Todd Grantham, Georgia’s defensive coordinator of the last four years, has accepted the same position at Louisville and will join the staff of the Cardinals’ new coach, Bobby Petrino.
“We are appreciative of all the contributions Todd has made to our program and wish him nothing but the best,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a release. “But at the same time the opportunity to work at Georgia is extremely attractive and there already is, and will be, interest from some very, very outstanding coaches. We have a lot of defensive players coming back, as well as some outstanding defensive recruits, and there’s going to be plenty of interest in coaching them. I¹m excited about the prospects of a great defensive coordinator being on board as quickly as possible.”
Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said Grantham informed him of Louisville’s interest on Saturday.
“All I know is Todd called me on Saturday letting me know that Louisville had contacted him about their defensive coordinator position,” McGarity said. “I said, ‘thanks for letting me know.’”
McGarity said he has not heard from Grantham since, “and probably won’t. He’s fulfilled his obligation.”
As for his thoughts on Grantham leaving, McGarity intended to keep them to himself. “That’s Mark’s job,” he said. “I don’t comment on assistant coaches.”
There are reports the Cardinals will pay Grantham $1 million a year for five years. In January of 2012 Grantham signed a three-year deal with Georgia that was to pay him $825,000 a year. He received a $25,000 raise and a one-year extension the next year.
However, by making a lateral move, Grantham will be contractually obligated to pay a buyout to Georgia. According to a copy of Grantham’s contract, that will amount to 10 percent of his base salary ($400,000) for each remaining year. In this case that would be $80,000.
Grantham’s defense has not performed well the past two seasons. Despite having nine players that ended up on NFL rosters — including two first-round picks and five other draftees — the Bulldogs in 2012 allowed 357.8 yards and 19.6 points per game. This past season, as Georgia broke in eight new starters, it was eighth in the SEC in total defense at 381.2 yards per game and 10th in pass defense at 232.8 yards per game.
This is the second departure off Richt’s defensive staff. Scott Lakatos, Grantham’s secondary the last three years, resigned for “personal reasons” on Thursday.
Calls and texts to Grantham and Grantham’s attorney Mike Harrison have not been returned.