Another follicly challenged guy named Mark?

Whether Damon Evans has labored mightily and brought forth a mouse in the hiring of Georgia’s new basketball coach remains to be seen. Sure, Mark Fox, announced today as the choice, has a winning record and has taken teams to the NCAA tournament, but he wasn’t even a tiny blip on the up-and-coming coaches radar. Still, he might prove to be a winner here and a great recruiter, despite apparently having no connections in the South. Time will tell. But it is safe to say that, in terms of generating excitement and galvanizing the fan base, Evans’ first big hire as UGA’s athletics director is a resounding flop. After making noises about paying whatever it took to lure a big name to Athens, he’s fallen well short of that. “Mark who?” isn’t the kind of reaction that will sell many tickets at Stegeman Coliseum. 

One thing the Bulldog Nation has gotten excited about is the performance so far this season of the Diamond Dogs, with an example being the advance sellout of all three games in this weekend’s homestand between No. 1 Georgia and No. 5 LSU. It looks like the days of just walking up to Foley Field and buying a ticket are over, at least for major weekend series. The Dogs are playing exciting ball (including a come-from-behind last-minute win over Clemson the other night that gave Georgia another series sweep) and deserve to have a packed house of barking fans on hand for all of their remaining games in Athens.

Meanwhile, the most encouraging news out of Mark Richt’s spring practices so far is that Joe Cox apparently has taken firm hold on the No. 1 QB position, so we won’t have any debate or indecision about who our signal caller should be. Elsewhere, injuries and folks still out rehabbing injuires have limited competition and progress at key spots like tailback and defensive end. Hopefully by August, with everyone healthy and all the freshmen in camp, we’ll have a clearer picture of the Dawgs. One question I have heard several fans raise though is whether we need to be concerned about the continuing injury problems plaguing Georgia football. Is it just hard luck, or does Richt maybe need to take a hard look at the Dawgs’ conditioning program?

48 comments Add your comment

uga_b

April 3rd, 2009
10:07 am

Better a big winner in the WAC than a mid-level performer in the ACC I guess. No one else out there excited me and this is why you hire a search firm: to unearth the non-obvious, quality candidates. Hope it works out.

FireChipTowers

April 3rd, 2009
11:06 am

Chip Towers needs to be handed his walking papers by the AJC after his shameless attempt to “report” that UGA was seeking to hire Oliver Purnell or Frank Haith. He was so far from the actuality of the situation that he had to sink to “backtracking” by saying that the AD did speak with both yesteday. The is the worst type of reporting, saying stuff without foundation or substance while trying to “be the first in the know” – hopefully, the AJC brass will terminate this type of minor league “reporting”.

allenlaw

April 3rd, 2009
11:38 am

I watched the press conference and I think it is a good hire. We have to be honest — yes, we can offer big money, but so can every other big school, and there is nothing here to lure a big name coach from a successful major program. Why run the risk? For Fox, however, this is perfect. He has a good record at a smaller place. Now, he has a great opportunity at a place with real money and real facilities. Both he and we will find out if he can play on the big stage.

Island Dawg

April 3rd, 2009
12:42 pm

Absurd that we are at least above average in all sports except mens’ basketball. Hope like hell this guy gets the job done but have my doubts.

Also, Bill, was there ever any question that Joe would be #1 on opening day? No way in the world Richt doesn’t at least give him that based on his talent, leadership and dedication to the program.

BugKiller

April 3rd, 2009
2:05 pm

So… Anthony Grant, the guy who SIGNED and DELIVERED the Gators vaunted ‘04 Class to Billy Donovan, who 4-time NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING (in the sports that matter) AD Jeremy Foley wanted as Donovan’s replacement…

… THAT GUY wasn’t good enough for won-absolutely-nothing Damon Evans?

ARE YOU FRAKKING KIDDING ME???

Damon Evans actually convinced himself through delusions of grandeur that a big-time coach would leave a big-time program to come coach one of the worst bball programs in the SEC, with a roster with no talent at all on it, so much so that he thought Anthony Grant was “below” him? That he didn’t even talk to Grant?

Seems to me, a guy good enough for FOUR-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION Jeremy Foley should have been good enough for us.

Damon Evans is a joke. Michael Adams is a joke. Georgia sports is a joke.

No wonder we don’t ever win CHAMPIONSHIPS. No wonder our football coach gives raises to mediocre defensive coaches who have FAILED to improve their defense over the course of four years, in fact, they’ve made it WORSE, EVERY YEAR, led by the incompetent Willie Martinez. No wonder we’re okay with 10 win seasons and trips to Tampa or Orlando or Atlanta for bowls.

Georgia sports is a frakking joke. Led by Evans and Adams, it’s all it will ever be.

I am so sick of this s–t!!!

MATT

April 3rd, 2009
2:52 pm

bug killer…..

You are not a Georgia fan. You should find a program that you like and start cheering for them. You are hereby released from ever cheering for UGA again. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. As for the new coach, I really hope that he gets things turned around, and I will support him as long as he is a Bulldog. Go Dawgs!

BugKiller

April 3rd, 2009
3:02 pm

Matt… go stick your head up your @$$.

There is no place for blind-loyalists, everything’s sunshine and rainbows people like you in the place I live in called REALITY!!!

MATT

April 3rd, 2009
3:09 pm

Give the guy a chance. Bruce Pearl was a nobody before he came to Knoxville. Turned out pretty good for the Vols. By the way…your 2nd post seems pretty ignorant.

gtforever

April 3rd, 2009
3:39 pm

No, MATT, he is a typical UGA fan! The WORST in the COUNTRY!

Wolfie

April 3rd, 2009
3:51 pm

Georgia basketball has just acquired a new fan group. Many Wolf Pack fans will be rooting for Mark Fox to succeed there. He is an excellent coach and a class act. Best of luck Mark! We’ll miss you!
GO PACK! GO DAWGS!

BobDog

April 3rd, 2009
4:16 pm

Let’s give him a chance. Why in the world would a guy have considered leaving an Oklahoma or Missouri for Georgia? That was totally unrealistic. I don’t know about Grant, but I remember when Nevada beat the hell out of us a few years ago and Fox will do as well here as anyone else we could get.

FLDAWG

April 3rd, 2009
5:03 pm

Didn’t Fox beat Grant head to head while he was at Nevada? Lets give the guy a chance. He will have to recruit well and then coach them up. Good luck Coach Fox and Go Dawgs!

FLDAWG

April 3rd, 2009
5:26 pm

Sometimes you have to be humbled before the cream can rise to the top. Georgia had moderate success under Tubby and fell some with Jirsa. Harrick brought the teams play back to moderate success only to be undone by extremely poor decisions. It was left to Felton to clean up the mess. I still can’t believe Felton took the job. Felton had to lay down the law and enforce it on the players. His overall win loss record was not what it should have been. Many factors went into the poor record including limited scholorships and bad judgment in recruits. It is now upto Coach Fox to take this program to a higher level. He has all the tools he can physically possess to accomplish this. It is our responsibilty as fans to support him as our coach and the UGA BBall team. This is UGA’s second step in building a solid program after Harrick. Coach Fox can also make the third and fourth steps if we support him as we should. GO Dawgs!!!

superDawg

April 3rd, 2009
6:25 pm

Damon Evans is the joke.He hired harrick without doing his homework.Which left UGA’S program in a pathetic state.I thought Dennis Felton was a good coach who was the scapegoat for Evans.Good luck coach Fox the real dawgs are behind you all the way.

BugKiller

April 3rd, 2009
6:39 pm

dude, i’m no fan of evans the puppet at all, but do YOUR homework if you’re gonna bash someone.

dooley hired harrick after having him shoved down his throat by harrick’s best friends adams.

not evans. dooley.

rlinaug

April 3rd, 2009
11:08 pm

I’m a UGA grad and big fan of the Dawgs, and I follow them closely. I hate read the lack of faith UGA fans are showing the Coach Fox. The guy has coached about 160 games and has won 80 more than he’s lost. That’s impressive. We should be building him up, welcoming him. Complaints should be directed toward Damon Evans, for building up expectations that just weren’t realistic. it doesn’t matter a red piss that Fox is not from the South–half the people that live in Atlanta aren’t either.

UGASlobberknocker

April 4th, 2009
7:11 am

Man, there are some idiots on this board

I wish there was an IQ test for this blog. People like bugkiller would have to find something else to do with their left hand.

and the guy who wants Chip Towers fired..are you kidding me, he is the only decent beat writer the Dawgs have had since Schlabaugh and he has a 30 yr base of knowledge. Im thinking this guy and bug killer must be brothers living in the same trailer.

Fools Gold

April 4th, 2009
9:35 am

Well so much for the O V E R R A T E D Diamond Dawgs. LSU took care of business Friday night. Even the Clemson folks know the dawgs are overrated. I mean this was so evident against ahem… Wright State? Looks like another Alabama beatdown is in the works. Perno better start embracing the overrated status instead of the smoke and mirrors makeup of his team and the whole UGA sports program.

TommyP

April 4th, 2009
9:38 am

superDawg: Talk about misinformed, you take the cake.

Evans never hired Harrick, Michael Adams did. MANY were opposed to his hiring due to his track record of leaving programs decimated upon his departure.

Evans gave Felton every chance to turn the program around. Enough was enough. And I was a Felton supporter but how long does it take????

Fox was a good hire for us. He recruited well given where he was and in what conference he was in.

He won his conference every year but one. That’s pretty good.

Give him a chance…nowhere to go but up.

Cuz

April 4th, 2009
2:37 pm

As another follically challenged individual named Mark, I say give the man a chance. If it does not work out the one with the egg salad on their face will be Damon.

S.E. Dawg

April 4th, 2009
9:41 pm

For any coach to succeed he/her must first have the support of the fans. My understanding is that Coach Fox is more of a fan friendly person. I believe he has the ability, fire and competitive spirit to get the job done. Here’s hoping he wins many BB games and becomes a real BugKiller (pun intended). I also hope he will be the Mark Richt of UGA Basketball. I’m sure some of you want agree with that because there are some Mark Richt haters out there.

martin

April 5th, 2009
10:57 am

Put Fox’s and Grant’s resumes side by side. Except for more time in the South, there is no comparison. Fox win’s. Some of these poster’s act like basketball coaches don’t exist outside of their little southern world.

Fox was on short lists of P10 schools with vacancies, DE did good to grab him before this weekend.

Blindog

April 5th, 2009
12:06 pm

Support our new coach and be a true member of the Bulldawg Nation or SHUT THE HELL UP!!You bunch of neysayers!!

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2009
12:14 pm

I’m sure the TN fans were a bit puzzled by the hiring of a Bostonian, whose resume was highlighted by his success in the Horizon League, (that Wisconsin, and not even U of) and whose closest ties to anything Southern was his coaching at Southern Indiana. Can’t imagine that the UF fans were dazzled by the hiring of a New Yorker who had amassed a mediocre 2 yr record at Marshall in his only HC experience.

Tom Trojan

April 5th, 2009
3:12 pm

Relax BBall Fans! Coach Fox is a winner, period! He followed Trent Johnson at UNR, the same Johnson that has restored LSU BBall back to the top! If you noted, he retained some openings for ‘Southern Area’ assist coaches! He is a BBall man and will restore UGA back to the top quickly, just give him a chance! Go Dawgs!!

Fulton

April 6th, 2009
10:38 am

The only problem I have with UGA fans is that they have actually tricked themselves into believeing Georgia (football) is a top 10 proram. Sorry folks, but you are NOT!

Now, as for your ‘basketball’ program…..bwaahahahahhhaaa!! Stop it!
You’re killing me!!!

AltamahaDawg

April 6th, 2009
12:29 pm

We must have been tricked by all those top 10 finishes.

Doyouknowshon

April 6th, 2009
12:53 pm

Bug Killer,
You are pathetic. You represent everything that a true Dawg fan is not. If you are a season ticket holder, please give you tickets back and let someone who will support the Dawgs through the good and the bad have a chance at them. You are an embarrassment.

As far as UGA Basketball, I can’t wait to see how Mr. Fox does, no where to go but up!

Home Opener in 159 days! Go Dawgs

mdawg

April 6th, 2009
1:16 pm

FireChipTowers: Don’t you think you’re being a little harsh on ol’ Chipper? Damon said he talked to five people and it follows that Purnell and Haith were two of them. And if I’m not mistaken he was the first was the Mark Fox news. So what’s your problem again?

Dean

April 6th, 2009
3:32 pm

I don’t know enough about Mark Fox yet to say that he is no good or a basketball genius. But I will say that we don’t need fans like BugKiller. I agree with Matt that your time and energy would better be served with another program. You seem to like Florida alot. No Georgia fan would keep repeating the 4 natinal championships. I think you’d be a perfect fit for them! Jump bandwagons and stay away from our teams!

AltamahaDawg

April 6th, 2009
3:45 pm

Don’t to harsh on the young man. he just hasn’t learned to use his passion for good, nor how to choose his words wisely yet.

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

April 6th, 2009
9:22 pm

another lame blog. nothing new on mark fox. the writer is jabbering about nothing important. lame lame lame lamelamelamelamelamelamelame

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

April 6th, 2009
9:26 pm

it;s monday and not one article about the Dawg’s baseball.

PATHETIC AJC

elmo lewis

April 7th, 2009
8:43 am

All we are saying, is give Fox a chance.

Tony B.

April 7th, 2009
10:26 am

It’s my understanding that Fox beat Grant TWICE in head to head matchups. Let’s give Coach Fox a chance. After all, Bruce Pearl, Billy Donovan, Mike Anerson, Jeff Capel, and even Tubby were all unknown before they got their big break with a major school.

Coach O

April 7th, 2009
11:09 am

Coach Fox will be OK as long as he does 3 things. FIRST – Keep the best coaches from the current staff , they will have the SEC and southern contacts for recruiting. Begin looking at this years HS Junior class players for next years signing class. SECOND – Scour the country for the best JUCO players that fit his system and meet his moral and ethical standards, then use ALL the scholarships he has left this year( signing day having passed). Use half the scholarships next year for JUCO players and finally save 1 scholarship for the best JUCO player to fill the most important need of the year each year after that. THIRD – Get together with Suzanne Youcolan and plan an extensive PR campaign for example Foxs’ Dawg Den etc.

AltamahaDawg

April 7th, 2009
11:16 am

Has anyone seen this guy’s wife yet?

Coach O

April 7th, 2009
11:17 am

As far as the injury situation for the football team there seems to be WAY TOO MANY SHOULDER INJURIES. Many more than you would expect. Are the coaches teaching POOR or the late3st THING but(injury prone technique)? Should the stregnth and conditioning program put more emphasis on improving shoulder protection? I think a serious investigation of this problem needs to be made. I bet no other major program has this many shoulder injuries.

gdawginkalamazoo

April 7th, 2009
11:54 am

Sh!t Bill, I havent been over here in awhile. What the f*ck happened to you? This new format aged you like 50 years. Dude.

Altadawg, no do you have a link?

Coondawg69

April 8th, 2009
12:04 pm

Anyone that says that Fox is going to be terrible, is full of it. We do not know. Anyone that is upset over his hire has good reason…. Because we were all led to believe, by Mr. Damon “Big timer AD” Evans, that Georgia would spend the bucks and make a huge splash. Well, if Mark Fox is a big splash, Damon, you were 100% right.

As bad of a salesman as Damon is, here’s to Coach Fox being 180 degrees the opposite.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2009
12:25 pm

Coondawg the ONLY promise MR. Evans made was that they were willing to spend the money to get the best coach he could find to be sucessful here. Somebody already having success at the D-1 level is his exact words actually. He never said anything about a big splash. That was a term totally made up in here. Are you really going to say that the couple of coaches who didnt want to take a step back in thier careers that were discussed earlier in the search, did not come to UGA because Evans is a poor salesman? They were never going to come here, and I think it was a pretty good move on Evans part to force some credibility to the UGA job, by getting them to even allows themselves to be link to the discussion.

I would think if he is around long enough, Evans will make a few mistakes, but let’s not hammer him over something he never said or promised. Especially since it looks like he did make a pretty good hire in this case.

Fox may not be the big splash (that was borne of pure speculation) but he IS a bigger name, from a bigger program than either UF or UT hired in thier BB coach search, and exactly what LSU did. All of whom are in the top of the conference now.

bigdawg

April 8th, 2009
6:54 pm

Fools gold,
Yeah UGA baseball is overated we lost to Wright State playing our bench because the #4 jackets at the time were to play the dawgs later in the week. Know the game of college baseball before you sound stupid. You don’t play your best against a team that doesn’t really matter before you play a top ten team. USC has a great team year in and year out and they lost the Citadel it happens! As for Fox, he hasn’t even lost a game yet. Common dawg fans get your butt to the Steg and become a FOX FANATIC! Don’t grip about the bball team when you don’t even show up to the games! 90k+ at Sanford, 5k at the Steg {on a good day} GET REAL! Show up to support the dawgs at all sports!

Coondawg69

April 9th, 2009
8:50 am

AltamahaDawg, I could have sworn that LSU hired Stanford’s coach, but you are right. Evans should be around for a long time… and he’s already made one mistake…. maybe not in the hire, but in managing the hire. Are you going to sit there with a straight face and tell me that Dennis Felton needed to be fired mid-season because we needed to get a jump on hiring Nevada’s coach???? A coach that with his own players missed the past 2 NCAA tournaments?? Certainly, you are smarter than that!!!!
That being said, here’s to Fox being the right guy, no doubt.

AltamahaDawg

April 9th, 2009
7:56 pm

No I dont think he fired Felton to get a jump on anything. I think he fired Felton because it was just obvious that the funk surrounding the program was not going to lift this year, and letting Felton continue was not doing the program, or him any favors. Nor do I think his timing of that decision constitutes an unspoken promise of a big splash hire.

As far as the new hire, he is the best coach who would take the job, would be my take. Billy D. didnt make the NCAA the past 2 years either, so not sure thats really the acid test.

Coondawg69

April 10th, 2009
12:20 pm

Let’s just agree to disagree.

I just hope that Parker search firm… the one that recommended Felton to Athens, Billy G. to Kentucky, and Arkansas’ last place finish with John Pelfry did not recommend Mark Fox. I think every UGA hoops fan can agree on that!!!

But then again if they did, Parker and associates cannot miss on EVERY SEC men’s basketball coach, can they?

AltamahaDawg

April 10th, 2009
9:58 pm

No, I think we do agree to hope Fox works out well. I know thats what you want. I just think that the critism of how somebody does something should come with some certain idea of how it should have been done. I just dont see one. You possible know more about that coach hiring process than I do. My point remains, he NEVER “promised a big splash”. That”s just a fact.

Not sure Felton came from the any recommendation of the parker firm (Run by a UGA Grad incidentally). I dont remember them even being involved. I actually dont think they recommend anyway. They screen and provide names and background. What I hope is that they didn’t recommend was actually trying to hire the Oklahoma coach. I suspect that was just for show. BTW I still think that Felton was a good hire, given what they needed at that time, despite that he was never able to turn the corner W/L wise long term.

And are you really suggesting that Kentucky hired Gillispie at the sole suggestion of the Parker Firm. Now who, is certainly smarter than that? Nothing to do with those 20 yrs of coaching experience or being the reining 3 yr Big 12 coach of the year?

AltamahaDawg

April 10th, 2009
10:06 pm

Dan Parker also helped MN find Tubby Smith. And Tech find Paul Johnson.

FloridaDawg

April 12th, 2009
10:17 am

Like a lot of us…especially around football season “Bugkiller” is just one of many passionate fans.
I too share some of his frustrations but maybe too often keep it to myself.
I was watching the UGA spring game(on TV) yesterday and at the end, the announcers were evaluating UGA’s performance, which was good in “their” judgment.
BUT, then they say FLORIDA is on another level…that comment or assessment brings out a bunch of frustration because they apparently are correct.
I hope we can prove them wrong but when will it happen…. on a consistent basis or at the very least be competitive.