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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Citing desire to be 'proactive,' UGA gives Mark Fox a raise and extension

The UGA athletic association executive board has approved a $400,000 raise for men's basketball head coach Mark Fox, who also had his contract extended by one year, through 2016.

Fox, who just finished his second year at Georgia, will now earn $1.7 million annually. Athletics director Greg McGarity said that would put Fox among the top half of his peers in the SEC, around the middle.

“I know it sends the message to coach Fox that he is the man that we know can lead our program and can build our program the right way," McGarity said. "And we know that takes time, and he’s off to a great start.”

The buyout on Fox's contract was not altered.

“(Greg) came to me with the idea of making some changes in my contract. And so I appreciated that," Fox said. "I think anyone, everyone likes to hear that they’re doing a good job. So for him to do that made me feel good.”

UGA president Michael Adams led a teleconference on Thursday, when the contract was approved.

"Mark has been extraordinary and brought a new level of excitement to our
basketball fans," Adams said.

McGarity said the contract was not a reaction to any other schools coming after Fox. The athletics director said he began thinking shortly after he was hired, last August, that Fox deserved a raise.

"At the end of the day you're just trying to treat people the right way," McGarity said. "It's our job again to be proactive here. I don't want to be reactive, and I know in a perfect world sometimes you have to be reaction. But trust me, this was all proactive, and you go ahead and let individuals know that you're paying attention to this. You don't have to worry about knocking on (my) door to say, 'Hey I think I deserve a raise.' ... This was all initiated by us, it was not initiated by Mark."

McGarity said they were also working on new deals for Fox's staff.

Meanwhile, Fox said that he and his staff were still 'actively recruiting for 2011." He can't be specific, but N.C. State transfer Ryan Harrow, a point guard, has said he's interested in Georgia.

Fox will enter the 2011-12 season in a bit of a rebuilding mode, after Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie left for the NBA draft. Thompkins' departure was long expected, while Leslie, after a week of not saying if he'd sign with an agent, recently announced that he would.

“We’re going to have a young team," Fox said. "We’re losing a great player, somebody’s who’s really improved in the last couple years. … Early entries make you a little greener than you want to be, but it’s something that gives younger kids more opportunity too.”

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