Things were a little different when the Georgia athletic board got together on Wednesday afternoon.
A national champions logo was adorned to a lectern in the meeting room of the Georgia Center.
School president Jere Morehead noted it was the first winter board meeting following a football national title in 41 years.
“I have not set foot on the ground since Indianapolis,” said alumni board member Sam Holmes, vice chairman of CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm, referring to the site of the Bulldogs triumph over Alabama on Jan. 10.
Near the end of the meeting of less than an hour, athletic director Josh Brooks presented Morehead with a No. 1 Georgia football jersey that he said he plans to frame proudly.
The school will be presenting football coach Kirby Smart a reworked deal in the not too distant future, Brooks said after the meeting.
More:Kirby Smart on what Bryan McClendon and Mike Bobo bring to the Georgia football staff
Smart’s current contract runs through the end of 2024 season and paid him about $7 million in 2021, which ranked eighth nationally. Smart, who just completed his sixth season, got a new deal after the 2017 season when Georgia reached the national title game.
“We’re in a situation where you’ve got a coach that wants to be here, an administration that wants him to be here,” Brooks said. “It’s just working through the process. It’s not something we put a hard timeline on but we’re in active talks. Talks are going well.”
Brooks said he feels optimistic about getting a deal done in the near future.
“Jimmy’s great to work with,” Brooks said of super agent Jimmy Sexton.
“Kirby’s been busy since today with recruiting,” Morehead said speaking on the second signing day. “We’ll get it done expeditiously.”
As for the other most high-profile Georgia team, men’s basketball, there was no mention of the team or its struggles this season during the meeting.
Fourth-year coach Tom Crean‘s team is 6-16 and in last place in the SEC at 1-8 after Wednesday night’s 99-73 home loss to Arkansas.
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Crean’s name showed up on a CBSSports.com list of coaches on the hot seat this week.
Brooks said his job is to evaluate Crean every day just like the other 14 Georgia head coaches.
“When I’m in season with a coach, my focus is how can I be supportive and how can I help in any way that’s productive,” Brooks said.
Asked about Georgia’s roster from last season being decimated by players entering the transfer portal, Brooks said there were intricacies of each sport including transfers impacting basketball programs all over.
“But ultimately, the head coach is the leader of that program so you’ve got to work through all that,” he said.
More:‘There wasn’t much mystery’: How Georgia’s Kirby Smart felt about his latest recruiting class
Crean, who is 47-65 overall at Georgia and 15-48 in the SEC, is working on a six-year contract worth $3.2 million annually that will have two years remaining after this season.
If Georgia were to part ways with Crean before the end of this season, it would owe him $7.2 million. The figure drops to $3.2 million after the season is over.
Brooks told the athletic board that eight of the 15 Georgia head coaches have won at least one national title.
“I’m not sure there’s many schools that can say that,” Brooks said.
He introduced new soccer coach Keidane McAlpine, who won the NCAA championship in 2016 at Southern Cal.
Morehead told the board that baseball is a top 20 preseason team.
“We’re expecting a sensational season there,” he said.
He said the ranked women’s basketball program under Joni Taylor is building towards a March NCAA tournament appearance. Brooks told the board that 10 of the Georgia teams currently competing are in the top 15 nationally.
Brooks said Georgia expects a championship bump in increased donations, multimedia rights and merchandise sales.
Football ticket revenue was $33.99 million as of December compared to $2.49 million in December 2020 when Georgia had reduced attendance and only three home games due to the pandemic season.
The board approved $10.65 million for facility projects.
—$6.4 million for new locker rooms in the renovated Butts-Mehre building for the women’s and men’s track programs.
—$1.7 million for the first phase of funding for a new six court indoor tennis facility that is expected to be completed by September 2023.
—Design work of $950,000 for improvements to baseball’s Foley Field and $850,000 for the Jack Turner Softball Stadium.
—$750,000 for the waterproofing of the 100 Level East End Zone seating at Sanford Stadium
The Magill Society, whose donors contributions have largely paid for a spending spree on facilities, now has 1,490 members, up six percent since September.