This isn’t your grandfather’s college football. Programs are spending tens of millions on facilities, coaching staffs, and recruits. With the playoff expansion, the introduction of NIL, and conference realignments occurring over the next few years, there might not be a more historical shifting of the college football landscape than right now. And the schools that adapt the best could be the next dynasty; Georgia football seems like a prime candidate.
It starts at the top with athletic director Josh Brooks, who is more than willing to do whatever it takes to win championships. UGA will have no problem crowdsourcing funds for NIL deals, upgrading facilities, and providing competitive salaries for coaches. There aren’t many programs in the country paying more for their support staff than Kirby Smart’s group, which some people find a problem with.
USA Today recently did a piece scrutinizing college football programs, specifically Georgia football, for outrageous expenditures. Behind Florida (68) and LSU (61), UGA has the most full-time support personnel (56), costing $4.8 million. The piece also pointed out that Mike Cavan, the director of football administration, was making north of $200K. Your guess is as good as mine as to what his role is comprised of.
This is nothing new, though. College football is king in the south. Kyle Field and Neyland Stadium are undergoing renovations, with Tennessee’s costing an estimated $288 million. LSU recently spent millions renovating their football facilities; the list goes on. Every university in the SEC is pouring money into its football programs. Georgia has notably invested more than $240 million into its facilities since hiring Kirby Smart, and those financial commitments don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, especially after following up a National Championship with an SEC title and playoff berth.
“His record speaks for itself,” Brooks said in the USA Today piece. “At those moments when you win a championship, you realize the work and all the resources we put into it has paid off.”
Running a college football program as prominent as Georgia takes a jack of all trades, which they have in Kirby Smart. Outside of Nick Saban, there might not be a better combination of Xs and Os, CEO, and recruiting in a coach than Smart. It takes an unbelievable level of commitment to do what he’s doing 365 days a year, and it takes an equal level of financial commitment from the higher-ups.
“When that season is over, you know you can’t go back in time and retro-add resources,” Brooks said. “So, it keeps our focus on the mission and makes us want to keep giving our coaches the resources they need.”
Smart recently signed a massive $112.5 million contract extension, which doesn’t even account for bonuses like going undefeated, winning the conference (done), and winning the championship — the last of which looks to be coming to fruition for Smart. Todd Monken is also the highest-paid assistant coach in the nation at this time, making a hair over $2 million per year. They are printing money in Athens, folks.
These details are from March and could be out of date. According to an article from 247 Sports, Georgia is paying its on-field staff a total of $14.6 million, including Smart’s deal — $3.85 million for the offensive side and $3.55 million for the defensive assistants. Below is a list of the assistants and their yearly salaries, which doesn’t include the analysts, trainers, and other personnel working in the program.
- STACY SEARELS — OFFENSIVE LINE COACH $650K
- DELL MCGEE — RUNNING BACKS COACH $800K
- BRYAN MCCLENDON — WIDE RECEIVERS COACH $700K
- TODD HARTLEY — TIGHT ENDS COACH $450K
- WILL MUSCHAMP — CO-DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR/SAFETIES COACH $800K
- GLENN SCHUMANN — CO-DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR/INSIDE LINEBACKERS COACH $800K
- TRAY SCOTT — DEFENSIVE LINE COACH $750K
- CHIDERA UZO-DIRIBE — OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS COACH $450K
- FRAN BROWN — SECONDARY COACH $750K
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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