Richt demotes strength coach, but is that enough?

Dave Van Halanger was Georgia's strength and conditioning coach since Mark Richt's hiring in 2001.

Dave Van Halanger was Georgia's strength and conditioning coach since Mark Richt's hiring in 2001.

Mark Richt apparently agreed with most who felt Georgia needed to make a change at strength and conditioning coach. How he went about that change was a bit underwhelming, though.

Richt demoted strength coach Dave Van Halanger to “administrative assistant,” which sounds as far from the program as possible while still staying on campus. But to replace Van Halanger, he promoted assistant Joe Tereshinski rather than bring in someone new from the outside. It remains to be seen if this staff tweak works wonders or amounts to mere window dressing.

One thing is certain: If dumping Van Halanger doesn’t work out, Richt has just about run out of assistants to blame for the team’s problems.

After firing defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and two other assistants following an 8-5 record in 2009, Richt removed his longest tenured assistant in Van Halanger. They both came to Athens in 2o01. The announcement was stunning only in that the two are close friends and, if Van Halanger ever was going to lose his job, it figured to happen after last season, when Richt fired Martinez and defensive assistants Jon Fabris and John Jancek.

That said, a change was long overdue. The Dogs dropped to 6-6 this season and they’re 7-9 in the SEC in the last two years. Some of the problems have stemmed from the team’s lack of physical play. There have been too games, particularly losses to Alabama and Florida, when the Dogs have been pushed around on the line of scrimmage.

Some of that can be attributed to a lack of strength but some of that is attitude. A good strength coach can significantly help in a lot of areas: players’ confidence, the edge he plays with and physical strength.

It should be noted, however, that a team’s attitude tends to flow from the head coach down, not the strength coach down. So if Georgia hopes to become a tougher team, physically and mentally, the onus is on Richt.

With a new athletic director, Greg McGarity, stepping in, and Richt’s reticence to make a change in the past, there is bound to be speculation that McGarity pressured the coach to make this move. But regardless of whose call it was, a change was needed.

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187 comments Add your comment

ARdawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:51 pm

Pepe

December 2nd, 2010
4:54 pm

I’m here to pump…you up!!!

Paul

December 2nd, 2010
4:56 pm

Gut feeling on the impact Joe T-1 will have on this issue Mr. Schultz?

ARdawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:57 pm

Strength and conditioning isn’t the problem. The problem is coaching in practice and game time preparation and coaching. How much of that is Van Halenger involved in? Coaches expect players to practice hard and playing hard but, are they coaching hard in practice because I know they are not coaching hard during the game. The GT game couldn’t be any more evidence of that

SickandTired

December 2nd, 2010
4:58 pm

Wow, he just really doesn’t get it down there in Athens. Mark Richt is hard headed as they come and it should have already cost him his job.
Georgia: The Purdue of the SEC

ARdawg

December 2nd, 2010
5:00 pm

I personally think the strength and conditioning angle is BS. Our guys are fit, they aren’t coached up

Mark

December 2nd, 2010
5:00 pm

I’m 6th and I don’t even like football!

Get me Rex Kramer

December 2nd, 2010
5:01 pm

Richt continues to dig his own grave.

GOP Cannnon

December 2nd, 2010
5:01 pm

The should have brought in someone from the NFL to fill this position.

Cash Newton

December 2nd, 2010
5:02 pm

I’ll take the job for $200,000 but I will have to run it by my Daddy first!!

Matt Drills

December 2nd, 2010
5:04 pm

BUT…BUT…BUT….UGA DOES “MAT DRILLS”! They are legendary! This does not compute!

Boo Radley

December 2nd, 2010
5:05 pm

Jeff — So, I guess the Nebraska teams of the Osborne era, UCLA teams of the Wooden era, Oklahoma teams of Wilkenson era, Bucaneer/Colt teams of Dungy era and the 49er teams of the Walsh era were just a bunch of milquetoast, low impact, sissified teams, by your logic? Hmm….coulda swore all of them hung up championships.

JC

December 2nd, 2010
5:08 pm

Is it enough? In a word…. No.

Most underwhelming hire ever.

Lou Ferrigno

December 2nd, 2010
5:09 pm

We have a wide receiver coaching running backs. A running back coaching wide receivers. And now a quarterback as a strength and conditioning coach. Maybe I could coach gymnastics.

Lou Ferrigno

December 2nd, 2010
5:09 pm

We have a wide receiver coaching running backs. A running back coaching wide receivers. And now a quarterback as a strength and conditioning coach. Maybe I could coach gymnastics.

BigDawg

December 2nd, 2010
5:10 pm

Yeah we will surely win our 2nd National Championship with this move! Sure. Please tell me Richt is NEXT!! Christmas is still 23 days away.

Pooh Pooh Platta

December 2nd, 2010
5:12 pm

Hope he is better than JT3 was…

Dontavius Supremo

December 2nd, 2010
5:17 pm

Good move; now make it work.

42-34

December 2nd, 2010
5:18 pm

BWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHAAAA
Laces Out

Dawg stuck in Bham

December 2nd, 2010
5:18 pm

Joe T is an odd hire. Kinda going back to old school. But old school can’t compete with modern muscle building, aerobic and cardio training. Hoping this is a temp hire…

Glenn

December 2nd, 2010
5:18 pm

Lou, this Tereshinski played center for UGA in the 70’s. His son was a quarterback.

John

December 2nd, 2010
5:20 pm

This would be funny if it wasn’t pathetic.

Folks have been talking about the deficiencies of UGA’s strength training for years.

So CMR springs from his tanning bed this morning and decides there’s no time like the present to show he’s got it all under control – he’s demoting the current muscle coach and replacing him with a new muscle coach.

Wow. My head is spinning. So many changes happening so fast.

At this rate, CMR should complete the purge of all non-hackers from his staff by 2018. And by that time, the only one left from the original gang will be the one that shoulda been purged in the first place: CMR.

42-34

December 2nd, 2010
5:21 pm

Tech made a similar move today, hiring Richard Simmons as their conditioning coach
CPJ has been pushing for a sweating to the oldies based program to match their outdated offense and to allow Groh to participate

Spence

December 2nd, 2010
5:21 pm

Maybe you should demote your editor or learn how to spell.

“There have been too games, particularly losses to Alabama and Florida, when the Dogs have been pushed around on the line of scrimmage.”

Sometimes I think you were “two” dumb to get into UGA’s J-school, and being unable to get into your first choice, took option “too.”

Unreal.

junkyarddawg

December 2nd, 2010
5:24 pm

Hey Lou F, you got the wrong Joe T. JT3 was the QB; this is his dad who played OL in the 70’s. He was one tough dude. Hopefully, he is up to date with the latest info on S & C.

Jeff Schultz Fan

December 2nd, 2010
5:26 pm

I don`t see this as a change that will make a big difference as to how the teams preforms in a game. The “toughness” needed primarly comes from desire to win by tackling, blocking and running as hard as one can.
Physical toughness is important but not so much as having a mental and heartful of wanting to win.

dumb

December 2nd, 2010
5:27 pm

kinda harsh there spencer

dumb

December 2nd, 2010
5:28 pm

or is it “their”?

Not Don Waddell

December 2nd, 2010
5:29 pm

Can the AJC simply not afford editors anymore?

This amateur, hack stuff that is put upon this site every day, posing as “journalism,” is a mockery.

The thing about most widely read bloggers is that they are good writers, they just choosse a profession in which they can make money, and fall back on the blogs as a hobby. The “professionals” should at least aspire to be better.

dumb

December 2nd, 2010
5:29 pm

hey spence, are you a nazi?

Not Don Waddell

December 2nd, 2010
5:30 pm

I am an amateur without an editor, so it is fine that I cannot spell choose correctly. Thanks.

We

December 2nd, 2010
5:32 pm

Tech made a similar move today, hiring Richard Simmons as their conditioning coach
CPJ has been pushing for a sweating to the oldies based program to match their outdated offense and to allow Groh to participate
__________________________________________________

Man, that was hysterical. I don’t care who you are!

dumb

December 2nd, 2010
5:32 pm

don w, you funny

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Georgia Bulldogs-UGA and Nathan Faulkner, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: Richt demotes strength coach, promotes assistant. Is that good enough? #Dawgs #UGA. http://tinyurl.com/35rzgew [...]

Jeff, Your wrong.

December 2nd, 2010
5:35 pm

The attitude is created from the S & C envrionment. The team spends more time here with this coach then anywhere. Team is created in the off season. Do you know the term GATA. That is Coach T to a T

bigguy

December 2nd, 2010
5:35 pm

The problem is the team has nobody like Thurson, Culpepper, Mitchell, or Bos to keep the defense in line. They now have kids who are more concerned with celebrating after a tackle than celebrating after the game.

Dirk

December 2nd, 2010
5:36 pm

Character is the foundation for any football program, Georgia had a LOT of off-the-field issues. Halnger will now have 100% of his time to address these issues. It will make a big difference. Lack of character decreases the value fo your teams anywhere form 25-100%.

Joe Tereshinski will add a fresh set of eyes. Georgia was outscored in the 4th quarter by almost 20 points this season, probably due to fatigue.

Georgia’s defense didn’t hold up well against the hurry-up offense, when substitution wasn’t allowed. Florida had Georgia gassed early.

I’ll be looking for those 2 areas for improvement:
1) 4th quarter scoring margin
2) how Georgia’s defense performs against hurry-up offenses

John

December 2nd, 2010
5:37 pm

Hey Waddell,
Any nimrod can spell correctly. It’s the skill of arranging words in an imaginative, compelling and profound order that draws us all to Schulz’s blogs. Right. Speaking for myself, it’s because he hasn’t blocked my I/P address (yet). I’m hopeful this blatant attempt at a suck up will by – er – buy – me a reprieve.

And the geeks at Microsoft need to figure a way to make context part of the spell check.

Mountain Mama

December 2nd, 2010
5:39 pm

Don’t care what you “men” say. This is a great move. Joe T was HUGE as CENTER (not qb–that’s his son) back in the seventies and he is gonna be relentless on the guys. They will hate him but ultimately respect him because of how hard he will work them. He’s the next best thing short of bringing Erk back from the great beyond (may he rest in peace).

Mean Machine

December 2nd, 2010
5:40 pm

This is just a move to appease the fan base. If you are going to make a change with the S&C coach, then hire the best coach possible. If there is one coach that you should hire from the NFL, it’s the S&C coach. CMR had a chance to really improve the strength & conditioning program, but instead, it’s more of the same.

Sam

December 2nd, 2010
5:49 pm

I want to see the O-Line dominate the D-Line again. Been a LONG, LONG time since that happened. Need some big time rushing yards. Need some beef. Need some bulk. Need some guys who gonna push the D-Line around.

Mirk Racht

December 2nd, 2010
5:51 pm

Physical strength is not the problem. The problem is that most of the UGA players are illiterate morons. 96% of the players are academically provisionally accepted, with Richt knowing full well that they will use up all their coaching and tutors and elligibility and then have their asses kicked out on the street and soon be pushing grocery carts around Atlanta looking for a warm place to sleep. What a pitiful way to run the State’s flagship university.

yawn

December 2nd, 2010
5:52 pm

7 – 9 in the past two years in the SEC. improving the strength coach (or not) ain’t gonna do it

Sopwith Camel

December 2nd, 2010
5:52 pm

Just playing musical chairs. Nothing is being improved. Just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titantic. Richt has no managerial skills whatsoever. He can’t see the chickens for the eggs. He has dug his own trap and fallen into it. I hope “one more year” of this is enough to open the eyes of the Kool-Aid drinkers.

danbo

December 2nd, 2010
5:53 pm

Nother MR move. His butt must go!

bill

December 2nd, 2010
5:54 pm

Wadda ya mean the Purdue of the SEC? More like the Minnesota this season…

Don

December 2nd, 2010
5:55 pm

Bunch of pansies.

dawgster

December 2nd, 2010
6:06 pm

Good Grief some of you…Schultz, Bradley and the fair weathered fans,…It doesn’t matter what Coach Richt does, it isn’t good enough. You wanted changes to the defense, well he did that, maybe he should have sooner, but he did it and time will tell if it was the right move…Now everyone was calling for a new S&C leader for our program, he has made that move, also, Joe Sr. may only be only filling that position for now, just based on some other info that may be coming down..Everyone wants these things but then you are never happy with the choice…The only sure thing is that whatever decisions Coach Richt and our AD make will only make a few happy and the others will continue to complain…but thats your right as a dawg supporter, but it would be nice to give some of these changes a chance…go dawgs

Scam Newton and the cash n carry offense

December 2nd, 2010
6:08 pm

“There have been too games, particularly losses to Alabama and Florida, when the Dogs have been pushed around on the line of scrimmage.”

Spence,

If you don’t think Bama and UF, especially the Bammers- pounded the dawgs on both sides of the line of scrimmage than you are a dang fool. During the blackout game it looked like the Bammers broke the dawgs in half and left their limp, mangled bodies on the sanford stadium turf. That was a brutal in the trenches man up asswhipping session.

Eatcrackers/can'twhistle

December 2nd, 2010
6:10 pm

WARNING: DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT LET KASAY SPOT ANYONE. He’s probably 70 years old and ya’ll lose enough players as it is.