Grantham’s raise brings Georgia coordinator’s deal to $825,000 annually

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will get a $75,000 raise in his new deal with Georgia that will keep him among the highest-paid assistants in the nation.

Grantham will earn $825,000 guaranteed annually in a contract that includes a two-year extension through the end of the 2014 season, according to an unsigned draft obtained Friday under an open records request.

That total compensation would rank Grantham fifth nationally among assistants behind Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris ($1.3 million), Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart ($950,000), LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis ($900,000) and Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder ($850,000), according to reports of their salaries.

“Its just the market,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “I think that places him behind Kirby and John Chavis and it’s right with the others in the conference. Chavis has obviously been at LSU and been in this conference for a long time and done a great job and Todd has too. You’re being fair to them as respect to the market.”

Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri will make $800,000. Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox left Tennessee and will reportedly earn $750,000 a season in his new job.

In the new deal, Grantham can again leave without penalty for a head coaching job in the NFL or NCAA Division I. He can also now leave without penalty for an NFL defensive coordinator job.

The buyout he would have to pay Georgia for leaving for another college assistant coaching position has been significantly reduced during the length of the deal.

In his previous deal, Grantham would have owed at least $1.125 million if he left within the first year of the three-year deal for another assistants job. That buyout figure decreased to $112,500 entering the final year of the agreement.

Now, if he were to leave on Nov. 30, 2012, he would owe $24,375 (based on 15 percent of his unpaid base salary and supplemental income used from the final year of his previous deal). If he were to leave on Jan. 31, 2014, he would owe $40,000 (10 percent of unpaid base salary) and if he were to leave on Nov. 30, 2014, he would owe $3,333 (5 percent of unpaid base salary).

“That was reduced in light of the time hes already been here,” McGarity said. “Its kind of the same philosophy in Mark (Richts buyout) in a sense. He still has something in there because hes relatively new here. Thats part of the negotiation piece.”

Grantham is entering his third season at Georgia after being hired in 2010 after 11 seasons as an NFL assistant. Georgia ranked fifth in the nation in total defense last season, giving up 277 yards per game.

Grantham’s performance bonuses increase in the deal.

He will get the greatest of the following:

–$150,000 for winning a BCS national title (up from $75,000)

–$120,000 for BCS title game appearance

–$100,000 for other BCS game

–$75,000 to $25,000 for Tier I through Tier III bowl.

He also would get an additional $75,000 for winning the SEC championship game (up from $39,000) or $50,000 for reaching the SEC championship game or $10,500 for Georgia being Co-East SEC champions but not playing in the league title game.

The “amended and restated agreement” still has not been signed yet.

“The deal points have been determined many, many weeks ago,” McGarity said. “There’s been a level of trust there. Everythings worked out. Its just a matter of letting Todd’s legal team review it.”

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