Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity proposed a contract extension for Fox Thursday—increasing his salary to $1.7 million and adding a year to keep Mark Fox on staff through 2015-16
The vote passed unanimously by Athletic Association Board of Directors Executive Committee
“The direction he’s taken our program and the job he’s done this year, it was evident that we needed to do a couple things to basically secure Mark,” McGarity said
"When i first came to Georgia I asked for the help of everyone because we needed it," Fox said. "We've received it. I do want to thank everyone who has helped our program improve and move forward. This is not a short-term project, and there's work left to do. But I'm very excited about our new deal, and continuing our mission to build Georgia basketball."
McGarity and Fox engaged in initial contract discussions last September, and "has been an on-going process all year long," according to McGarity Following that first meeting, Fox guided Georgia to a 21-12 season and a first-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament
After the season, Fox was briefly mentioned as a potential candidate for a handful of job openings
While Fox denies ever considering leaving Georgia, McGarity said the extension and raise had nothing to do with any offers
“I think at the end of the day, you’re just trying to treat people the right way,” McGarity said “This is not in reaction to any offer that Mark might or might now have received ”
The new deal vaults Fox into the upper half of SEC salaries By comparison, Kentucky’s John Calipari makes $4 million annually Florida’s Billy Donovan is paid $3 5 million While those two are the highest paid coaches in the nation, Fox is now on par with the likes of Alabama’s Anthony Grant ($1 83 million)
"You make small steps," McGarity said "…And I think Mark would be the first one to tell you—he doesn’t think he needs to be the highest paid coach in this conference…It’s where we need to be I think Mark knows of the long journey We hope he’s our coach for a long, long time It’s probably where we need to be right now "
In two seasons at Georgia, Fox is 35-28, with a 14-18 record in the SEC