It was reported a few weeks ago that Cowboys' defensive line coach Todd Grantham was on the so-called "short list" to replace Willie Martinez as defensive coordinator at University of Georgia. Friday, he was announced as the defensive coordinator, signed to a contract worth $750,000 annually to take the reins of the underachieving Bulldogs defense.
In 2009, Georgia ranked 10th in the SEC in total defense, and 7th in yards per game allowed.
Grantham brings with him experience both at the college and professional ranks. In his second year with Dallas, Grantham has also had stints as a defensive assistant at Indianapolis, Houston, Michigan State University, and his alma mater, Virginia Tech. He also spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.
"I'm excited the search is over, we have our man, and look forward to what Todd will bring to our defense, our team, and our university," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "I think it is particularly valuable that he has a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball at both the NFL and collegiate levels. Now we look forward to moving ahead with the home stretch of recruiting, finishing out the defensive staff, and getting ready for spring practice."
The "short list" on which Grantham found himself apparently also included Virginia Tech's Bud Foster, LSU's John Chavis and Alabama's Kirby Smart. All of them, however, turned down the position.
Dallas wasted little time in finding a replacement. Paul Pasqualoni, who has spent the previous two seasons as Miami's defensive coordinator, worked as the Cowboys' tight ends coach in 2005, and linebackers coach in 2006-07. Today, he was signed to replace Grantham.
As far as Grantham's decision, head coach Wade Phillips gave his blessing, and expressed belief that such an offer was overdue.
"It's been great having Todd," Phillips said. "He's contributed a tremendous amount to the defense. He's grossly overqualified to be a defensive line coach. I knew he would be a coordinator pretty quickly or even a head coach. I think he's got all those qualities. We really appreciate what he's done and he'll finish up strong here."