ATHENS ― It appears Georgia has fought off Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher for receivers coach James Coley.
After reportedly being offered the offensive coordinator job at Texas A&M, Coley now is expected to remain at Georgia, almost certainly with a raise and more security.
Coley was already due a new deal if he remained at UGA. He signed a two-year deal worth $450,000 annually when added to Kirby Smart’s staff before the 2016 season. The length and financial terms of Coley’s new deal were not immediately available.
Coley has been a strong recruiter, and he is Georgia’s main tie to the South Florida pipeline. He’s involved with several top prospects in this cycle, including 5-star cornerback Tyson Campbell. He and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker made a recruiting visit to Divaad Wilson of Miami, a 4-star cornerback, according to the 247Sports composite, on Wednesday.
Tucker also apparently is staying at Georgia after being a finalist for the vacant coaching job at Tennessee. That job is instead has gone to Tucker’s predecessor, Jeremy Pruitt, who spent the last two years in the same job at Alabama.
This doesn’t mean Georgia is safe from still having its staff raided.
Kevin Sherrer, the outside linebackers coach, will be a candidate to join Pruitt at Tennessee, especially if the defensive coordinator job is dangled.
Reports have circulated that Sherrer could wind up on the staff at Florida State, where former Oregon coach Willie Taggart has taken over for longtime coach Jimbo Fisher.
There are other Georgia coaches who probably will be in line for raises and extensions this offseason, especially after such a strong season. Tucker, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and offensive line coach Sam Pittman are due to enter the final year of three-year contracts. Running backs coach Dell McGee already received a raise and two-year contract earlier this year, but his strength on the recruiting trail and the performance of Georgia’s tailbacks also gives him leverage.
Then there is Smart himself, whose $3.75 million annual salary puts him in the bottom half of the pay scale in the SEC. But he is coming off an SEC championship and now a College Football Playof appearance, with perhaps more titles to come. Pruitt, with no previous head coaching experience, reportedly is receiving a six-year deal worth $4 million annually.