While off last week, I managed to keep a peripheral eye on the goings-on in Athens concerning the hunt for a new defensive coordinator.
Looks like a bit of a mess.
First came the brief media hubub about Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster, who publicly acknowledged “talking” to UGA before announcing he’d gotten a sweeter deal to stay put. Not surprising; you get a lot of folks using your job search in that way who have no intention of making a move. I’m sure Mark Richt wasn’t at all surprised by that.
Then came the Vic Koenning affair, which was a much muddier picture. Apparently the Kansas State co-defensive coordinator had expressed interest in the UGA job, but Georgia dithered while Illinois made it clear it wanted him. Then at the last minute Richt reportedly made an offer to Koenning but he decided to stick with Illinois.
Whether Koenning was the right choice for the Georgia job or not (and I’m not sure he was), what disturbs some Georgia fans about that scenario was the fact that Richt apparently wasn’t sure whether he wanted Koenning or not and then made a move after it was too late.
Of course, we don’t know the whole story since Richt isn’t talking. Maybe Georgia’s initial hesitation about Koenning had more to do with negotiations with some other candidate than it did with indecisiveness about whether Koenning was the right man for the UGA job. If that was the case, the late offer to Koenning probably means things weren’t going well on the other front.
You expect Richt to be talking to more than one candidate, and a lot of Georgia fans are hoping that Alabama’s Kirby Smart is still in the mix. But the reports of an offer to Koenning, if they’re accurate, would seem to indicate things must not have looked good elsewhere in the search.
We have to keep in mind that media leaks during these searches are often self-serving (a la Foster) and quite frequently much ado about nothing (as in the stories earlier this year about Bobby Knight and the Georgia basketball job).
Still, if what has leaked out is true, it’s bothersome that Richt apparently felt the need to make a late offer to Koenning. It gives the impression of desperation.
How do you feel about what’s transpired so far in the DC search?
Elsewhere, a couple of big woofs are due Mark Fox’s basketball Bulldogs for the weekend win over Illinois. It’s likely to be a loooong season for the undermanned Dogs, but they beat a good team under what was essentially road game conditions at Gwinnett Arena. Hopefully the confidence they gained will pay off down the road in the SEC wars.