Georgia announces extensions for Richt, Grantham

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Thanks to the arrest of senior cornerback Branden Smith -- a misstep that could leave his Bulldogs down both of their starting corners for their SEC opener against Missouri -- Mark Richt has probably had better Mondays. But it's far from being a total loss: Georgia has also announced both a new five-year contract extension for Richt and a two-year extension for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

Richt's extension lengthens his contract to a total of five years and now runs through the 2016 season. The ultimate financial value of the extension is still being "finalized," according a statement issued by athletic director Greg McGarity.

"I've said for many years that I wanted to be at Georgia as long as Georgia wanted me," Richt said in the statement. "I'm excited about where we are with our program and looking forward to the years ahead."

Much of that excitement, of course, is due to the defensive overhaul masterminded by Grantham, who in his two seasons as coordinator has taken the Bulldogs from 38th in FBS total defense to 23rd to 5th. Grantham's new contract now runs three years, through the 2014 season.

Though McGarity said that the "financial details" of Grantham's extension had also not yet been "finalized," it's a safe bet Grantham is receiving a healthy raise on his previous annual salary of $760,000--good news for Georgia fans worried their staff's quickly rising star might look for greener pastures.

"Todd has done an outstanding job with our defense and I know our staff and players look forward to his continuing leadership on that side of the ball," Richt said.

Richt currently makes $2.81 million per year and will also likely have his salary raised by a not-insignificant amount. Considering that at this time last year Richt was sitting one of the hottest seats in the country, it's time to marvel -- again -- at how much of a difference one 10-2 regular season and SEC East championship can make.

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