Mike Bobo isn’t under any illusion that his new multi-year contract that included a hefty raise will put an end to the criticism that has come his way at times at Georgia.
“There’s going to be critics this year the first time we punt,” said Bobo, now among the highest paid offensive coordinators in the Southeastern Conference. “That’s part of it. I’m worried about how the guys in my room and the guys on offense respond to when I walk in that room and respond to us as coaches and how they perform and play for us as a team and the University of Georgia. That’s really the only thing I’m concerned about.”
When Georgia last made back-to-back trips to the SEC championship game in 2002-03, Bobo was the lowest paid assistant on Mark Richt’s staff, making $95,000 as the quarterbacks coach.
He’ll now earn more than six times that with his three-year deal worth $575,000 per year after getting a $240,000 raise.
That didn’t stop Bobo, the father of five children 9 years old and younger, from eating a breakfast with his kids at the Stripling’s General Store in Watkinsville the day after Richt revealed Bobo was getting his first-multi-year deal in 13 seasons.
“Every time I used to go home in college, I’d go home and eat that sausage dog,” Bobo said of a stop he made between Cordele and Albany on his way to Thomasville. “When they built that out there, I’ve been excited. I’m trying to teach my kids about eating at the general store and eating the sausage biscuit in the morning. They’re learning. And drinking a Yoo-hoo.”
Bobo joined defensive coordinator Todd Grantham as the only assistants on staff with contracts longer than one year.
“To have security in this business is always something that you can feel good about, but at the same time I’ve got a job to do this year,” Bobo said after Tuesday’s spring practice. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, we’re set and good to go.’ I’m worried about getting better today at practice and the next day.’ Really, my mindset really hasn’t changed with anything. I appreciate it and told them thank you and went back to work.”
Bobo was pursued by Virginia Tech for its offensive coordinator position.
“I’d rather not get into any of that,” Bobo said. “I’m at Georgia right now and that’s where I plan to be for a long time. … I think it happens a lot. You’re not really interested in it getting out there and I didn’t really like that it got out about that deal either.”
Bobo said he tries to do what Richt says — apply enthusiasm to the job he has now.
“If something comes up that I’m interested in, I’ll look at it,” he said. “If I’m not interested in it, I won’t. That’s really my personal business between me and my family and other than that, my job is to get Georgia ready to go the best I can and that’s what I try to do every day.”
Under Bobo, Georgia ranked third in the SEC in total offense each of the last two seasons, including averaging 474.6 yards per game in 2012.
The Bulldogs seem to have the weapons — including quarterback Aaron Murray, tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and receiver Malcolm Mitchell — to finish in the top three for the third consecutive year. That’s something even Bobo’s boss, Richt, never did as a play caller. Georgia’s offense under Richt in 2004 and 2005 was ranked third in the SEC in but finished 10th in 2006.
Bobo said he was “basically the GA in the room” when he was hired from Jacksonville State to return to the school where he passed for 6,334 yards as quarterback. Richt was patient and let him grow as a coach, Bobo said.
Richt gave the play-calling duties to Bobo before the Georgia Tech game in 2006 and now Richt said he sees them on the same page most of the time offensively.
“Mike and I have worked together for so long now that if I study red zone and he studies red zone and we compare notes and we watch it separately, it’s about 90 percent identical,” Richt said. “It’s not like that I need to have a lot of input. There might be times I slip a little something to him on the side and say, ‘Hey, if you like it, good. If you don’t, that’s fine, too.’ I know what it’s like to be an offensive coordinator and to call plays when your head coach is kind of the guy you’ve replaced as the play-caller. I know it can be tough at times, but Mike’s handed everything really well.”
And with a new contract, he can buy a few more of those sausage biscuits.
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