Fans fret about UGA coaching search

Mark Richt isn't talking about Georgia's coaching search. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Mark Richt isn't talking about Georgia's coaching search. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

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.

Go Dogs!

348 comments Add your comment

BigDawg

December 21st, 2009
9:44 am

Anyone will be an improvement!!

Mikey

December 21st, 2009
9:44 am

Did I miss something last week when CMR said he “already had his man” ?
not good….I am somewhat worried.

Don Gill

December 21st, 2009
9:45 am

David Pollack for DC.

douglasville dawg

December 21st, 2009
9:46 am

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

December 21st, 2009
9:46 am

Much ado about nothing. The hire has been made, just waiting until the coach finishes his current job

douglasville dawg

December 21st, 2009
9:46 am

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

December 21st, 2009
9:47 am

Welcome back Bill, wasn’t the same without you

DawginLex

December 21st, 2009
9:51 am

We need to go get Diaz from MTSU and be done with it. He did more changes during the game last night than anything we have seen in Athens the past 4 years.

His DL was undersized but his safeties and LB’s hit hard and played sound fundamentally. He could do wonders at UGA. not that expensive to get, young and seems to know how to make in game adjustments.

go get him Coach Richt

superDawg

December 21st, 2009
9:56 am

Hold on DAWGS good news is on the way.Let the good times roll.

Stillman/Ga. Dawg

December 21st, 2009
9:59 am

just like always CMR sits on his lazy anus, and the person he wants goes elsewhere, from recruits to coaches.. I love my dogs, but CMR u are not that good to be sitting back and waiting on nothing other than the check to pay the coach UGA needs. I never thaought to say this but your ship is running dry because of your lazy actions and no GA. is not the same team we once were when you arrived.. the program is slipping and so will you out the door.. That might be a great choice as well, for CMR to go, all these other teams with our same situation have filled their openiings and are kicking but on the recruit surface. What are the UGA staff doing, absolutely NOTHING… What a waiste of good players (that i look to change there minds as well).. CMR get it done or get out of town b4 its too late.

the dawg truth

December 21st, 2009
10:00 am

Bill – Just so you know…

UGA never even spoke with Koening. They spoke to his agent, briefly who in turn took a simple conversation about meeting with Koening into an “obvious job offer”.

Why would they do this you say? Well because he got $70,000 more dollars from Illinois than he had previously agreed to. This stuff happens all the time…agents scaring athletic directors with half-truths.

Just please Bill don’t be so quick to jump on a story and believe every bit of it when it is from the mouth of an agent…

Bill Stanfill

December 21st, 2009
10:04 am

Welcome back, Bills.

John

December 21st, 2009
10:05 am

Pass, Paul, pass, pass, pass! The DAWGS run this state!

rdawg

December 21st, 2009
10:06 am

It was my understanding that no offer was ever made to Koenning. I read somewhere that it was all antics by Koenning’s agent, trying to get Illinois to sweeten their offer. UGA never offered Koenning

Cuz

December 21st, 2009
10:06 am

What me worry?

ButlerDawg

December 21st, 2009
10:07 am

I don’t care how many changes Diaz made in the game the other night. S.Miss still racked up nearly 400 yards and 32 points against his defense. Not good. Keep looking.

1eyedJack

December 21st, 2009
10:07 am

Surely, if he was offered, it was to coach LB’s or something. Too many better candidates out there for DC.

Gary3294

December 21st, 2009
10:07 am

Be careful what you wish for it may come true. If you compared Martinez bio against Koenning or Diaz without attaching names guess who has the best resume…you guessed it Willie. Why don’t all you “experts” let CMR do is job and you just worry about what to bring to the next tailgate.

La Jolla Dawg

December 21st, 2009
10:08 am

I don’t think Koenning was offered the job. I tend to think Tim Tucker had it correct when he wrote, “While Georgia discussed its DC job with Koenning, his reported salary with Illinois — $325,000 — would suggest UGA didn’t aggressively target him.”

We need to remember that Florida was turned down by Tyrone Nix and they too still have an opening at DC. No one seems to be panicking in Gainesville. We need to trust the process and trust our head coach.

stillman

December 21st, 2009
10:09 am

Stillman you should never call yourself a Dawg. You really should stop smoking crack. That stuff will kill you. Are you really a Tech fan? If not, you should be!

t\

December 21st, 2009
10:09 am

Enter your comments here

Bill King

December 21st, 2009
10:10 am

rdawg:

According to some published accounts based on unnamed sources in Athens, Georgia DID offer Koenning. But Richt has confirmed nothing officially. That’s why I said the late offer is disturbing, if the reports are true.

Bill King

December 21st, 2009
10:12 am

The Dawg Truth:

There are conflicting reports about whether Koenning had an “offer” or not. We don’t know. I’m saying that if Richt did make him a late offer, that bothers me.

shane#1

December 21st, 2009
10:12 am

Richt has alreadt said that it may be the middle of January before a hire is made and he hasn’t made an offer to anyone. At least according to the UGA AD. I think CMR knows who he wants and the new DC will arrive after the bowl season. All the speculation is worthless. Like I said last week, the only people that know the big picture are Evans and Richt, and they ain’t talking!

corkylikesbeer

December 21st, 2009
10:13 am

Bill,

What are the chances that we would make a run at Lovie Smith? I have heard reports that he will not last long with the Bears

the dawg truth

December 21st, 2009
10:13 am

Bill…wrong

You might want to get a subscription to the Rivals website if you haven’t already. They are always ahead of you and the even more mindless peons who work the ajc blogs…aka the do their job…and report everything efficiently and accurately. It is common that I read something there and find it on ajc the next day or even two days later.

suwaneedawg

December 21st, 2009
10:14 am

Stillman, I doubt CMR is “sitting on his anus” and most likely has his man nailed down for the job. I am getting tired of this man getting crucified for one bad year. We lost key players on both sides of the ball and still had a winning record and a bowl game. Teams like LSU and Ole Miss had higher expectations and did not live up to them. I think some people in Dawg Nation set the bar to high this year and there was no way this team could live up to it. CMR will do the right thing at DC and next year we should be a solid team with 2011 having a solid shot at BCS talk again.

Alabama Jack

December 21st, 2009
10:14 am

dawgs are so irrelevant

the dawg truth

December 21st, 2009
10:16 am

that would bother me as well. but i think la jolla hit the nail on the head…

is Koening really that into Illinois, and that morally sound that he would take a $325,000 job at a below-par Big ten school as opposed to an upper-tier SEC school?

If you think $325K is all UGA is going to offer for the next DC, you are wrong my friend.

the dawg truth

December 21st, 2009
10:19 am

and I don’t think your article ever hinted at the fact that UGA offering him was an assumption based on his Agent’s reports

This is what you said…

Then at the last minute Richt reportedly made an offer to Koenning but he decided to stick with Illinois.

You should maybe think about writing the more reasonable side of the story, and not this half-truth that you are hanging your journalism hat on

the dawg truth

December 21st, 2009
10:21 am

and that would leave you as the one “fretting” dear Bill.

Top Dawg

December 21st, 2009
10:21 am

Wait til after Bammer plays Texas. Kirby is coming home.

what?

December 21st, 2009
10:22 am

koenning said they “spoke”. big deal. this was more than likely koenning’s agent fishing for a higher deal from illinois. there is absolutely no way we offered koenning and he said no to us. his family still lives in the south. he’s going to be making less at illinois than willie made here (and ALL indications are that we’ll be offering a much higher salary to the next dc). and, he’s just not that good of a coordinator. had good numbers at clempson (although not better than willie had here), but was absolutely eaten up any time they played a team with a decent qb. doesn’t sound like much of a change. if cmr was going to offer koenning, he should have just kept willie.

BuLLdawg

December 21st, 2009
10:25 am

Say it loud, say it proud…

We are . . SHREVE – PORT! . .

We are . . SHREVE – PORT! . .

We are . . SHREVE – PORT! . .

OH YEAH, BABY, IT’S SHREEEEEVE – A – STINKIN – PORT!

BTY…nice DC search…offer some free pizza for life or something.

Dawgtime

December 21st, 2009
10:26 am

Way to spin speculation and gossip. Coach is taking his time and weighing the options. Go DAWGS.

Barkin'Dog

December 21st, 2009
10:27 am

I agree with Chin Ho – CMR may have a DC in line who is coaching a bowl, and will make an announcement after that game is over. But I also like what DawginLex said. DC Diaz did a stellar job handling S. Miss’s offense with numerous adjustments. That was a game I originally thought S. Miss would win, but after looking at MTSU’s schedule and results, I realized what Diaz was getting done through the season. He has only had to deal with mid-major talent, but he may have the skills to inspire UGA’s 3-4 star recruits to overachieve (again). I trust CMR to get it right, and surprise us all. Go Dawgs! Get after the Aggies arses. Finish the drill and count the season a success, all things considering.

Dawg Trainer

December 21st, 2009
10:27 am

It doesn’t matter who is Jawja’s DC. Richt is still HC and Bobo is still OC. Jawja will still lose to Tennessee.

If Richt had a clue, he’d offer Ellis Johnson 100K more than Spurrier is paying him at South Carolina and get him to Athens. But this IS Richt, so that ain’t happening. If Richt REALLY wanted to improve his D, he’d have Sylvester Croom in Athens today. But this IS Richt, so that ain’t happening.

ebdawg

December 21st, 2009
10:29 am

Well said SuwaneeDawg…. Stillman you sound like an idiot.

Cuz

December 21st, 2009
10:29 am

I have a female cousin whose boyfriend had a class with a guy on the scout team. The next DC will be Kirby Smart.

Bill King

December 21st, 2009
10:30 am

the dawg truth:

Until Richt tells us exactly what transpired, if he ever does, we don’t really know what happened and whether it was a firm offer or not. If you’re happy with the way the search has gone so far, fine.

looking foe a DC

December 21st, 2009
10:31 am

It would make a whole lot of sense to not expect a DC announcement until the completion of some of the upcoming bowl games…maybe CMR is talking w/ some DC’s that have some class…they don’t want to hurt their present teams chances in a bowl game by being a distraction…call me crazy, but I’d respect a coach with some respect/loyalty for his present team/players, as opposed to grabbing the brass ring and saying the he11 w/ his old team…there is plenty of time to get this done…as far as recruiting goes, it is doubtful that UGA would be after the same players that the DC previous school will be coming from…as far as the DAWG’s recruiting, they’ll still be getting what’s out there after UF and Bama fills their needs…it’s not like the old days before scholarship were limited, when the top tier programs would sign everything in sight to keep them from other schools (there will be plenty of quality players still available)…so, a player will look at educational opportunities, the program, the coaching, the facilities, the program’s future, future teammates, the school, the social life, the prestige, the conference, the location, the environment in and around Athens, etc….so, taking into account the last two NC’s teams, UGA will be going up against Auburn, Tenn, USC, Miss St, Ole Miss, LSU, Ark, etc…do you fans not think UGA is not at least on level ground w/ Auburn, Tenn, & LSU and the rest can not compete w/ UGA

what?

December 21st, 2009
10:31 am

Dawg Trainer, you’re not too smart are you? sly croom has been nothing but an offensive coach since 1986. nice thought though. hahahahahahaha!

as far as the offense, which team actually led the conference in scoring this year in conference games? oh that’s right, georgia did. yeah, fire mike bobo!

Will

December 21st, 2009
10:32 am

The next UGA DC will NOT come from the college ranks! He will come from the NFL and will sign 2 weeks from today when the NFL season ends. His name I can’t spell but I can write his initials…………….B.V.G. That’s right, you heard it here first my fellow dawgs fans. BVG is coming back to Athens and will bring back the intensity and the work ethic that will take us back to the SEC championship. Perhaps as early as next season.

THE KNOW

December 21st, 2009
10:32 am

Neither Koenning nor Foster were ever offered the job. Both spoke with Richt but were never offered. The hire has been made and WILL be announced around the 10th or 11th of January.

cherokee

December 21st, 2009
10:32 am

suwaneedawg …..well said!!!

cajdawg

December 21st, 2009
10:35 am

There is a big difference between general job discussions, job interviews and job offers. Richt is tastefully remaining quiet, there is no benefit calling out coaches or their agents for stretching the truth (lying).

It is almost certain that Richt reached out to Kirby Smart and Bud Foster (Bud Foster’s conversation became public). It doesn’t make sense for Smart to come to UGA to be a D coordinator, one more solid year at Alabamastan and he will be on the short list for head jobs. Bud Foster isn’t the formal-coach-in-waiting at VT, but most people think that there is a wink-wink arrangement there. I never thought either was a realistic possibility.

I am concerned about the way the Koenning thing played out- it makes Richt appear to be desperate and confused. I hope Koennings (and Koennings agent) version of the story isn’t the way it really played out.

I much prefer up-and-coming candidates.

Bright Idea

December 21st, 2009
10:35 am

First guy, BIG DAWG, said it best. Amen! Stop the speculation and wait for an announcement.

BuLLdawg

December 21st, 2009
10:37 am

Here’s an announcement for ya…

Say it loud, say it proud…

We are . . SHREVE – PORT! . .

We are . . SHREVE – PORT! . .

We are . . SHREVE – PORT! . .

OH YEAH, BABY, IT’S SHREEEEEVE – A – STINKIN – PORT!

the dawg truth

December 21st, 2009
10:37 am

Bill. I’m just saying it would be nice to hear the more truthful, accurate side of a UGA story these days. I have always thought you were the least likely to get swept away in the rumor cycle and completely over-exagerrate a situation to get more response/fan-fare, but I guess I was wrong. Report what you know is right next time, about something that matters. Not old news, not false news, and definitely not Agent Blabber.

Will

December 21st, 2009
10:37 am

Also, let’s please stop with the Diaz comments…… there is no need to waste cyber space.