ATHENS — Todd Monken earned a substantial raise this offseason, bumping his salary north of $2 million. It is believed he is the highest-paid offensive coordinator in the sport.
And to start the 2022 season, Monken has been worth every penny and then some.
The Bulldogs are averaging 43.5 points per game and 532 yards per game, both high-water marks of the Kirby Smart era. The offense has been so dominant that starting quarterback Stetson Bennett, a fully-fledged Heisman Trophy contender, has yet to take a snap in the fourth quarter this season.
“He’ll tell you himself: he’s got a great offensive staff,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Monken. “I mean, he’s got guys that are in the room that have coached in the SEC, that understand the SEC. You know, the addition of (Stacy) Searels, B-Mac, (Mike) Bobo, I mean, those guys come up with game plan things. They know these teams. They know the personnel of these teams. So, it really helps when you have a good game plan and you actually have people that can execute it because they have experience.”
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Monken isn’t just getting the most out of the Georgia offense though. Defenders on Georgia’s team swear by him as well, with defensive lineman Zion Logue telling reporters that Monken gives off fatherly vibes.
“I see it every day to be honest. Coach Monken is an incredible guy,” safety Dan Jackson said. “He puts me under a lot of stress every day and our defense. We’re thankful for it because it definitely pays off. I think he’s a reason why we’re doing as well as we are defensively.”
With the offensive revolution Georgia has undergone, Monken figures to be a popular candidate for other jobs. Consider that in the season prior to his arrival, Georgia ranked 49th in points per game. Last season the Bulldogs finished ninth in that metric and currently sit in sixth. The offense has improved every season under Monken, even as the Bulldogs dealt with instability at the quarterback position and frequent injuries at wide receiver.
So far two Power 5 jobs have come open in Nebraska and Arizona State. The former doesn’t seem to be focusing all that much on Monken at this point, while the latter has been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Monken. It’s a Power 5 program with a budding recruiting base in Arizona and California.
Those two jobs aren’t the only ones that figure to come open in this cycle, with Auburn and Georgia Tech both looming. Those are two of Georgia’s biggest rivals, and there would be plenty of overlap from a recruiting standpoint in terms of geographic footprint.
Smart has seen his fair share of assistant coaches depart the Georgia program in recent years, with Sam Pittman, Mel Tucker and Dan Lanning all going from Georgia right into Power 5 schools.
All three of those coaches have had their respective teams in the top 25 teams during this season.
“I think we have a proven track record (Todd) Monken has, our offense has of developing quarterbacks,” Smart said. “Of giving guys an opportunity to play in a system that they can watch play on Sundays is pretty important. There’s developmental positions in recruiting.”
Whether Monken ends up getting an offer to coach at the Power 5 level will play out in the coming months. For the time being, he’s very content at Georgia. LSU made a strong offer for Monken this past offseason and he elected to remain at Georgia.
For now, his focus is solely on getting the most out of this Georgia team. Pushing the defense to get better and squeezing as many points as he can out of this offense. At least until the Bulldogs are so far ahead that Smart feels compelled to call the dogs off on their foe.
“It’s hard to defend a quarterback that can check things, make throws, has weapons and then can run on top of it,” Smart said. “So, we’ve got to keep getting better and we’ve got to execute at a high level, but the biggest thing for them and for our offense is about getting points.”
Dan Jackson praises offensive coordinator Todd Monken
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