ATHENS — Georgia has boosted the salary of offensive coordinator Todd Monken to $2 million a year, as of April 21 according to a DawgNation open records request.
Monken’s raise represents just over 80 percent more than he was making a year ago and a 60 percent increase from his most recent salary bump. The third-year Bulldogs’ play-caller had previously received a pay raise from the $1.1 million salary he signed for in 2020 in $1.25 million.
Georgia is the reigning national champions after defeating Alabama by a 33-18 count in the CFP Championship Game, and Monken did his part throughout the season.
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning was the highest-paid assistant on the UGA staff last season making $1.7 million, while Texas A&M defensive coordinator Todd Elko set the bar in the SEC at $2.1 million
Monken successfully transitioned Georgia’s offense from a multi-receiver modified Pro-Style spread offense to a more-balanced RPO play-action attack when No. 1 quarterback JT Daniels went down and was replaced by former walk-on Stetson Bennett.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart noted how well Monken, a former NFL offensive coordinator (2016-19) and Southern Miss head coach (2013-15), had made the switch after the Bulldogs beat Kentucky 30-13 last season.
“He’s done an incredible job (calling plays), you think about the guys he’s had in,” Smart said. “He has taken tight ends and made them multiple, he’s taken backs, and he’s taken wideouts that weren’t early season starters and done a really good job.
“He’s called the game with players not plays; you dial up Nos. 19, 84, and 4 and 3, and 5, and those guys make plays. He does a good job keeping defenses off balance.”
Monken has taken a “get it done” approach since Smart hired him, speaking his head coach’s language while quickly winning over the fanbase with his no-nonsense approach.
“Obviously it was tough without having spring, without really the preparation you’d like, but at the end of the day no one really gives a shit,” Monken said after the 2020 season.
“We’re in a get-it-done business. There’s a lot of other teams that lose players, that didn’t have a spring, changed coaches, and didn’t have as good of players as we have. Everybody has their own issues they’ve got to deal with.”
Monken’s offenses have produced Georgia’s two highest pass efficiency leaders in JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett, surpassing Aaron Murray.
Daniels’ 178.49 rating from 2021 was the highest among the returning quarterbacks entering the 2022 season.
Bennett, who was awarded Orange Bowl and CFP Championship Game MVP honors, had a 176.7 rating this season.
Bennett was not among the Top 25 quarterback ratings entering 2022, and is not on the NFL radar as a draft pick, but Smart is confident with Monken’s expertise the Bulldogs could be even better on offense than in 2021.
“We want to be explosive, and we were last year,” Smart said. “Everybody talks about the defense it got overshadowed that we were Top 10 in explosive passes a lot better than a lot of teams in the country and throwing the ball down the field.”
FWAA Freshman of the Year and first-team All-American tight end Brock Bowers was the most valuable player on the Bulldogs offense last season.
Monken created matchup nightmares for opponents, and Bowers did his part by reeling in a program-record 13 touchdown catches while shattering UGA tight end marks with team-receiving highs in catches (56) and yards (882).
Smart pointed out it started with the ground game.
“We did it very effectively because we were able to run the ball,” Smart said. “So we have to continue to do that, we have some tight ends to utilize and we’ve got three or four wideouts that are good players
“We think we’ve got some really good young backs that are going to help us, so with Stetson coming back and the other quarterbacks we have competing I’m excited to see what we can do offensively.”
Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton are expected to pace the ground game, while second-year LSU transfer Arik Gilbert and former 5-star tight end Darnell Washington mix with Bowers for what’s arguably the best tight end room in the naiton.
Georgia finished 10th in the nation in scoring last season, averaging 38.4 points per game, and the team’s 168.56 pass efficiency rating was second in the Power 5 ranks behind Ohio State.
Monken indicated the Bulldogs could have scored even more if not being up by such lopsided margins that they often weren’t as aggressive in the second half of games.