Months after winning its first national championship since 1980, the University of Georgia can’t seem to go wrong.
Fans have much to look forward to in the years to come thanks to the University of Georgia Athletic Board executive meeting held Thursday. The Athletic Board approved several projects that will extend over the next few years as the program continues to modernize its facilities as part of the college football facilities “arms race”.
The board approved a new project that will provide further improvements to Sanford Stadium, particularly on the south side of the stadium. The new improvements will be divided into two phases over the next two years. First, there are plans to expand the South 100 Legel concourse, including adding more restrooms and concessions, which is expected to be completed by August 2023. Overall, the budget for fiscal 2023 is set at $162 million.
In addition, more toilets and suites will be added in the second part, along with the construction of a new press box, which will stand in the south-west corner of the stadium. The project is expected to cost around $68.5 million, adding to the $175 million already spent since Kirby Smart took over as head coach after the 2015 season.
Georgia just completed an $80 million renovation of the Butts-Mehere Heritage Hall. It was completed in two phases; Part was unveiled in spring 2021, while the other half was completed this spring.
These new upgrades will no doubt help with recruitment as Georgia gets to show off their new facilities and brag about the 2021 national championship-winning season.
Facilities aside, a new deal in the works for head coach Kirby Smart will add even more stability to the program. Not to mention that the former Alabama defensive coordinator has proven in his first six seasons as head coach that he can handle turnover in his coaching staff, which sets his former boss Nick Saban apart from his fellow head coaches.
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Even after winning a national title, Georgia doesn’t seem content to stay where they are. An open management checkbook also indicates a willingness to compete at the highest level within the sport.
Spending hasn’t stopped at the facilities either. Kirby Smart is expected to receive a significant increase in his annual salary as the university and Smart are currently in talks to sign a “long-term” contract, according to UGA President Jere Moorehead. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken is now one of the sport’s highest-paid assistants after receiving a pay rise this offseason that will see his salary climb to over $2 million annually. Running back coach Dell McGee was and remains the highest-paid running back coach in the sport. Assistant defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann and defensive line coach Tray Scott also received pay increases and extensions this offseason.
Even athletic director Josh Brooks got a new contract this offseason, less than a year into his tenure as AD.
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