Lady Bulldogs coach Joni Taylor gets raise, contract extension

Georgia head coach Joni Taylor watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Carolina Sunday, March 7, 2021, during the Southeastern Conference tournament final in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
Georgia head coach Joni Taylor watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Carolina Sunday, March 7, 2021, during the Southeastern Conference tournament final in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Credit: Sean Rayford

Credit: Sean Rayford

Reigning SEC Coach of the Year Joni Taylor has accepted a new contract from Georgia.

Taylor’s new deal is for six years, through the 2027 season, and her annual compensation was increased by $100,000 to $850,000. Automatic annual increases will have Taylor earning $925,000 in the sixth year of the deal. That does not include annual performance bonuses and other perks.

Taylor’s previous deal guaranteed her $750,000 through the 2024 season. So this is effectively a three-year extension.

“Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball has a rich history and tradition,” Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks said. “Under Coach Taylor’s leadership, we re-positioned ourselves as a national force this year. With our current and incoming talent, this is just the beginning of our sustained competitive success. As the ideal Georgia ambassador, Coach Taylor embodies all of the intangibles in providing exemplary leadership and mentorship. The women’s basketball student-athlete experience at UGA is first class because of Coach Taylor’s commitment to excellence in all that we do.”

The new deal was approved by the Georgia Athletic Association board of directors and its chairman, UGA President Jere Morehead.

“Coach Taylor is a tremendous role model for her team and a great representative of the University of Georgia,” Morehead said. “I look forward to her continued success as our coach for many years to come.”

Taylor led the Lady Bulldogs to a 21-7 overall record (10-5 SEC) this season. The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the SEC Tournament championship game for the first time since 2004 and earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the program’s highest seeding since 2007. Taylor was one of four finalists for the Naismith national coach of the year.

In five of Taylor’s six seasons as coach, Georgia has exceeded expectations based on the preseason coaches poll. Picked ninth in the SEC this preseason, the Lady Bulldogs finished fourth.

“Georgia is a special place,” Taylor said in a statement released by the school. “This is our home, and (her husband) Darius and I have fallen in love with the Athens community and the wonderful people we get to surround ourselves with every day, both professionally and personally. Today’s announcement continues the positive momentum we built over this last season.”

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