Dec. 18, 2008
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson has agreed to an amended seven-year contract, athletic director Dan Radakovich confirmed Thursday morning.
The contract will pay Johnson $17.17 million over the next seven years, including $2.3 million in 2009. Johnson’s deal also includes a variety of performance incentives, as well as academic-based incentives for team APR (Academic Progress Rate) and GSR (Graduation Success Rate) performance.
All moneys used to fund the contract will be self-generated Georgia Tech Athletic Association revenues.
“The future of Georgia Tech football has never been brighter,” Radakovich said, “and we are thrilled that Paul Johnson will be leading our program for a long time.”
The amended contract takes effect January 1, 2009.
“I am excited to be the head coach at Georgia Tech and to be a part of the great tradition here,” Johnson said. “I look forward to continue being a part of the Georgia Tech family for years to come.”
Johnson was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year after leading his first Yellow Jacket team to a 9-3 regular season record, including a 5-3 mark in the ACC, tying Virginia Tech for the ACC Coastal Division title. Johnson won more games than any first-year coach in Georgia Tech history and has the fourth-most wins by a first-year coach in ACC history.
Named National Coach of the Year by CBSSportsline.com, Johnson guided Georgia Tech to No. 14 in the final BCS rankings. His first Yellow Jacket team defeated traditional powers Boston College, Clemson and Georgia on the road, and Florida State and Miami at home. Tech went 3-1 against nationally-ranked teams and the win at 13th-ranked Georgia to close the regular season snapped a seven-year Jacket losing skid to the Bulldogs.
If Georgia Tech can beat defending national champion LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, it will have its first 10-win season since 1998 and a 3-0 record this season against teams from the SEC.
Johnson’s success in 2008 has come despite a number of obstacles. He inherited a roster low in scholarship numbers (well below the NCAA maximum of 85) and lacking experience. Seventy-five Yellow Jackets, including 16 late November starters, are either freshmen or sophomores. Johnson’s team also endured a number of injuries as 12 opening-day starters have missed at least one game because of injury.
Many pundits, prior to the start of the season, questioned whether Johnson’s option-based spread offense would work on the ACC level. Heading into the bowl season, Georgia Tech ranks third nationally in rushing offense (282.3 yards per game) and ranks first in the ACC in total offense (377.3 ypg). Over the last two games of the regular season – wins over nationally-ranked Miami and Georgia – the Yellow Jackets rushed for a combined 881 yards.