Making the right hire in Athens and lighting a fire under UGA’s quarterback

A good day to be a Dawg.

A good day to be a Dawg.

A pretty good day in Athens, to say the least.

Word leaked Thursday that Michael Adams will indeed call Greg McGarity home from Gatorland to run the University of Georgia’s athletics program, Mark Richt announced that two-way player Branden Smith is “academically in good standing” for the season, and UGA was named the 19th best public college by Forbes magazine, 10 spots above where it ranked last year.

Only downer Thursday was word that senior safety Quintin Banks’ gimpy knees are forcing him to hang it up as a player, but at least he’ll still be contributing to the team as a student coach.

Frankly, I was a bit surprised by the speed with which the decision on Georgia’s new athletic director was made, though as a fellow native Athenian I was also delighted with the choice of McGarity, whom I started touting for the job as soon as it became clear Damon Evans needed to go. Back in 1988 when Greg was first named an assistant AD at Georgia by Vince Dooley, I remember saying to a friend, “Greg’s going to be athletic director one day.” He was my first choice when Dooley was forced into retirement, though I admittedly wasn’t displeased with the selection of Evans at the time. But he was definitely my second choice behind McGarity.

Getting a new AD hired before the football season starts is a smart move on the part of Adams and his brain trust. It certainly will reduce the public relations damage from the Evans debacle. More than that, though, McGarity grew up a Dawg and understands the Bulldog Nation, which will be a big advantage in terms of a smooth transition. And his nearly 20 years as the right-hand man to Jeremy Foley at the University of Florida means he knows the ins and outs of running an ultra successful athletics program.

McGarity no doubt will face challenges at UGA. While the department is in great shape overall financially, some of its individual programs have fallen short of expectations. Competition in the SEC is tougher than ever. Eventually, coaches will have to be fired and new ones hired. Deals will have to be struck to hold on to the successful ones.

But the idea of a hard worker and steady rock of a guy like McGarity making those decisions fills me with confidence as a UGA alum and supporter.

Yes, indeed, a good day for Dawgs everywhere.

QUARTERBACK WORRIES?

Some fans and bloggers have zeroed in on Mike Bobo’s less than enthusiastic appraisal of Aaron Murray’s first scrimmage as something to worry about. But I’m among those who saw Bobo’s comments as a good thing.

While Richt had indicated right after the scrimmage that he was generally pleased with Murray’s progress, after looking at the film Bobo pronounced himself “a little disappointed” in the redshirt freshman QB. He said Murray “didn’t trust the pocket” and criticized “a bonehead decision in the red zone, throwing it up for grabs.”

I’d much rather have Bobo putting Murray publicly on notice of where he needs to improve than have the sort of see-no-evil boosterism that characterized last year’s preseason appraisal of Joe Cox. While I don’t think Bobo will ever approach Steve Spurrier for boxing his quarterbacks about the ears verbally, it never hurts to let a young player know he needs to step it up.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

109 comments Add your comment

rduck

August 13th, 2010
11:13 am

ChattaDawg

August 13th, 2010
11:17 am

Nothing wrong at all about making public comments about how our QB needs to make better decisions. Better to hear it now instead of 90,000 fans yelling at him in September.

1eyedJack

August 13th, 2010
11:17 am

A new era dawns.

zeeeeeeeeeee Nachos aka the "Living Legend"

August 13th, 2010
11:20 am

I hear Memphis is beautiful in late December/early January. Grab your Liberty Bowl tickets now mutts!

BPClassof-85

August 13th, 2010
11:21 am

We have a legitimate AD at the helms again. Things are coming together in The Dawg Nation.

Scott W.

August 13th, 2010
11:25 am

Good luck to the new AD and Quintin, good job Branden and GATA! Go Dogs!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gordo, Tim Tucker and AJC Junkyard Blawg, Georgia Bulldogs-UGA. Georgia Bulldogs-UGA said: http://bit.ly/WireUG Making the right hire in Athens and lighting a fire under UG #NCAA #Sports http://bit.ly/bZeO6u [...]

Degenerate

August 13th, 2010
11:32 am

_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_

Nesbitt for Heisman

_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_

82Dawg

August 13th, 2010
11:36 am

If you need to bend his ear then bend the heck out of it…..better now than during the season.

Destin Dawg

August 13th, 2010
11:40 am

things have been looking up in beautiful Athens.. set back by stupid AD Evans.. now that’s corrected.. good recruiting class keeps getting better .. new coaches and intensity .. coach ‘em up Bobo… Branden cleared to play… Go Dawgs !!!!

Will

August 13th, 2010
11:41 am

I think if you look at the comments of not only Bobo but of Garner’s comments earlier this week, perhaps UGA coaches are trying to lower pre-season expectations on our young dawgs. I think dawgs fans who think we will be clicking on all cylinders on 9-11 are not thinking logically. Now by October I think we will really start to get it going as a team. I still predict a 10-3(bowl game included) season.

lastgrad

August 13th, 2010
11:42 am

This Dawg Blawg is one of your best ever Bill. Nothing but good news and great wisdom. Keep up the good work.

Chris S

August 13th, 2010
11:44 am

I suspect less was said about Cox because Cox was doing the best he could. It wasn’t his fault he lacked the talent to be a legit starting QB in the SEC–he was busting his butt to do the best he could, and the blame lay with Richt and Garner for not having a better option available. In that case, there’s no point in hammering a guy in public.

A young, talented guy like Murray, however, can learn and improve, so I agree, it’s worth lighting a fire under him at times to keep him motivated to improve.

Dawg House

August 13th, 2010
11:47 am

It’s ALWAYS a Great day to be a Dawg.

It’s days like this that infuriate all the HATERS, making it an EXCEPTIONAL day to be a Dawg!!

22 Days!!!

Glory Glory to Ole’ Georgia!!!!

GeoffDawg

August 13th, 2010
11:47 am

Chris S – I think that’s good insight regarding Joe Cox.

McGarity’s a great hire! Go Dawgs!

NYC Dawg

August 13th, 2010
11:54 am

Excellent hire. Great criticism by Bobo (who needs to prove a lot this year) and outstanding news that Branden Smith is academically cleared to rejoin the team. Happy Friday!

Boo Boo's boo's from Sanford Stadium.

August 13th, 2010
11:58 am

Shoot Mike Bozo is the one who needs to step it up with his inept play calling. I bet now he will be watched very closely along with CMR now that UGA has a new AD.

Roll Tide!

August 13th, 2010
11:58 am

Other than retaping the Damon Evans anti-DUI video, the new AD’s first order of business ought to be to name a new Uga – there’s still no permanent replacement for the last one that kicked the bucket. And, since bulldogs don’t live all that long, maybe the new mascot should be a collie, or even a poodle. Getting rid of the doghouse and putting the new mascot in a nice pair of red doggie panties would also be a nice touch. The possibilities are endless for the new guy to truly make his mark!

THWGT

August 13th, 2010
12:01 pm

I really enjoy the Nesbitt for Heisman posts the gnats make. They always give me a chuckle. He won’t even be in the running on that Always Crappy Conference team.

THWGT!!!!!

Roll Tide!

August 13th, 2010
12:02 pm

After thinking about it a bit more, I believe the new mascot should definitely be a little poodle. Since Damon Evans is gone, Michael Adams needs a new lapdog.

SSIgator

August 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

Excellent choice by UGA – there may be hope for you guys yet. Next I guess you will want to borrow our coaching staff to teach you guys how to play football and not just how to beat the Gators, but also get to Atlanta and on to the NC game. Thirty years – so long ago.

Glory Glory

August 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

Roll Tide….

Does Alabama have a mascot?? Are you the elephants, the crimson tide, a box of laundry detergent, and roll of toilet paper??

PLEASE take a look at your fellow Bama fans….. http://tinyurl.com/23no8dh I think I’ll take a cute little bulldog!

Now spell it with me… ” M I S S I S S I P P I “

Glory Glory

August 13th, 2010
12:07 pm

SSIGator…..

While you THINK we are stealing a Gator to better our program, it’s simply obvious that back in 1992, you guys had to borrow a DAWG to make you a relevant program. Borow period is over, son.

TallyDawg

August 13th, 2010
12:07 pm

Along those same lines, shouldn’t the new ‘bama mascot be an inbred toothless hermaphrodite meth head? That would certainly be a more familiar sight to their fanbase.

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

August 13th, 2010
12:09 pm

Glory Glory

August 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

Roll Tide….

PLEASE take a look at your fellow Bama fans….. http://tinyurl.com/23no8dh

1eyedJack

August 13th, 2010
12:10 pm

Comments from Alabama and Auburn fans about somebody’s mascot are classic. You guys are so schizophrenic you can’t decide on a mascot. Go Crimson Tide, Elephant, Tiger, War Eagle!!!

Roll Tide!

August 13th, 2010
12:15 pm

Glory – As National Champions, we can be any mascot we want to be. And, “dawgs” certainly shouldn’t be giving anyone spelling lessons. The next time you play us, though, we will make sure we get your team’s name spelled correctly: “LOSER.”

Mikey in the SAV

August 13th, 2010
12:16 pm

Mike Bobo, , the next time you call a draw play on 3rd and 15 I am going to bend YOUR ear sir.

ChattaDawg

August 13th, 2010
12:16 pm

Roll Tide,

Go take some spelling lessons…As your great kickoff returner, Forest Gump once said : “Stupid IS and Stupid DOES!” I’m sure one of your Student Athletes was involved with this:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/bama-misspells-mississippi-on-591008.html?sms_ss=email

Glory Glory

August 13th, 2010
12:18 pm

Roll Tide,

Just make sure you spell our name right on your little tickets.

I am sure we will party in your endzone, just like the last 2 times we went to the Alabama Zoo.

And in case you forgot….. ROLL TIDE —–> http://tinyurl.com/23no8dh

Glory Glory

August 13th, 2010
12:21 pm

How many Alabama fans does it take to change a lightbulb?

100. 1 to change it, and 99 to tell you how good the old one was.

Drew Carey dropped 80 pounds

August 13th, 2010
12:21 pm

I too dont like the new pre game rap video and hopes the new AD will not allow it. UGA needs a new approach and a better image on game day. McGarity is a class act a will bring back some dignity to the UGA program.

TakeFloridaSeriously

August 13th, 2010
12:25 pm

Will, I think your predicted record for UGA in 2010 is about right, but for Richt not to feel a “justifiable fiery seat”, Florida must be counted among the ten wins and definitely not among the three loses. Richt cannot too often be given a free pass for a Florida spanking, which has become a bad habit. Time to coach’em up again for one of the rare Florida victories.

Mike T.

August 13th, 2010
12:34 pm

University of Alabama Gumps

“I just run across the Great State of Alabama into Mississipi.”

bjohndawg

August 13th, 2010
12:36 pm

God lord, give the kid Murray a damn break. First scrimmage as the #1 QB. Stafford was a jr and he threw interceptions. The media and Georgia fans need to quit expecting perfection. Perfection is not necessary for championships. Look at the stats for the kid last year at BAMA. They won the MNC and was he perfection. heck no. Dont expect this kid to be and quit worrying about one interception where he forced it. It will not be the only time he tries to force one.Lite a fire my ass, you need to coach the kid, not try to make him fear to throw.

SSIgator

August 13th, 2010
12:42 pm

Glory Glory -

Spurrier was hired in December of 1989. Long before McGarity arrived on the scene. Besides, Foley is the AD and Geg certainly had plenty of experience working with him to see what it takes to make a program successful. Maybe he can do the same for UGA. For starters, he may want to look at the 3 mil that Richt makes and weigh the costs vs the benefits.

Dawgs Rule

August 13th, 2010
12:45 pm

SSIGator = Troll

just can’t keep your mind of the Dawgs, huh?

Dawgs Rule

August 13th, 2010
12:48 pm

Mike T.

August 13th, 2010
12:51 pm

bjohndawg

Amen!! The kid is just beginning, he’s gonna make a few mistakes.

Glory Glory

August 13th, 2010
1:05 pm

SSIGator is just as obsessed with the Dawgs as the maggots on North Ave.

This blog is not even a headliner in the AJC Sports page. It is listed at the bottom, under the UGA related items. He seeks out this blog, but to crap at the mouth. It;s obvious his state sucks bad enough to flock to the GREAT State of Georgia to seek employment after giving up down there.

Florida Football: a winning tradition since 1992

Damon Evans

August 13th, 2010
1:06 pm

I sent him a 12 pack of red panties to get him acclimated. The drinking and driving is up to him, but I have faith….he is in Athens afterall. 6-6 this season…I can feel it!

smart dawg

August 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

does anyone look at Murray and see a short, chubby Wally Cleaver?

JMart

August 13th, 2010
1:11 pm

The only bad thing about the McGarity hiring is that it makes you nerds at the AJC believe they have a clue.

Smokewagon

August 13th, 2010
1:14 pm

Murray will be fine but he needs to learn to trust his fine offensive line. He will be handing the ball off to King/Ealy mostly and looking for A.J.. Once again we will run this state.

JB

August 13th, 2010
1:20 pm

Roll Tide…………….Your Team won the National championship last year. You are preseason picked number 1 by most, but you won’t stay in your neighborhood. Please find a place to roll in the mud with your own ilk. This particular blog is ALL about UGA. Would you like me to help you find a site with bammer folk? From Stallings to Saban ya’ll sucked. Hell, we beat you.
Go put your rammer jammer bammer briefs on a go sit outside and get some air.

Bride of Chucky Knapp

August 13th, 2010
1:25 pm

Dang it Roll Tide, where are my fries?!

JB

August 13th, 2010
1:29 pm

There will no breaking in period for Aaron. Richt will open the play book and be balanced. He did with Green and Stafford. With AJ and the gazelle type TE’s we have, look for Richt to throw at will. That will make the running game that much better. Richt will not allow the D to crowd the line with Aaron.

JB

August 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

My guess Aaron will throw 30 times opening day to give the D at Carolina something to think about, because you know the game plan for Carolina is to stop the run and make Aaron beat them. Look for Aaron to have a big day passing, 19of 30 for 280 yards and say 2 TD’s …..

Dalton Dawg

August 13th, 2010
1:34 pm

Feels good to be hated by so many!!
GO DAWGS !!!!!GATA !!!!

ca dawg

August 13th, 2010
1:35 pm

bill, this blog felt good to read. i wish the best for quintin banks, who was a model dawg but had terrible luck with injuries and never got his chance to be the next great UGA safety.

and i was glad to see bobo call out murray a little bit; the comments weren’t anything like spurrier’s mind games with garcia. everyone else was saying nice things about murray after the scrimmage and bobo just balanced it out a little. i think his message was “you can and must do better for us to reach our potential this year.” the kid needs to be challenged in a way that doesn’t undermine his confidence, and i think bobo’s comments hit the mark.