Georgia AD Josh Brooks agrees to 4-year contract worth $3.625 million

ATHENS – Josh Brooks is very much picking up where Greg McGarity left off.

The contract for Georgia’s new athletic director was turned over Friday afternoon in response to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution open-records request, and it reads very much like the one recently completed McGarity, his predecessor.

Brooks and UGA agreed to a four-year deal that will start out paying Brooks $700,000 annually. His salary will automatically increase $25,000 per year over the length of the contract, which ends June 30, 2025.

Brooks also will receive an annual retention bonus of $50,000. He’ll receive half of that and half of his $700,000 salary for the first half of this year. That brings the total compensation on the 4½-year deal to $3,625,000. Those numbers do not include other perks such as country-club memberships and automobile and insurance allowances.

The contract was signed by UGA President Jere Morehead on Jan. 8. Brooks, 40, succeeded McGarity, 66, as UGA’s athletic director Jan. 6. The terms of McGarity’s agreement were exactly the same, except McGarity was working on the year-to-year basis his last two years. McGarity retired in December after four decades as an athletics administrator.

Brooks’ compensation remains last among the 13 SEC athletic directors whose annual income has been publicly reported in the last year. As a private school, Vanderbilt has chosen not to report the salary of athletic director Candice Story Lee or any of its employees.

Tennessee’s newly hired athletic director Danny White currently holds the league’s distinction of highest-paid AD at $1.8 million, which is just ahead of the $1.725 million Alabama’s Greg Byrne made in the last year. Ole Miss AD Keith Carter is the closest to Brooks in compensation at $725,000 annually.

In the meantime, Brooks announced Friday that Ron Courson, UGA’s longtime director of sports medicine, has been promoted to executive associate athletic director. Serving at UGA since 1995, Courson has been lauded locally and regionally for his efforts in helping UGA and the SEC navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ron has been providing high-level health care for our student-athletes for many years,” Brooks said in a statement. “Ron deepened his commitment to student-athlete health and wellness given the past year’s unprecedented challenges by serving and supporting the development of policy and protocols at the local, Southeastern Conference, and NCAA level. With passion, innovation, and execution, Ron directs exemplary care and service.”