Thursday, December 18, 2008

Georgia Tech's Johnson Gets $17.7M Extension

On the strength of exceeding all expectations during his first season as head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team (and to ensure that he doesn't jump ship anytime soon), for posting a 9-3 record, and for whuppin' the Georgia Bulldogs for the first time in 7 years, ACC Coach of the Year Paul Johnson was given a 7 year, $17.7 million contract extension.

Next year, he'll make $2.3 million and an opportunity to make more in incentives (probably based on the bowl selection and team wins). This deal makes Johnson the second-highest paid coach in the ACC, behind Bobby Bowden at FSU (around $2.4 million a year). He joins Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech and Butch Davis at North Carolina in the $2 million-a-year club in the ACC.

Johnson was named the ACC coach of the year after leading the Jackets to a 9-3 record, including wins over FSU, Miami, Clemson and Georgia. Tech will play LSU in the Chick-fil-A bowl on Dec. 31. A win would be their second 10-win season in the past decade.

Johnson was hired by Tech AD Dan Radakovich in December of 2007 after Johnson spent six seasons at Navy. He has a 116-42 career record as a coach at Tech, Navy and Georgia Southern.

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Here's to you Coach Johnson,
the "Ramblin' Wreck Song"


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plez sez: this is a well-deserved contract... he is worth EVERY PENNY! and i'm sure he will get an upgraded contract in a few years when Tech becomes a perennial threat for top ACC and national championship honors. johnson turned around the attitude and play of a football team that was comfortable in its mediocrity. he took players that he didn't recruit and turned them into winners. imagine what he's going to do with a team that is stocked with his recruits?

we were competitive against north carolina and just weren't mentally prepared to finish off virginia. if we'd won those two games, not only would we be in a bcs bowl game this year, but we would've been getting some serious consideration for national championship play. we haven't had a team this primed for national exposure since george o'leary slithered off in 2001 to scratch his notre dame itch!

oh yeah, he's a really nice guy, too. during the hub-bub after tech's win over fsu, johnson stopped amidst the throng of well-wishers to autograph the back of my daughter's t-shirt while we waited for the team to emerge at the players' gate. a true class act in plezWorld!

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AS AN ASIDE: i'm pleased as punch with this development, because this will ensure that coach johnson will remain on the flats for at least a few more years. but on the other hand, this news is a bit disturbing in light of the nation's economic woes and the growing unemployment figures for the state of georgia. georgia tech is a state school and a number of programs that i've supported over the past couple of years at the school have either had budget cutbacks or have been eliminated completely... and NONE of these programs have budgets that come close to a million dollars, much less $2.3 million.

it's a shame that tech can find $2 million to pay a football coach, but cannot find a fraction of that amount to support the students of a leadership development program who i mentor.

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Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about Paul Johnson's contract extension.

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about Georgia Tech going to the Chik-fil-A Bowl.

Read the Sports Illustrated article about George O'Leary's short tenure at Notre Dame.

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