Georgia tight ends coach Todd Hartley gets raise, extension

Todd Hartley was a student assistant with the Bulldogs from 2005-08.

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Todd Hartley was a student assistant with the Bulldogs from 2005-08.

ATHENS – The Georgia Bulldogs gave tight ends coach Todd Hartley a raise and contract extension.

Heading into his fourth season with Bulldogs, Hartley signed a three-year contract that will pay him $650,000 annually. That represents a $200,000 pay increase over his previous salary and makes the 37-year-old Georgia native one of the highest-paid tight ends coaches in the country.

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Hartley actually signed the contract April 18, according to open records turned over to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. That was shortly after the Bulldogs wrapped up spring practice.

Such a compensatory award for Hartley should come as no surprise. Both recruiting and production at tight end have improved dramatically since Hartley took over the position in 2019.

This past season, freshman Brock Bowers recorded the best season for a Georgia tight end in school history: 882 yards on 56 receptions and 13 touchdowns. Only six UGA wide receivers have caught more passes in one season. Bowers scored 14 TDs overall.

But Bowers is one of many exceptional weapons among Hartley’s group. It also features two other tight ends who were ranked No. 1 in the nation at the position when they graduated from high school in junior Darnell Washington and sophomore Arik Gilbert. Freshman early enrollee Oscar Delp, who signed in the Bulldogs’ 2022 class, was ranked the No. 2 tight end in America, according to 247Sports. Georgia also holds a pair of commitments from tight ends in the 2023 recruiting cycle in Pearce Spurlin and Lawson Luckie.

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who also received a raise and contract extension this offseason, recognized the stockpile of talent in Hartley’s group and has proved he knows how to utilize it. After accounting for only 41 receptions in 2018, tight ends caught 76 passes this past season.

While Hartley has been with the Bulldogs as an on-field assistant only the past three seasons, he is a Bulldog through-and-through. He graduated from UGA in 2008 after serving three years as a student assistant under coach Mark Richt,. Hartley was a graduate assistant at West Virginia and Georgia before getting his first full-time assistant’s job at Marshall in 2011.

It was at Marshall where Hartley first coached tight ends and also became recruiting coordinator. He joined Richt’s staff as director of player personnel in 2015. When Richt was fired, he took Hartley with him to Miami. Hartley flourished with the Hurricanes as well as tight ends coach and special-teams coordinator.

Smart hired Hartley after offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, the tight ends coach for the 2018 season, left for Tennessee.

There is one more raise and extension expected among Georgia coaches. The Bulldogs are working on new deal for Smart that’s expected to pay him more than $100 million over 10 years. President Jere Morehead said late last month he expected the deal to be completed “within the next couple of weeks.”