Gantt, program coordinator .... $39,999

Strength staff
Joe Tereshinski, director of strength and conditioning .... $150,000
John Thomas, senior associate, strength and conditioning .... 140,000
Sherman Armstrong, associate strength and conditioning .... $85,000

Recruiting
Daryl Jones, recruiting coordinator ... $110,000
Ben Brandenburg, recruiting assistant ... $30,213

That totals $1.078 million a year, and doesn't include numerous other staffers, from graduate assistants to administrative assistants, assistant trainers, assistant strength and conditioning staff, team chaplains and equipment managers.

(Richt is earning $3.2 million a year, after his recent raise, while his nine assistant coaches earn more than a combined $2 million, and that's before Mike Bobo's impending raise.)

Now, does that foreclose Georgia from making another hire or two, and join in the quality-control fun? Certainly not. But if that happens, they'll join a staff that is hardly bare-boned right now.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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