Richt’s latest move: Fans debate ‘old school’ vs. ‘new blood’

Coach T. is "old school," and maybe that's the sort of tough approach Georgia's players need. (University of Georgia)

Coach T. is "old school," and maybe that's the sort of tough approach Georgia's players need. (University of Georgia)

Well, I certainly didn’t expect the last item on my wish list for the 2011 Dogs to be addressed quite that quickly.

If nothing else, the news Thursday that Dave Van Halanger is being replaced by Joe Tereshinski Jr. as Georgia’s director of strength and conditioning has produced an interesting fan debate about whether Mark Richt is taking the right approach in trying to get his program back on track.

A lot of fans were underwhelmed by the choice of Tereshinksi and reports that Vince Dooley’s old conditioning coach, John Kasay, will return from retirement to assist Coach T. Their concern is that this staff shuffle won’t really address the problem of Georgia’s s&c program apparently having fallen behind the times. The belief in this camp is that the Dogs need a fresh approach and cutting-edge methods. There’s even been speculation this really is an interim move until someone else becomes available (which to my mind would seem a strange strategy on Richt’s part — why reshuffle twice?).

Others have hailed the Tereshinski-Kasay option as a return to the kind of no-excuses hard work that characterized conditioning in the days of Erk Russell and the lean, mean Junkyard Dawgs.

As UGA kicking great Rex Robinson put it: “Most fans expected an infusion of new blood. What Coach Mark Richt has done instead is withdraw what can only be described as ‘cord blood’ to this football program. How many times has the DawgNation screamed for the days of Erk Russell. The old school approach to winning football. Hard work, toughness and a junkyard mentality. Well here you go Dawg fans.”

Indications are that the Tereshinski way will differ radically from the way Van Halanger handled things. As former player David Pollack told Bulldogs Blog, Van Halanger and Tereshinski are “polar opposites.”

He described Van Halanger as “one of the sweetest human beings you’ll ever meet” and “a father-figure guy.”

As for Coach T., Pollack said, “you can go to him anytime you want to, but he might have a switch waiting for you. He’s very, very old school. … I don’t think there’s anyone that ever pushed me harder than Coach T. Just old school, hard work, you’re going to do things the hard way.”

And who’s to say that old-school Tereshinski won’t embrace whatever the latest developments are in the field? Reportedly, another hire will be added to the strength and conditioning staff, and that might well mean some fresh ideas added to the mix. Old dogs do learn new tricks.

Bottom line: The Dogs of late have been getting whipped in the fourth quarter with regularity and that’s not what characterized Georgia football in the days when Tereshinski and Kasay were players.

It remains to be seen if the players, too often coddled in the Richt regime, will buy into Coach T’s old-school approach, but Pollack seemed optimistic in that regard when he Tweeted that Tereshinski will be a “great fit 4 young kids who think they know it all.”

UPDATE: Check out Tim Tucker’s report on Tereshinki’s conference call, in which he talks about his plans, using the latest technology, the advantage he’ll have over an outsider and his thoughts on what’s needed most: “The whole culture we’re going with is, we’re going to prepare this team for the fourth quarter. Georgia used to be known that in the fourth quarter, they won. . . . We’re going to press and challenge these kids every day to overcome. They’re going to have to overcome.”


As a Dogs fan, it’s tough to choose sides in this year’s SEC championship. I mean, Nick Fairley vs. the Prince of Darkness?

My first inclination is to pull for South Carolina for various reasons that include the whole Cam Newton NCAA farce, Fairley’s dirty play and the way Gene Chizik handled it and a natural tendency to want the underdog to win that game. I don’t really like Steve Spurrier, but I do respect him. Not so, Chizik.

On the other hand, it probably is to Georgia’s advantage for the Tigers to win, since a loss might well drop them out of the BCS championship, which could mean only one SEC team making it into the BCS. That, in turn, likely would knock everyone down a peg in the bowls and put the Dogs in Birmingham instead of Memphis.

So I’m torn. I expect Auburn will win, but I don’t really enjoy the prospect.

How about you?

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

130 comments Add your comment


December 3rd, 2010
12:27 pm

I have to pull for the real USC. I don’t like Spurrier and would love to see nothing better than him throwing his visor, but I absolutely hate that school on the Plains. I see a healthy dose of Lattimore and then going play action to Jeffries. USC should have beat Auburn the first time that they played, but let them off the hook. That said they still had a chance with Conner Shaw playing QB to tie the game late with a TD and 2pt conversion. I’m sure that Spurrier will have something up his sleeve for the Tigers/War Eagles or whatever they decide to call themselves this week.

I like the Joe T move, but maybe they need to look at what FSU did with their S&C program this past year. They trimmed a lot of fat off the O-line with their diet and workouts, which made them a better overall team especially in the 4th quarter.


December 3rd, 2010
12:30 pm

Spurrier may be one of the biggest SOB’s on the planet , with that disapproving smirk always on his face but you have got to respect a coach that isn’t trying to win a popularity contest but only interested in WINNING the game with integrity and high ethics in the most sportsmanship way. He is from OLD SCHOOL football and I think is is one of the best COACHES that has ever coached college football.

Virginia DAWG

December 3rd, 2010
12:39 pm

Not happy with the Nick Farley antics, but have no problems with Cam and the rest of the team. I also remember all the sarcastic digs Spurrier has made toward UGA through the years. My daughter is at USC as a student right now and my wife is an Auburn graduate….they will both be in Atlanta this weekend, but as a DAWG and SEC fan i want us to continue to dominate college football. The only way to another national championship is if AU wins. As someone said on an earlier post…War Eagle and Go DAWGS!


December 3rd, 2010
12:41 pm

Well everyone else can just hang it up and go ahead with presenting THUGA the NC trophy for the next 80 years!!! That did it!!! You gotcha a new / old (??) s&c coach. Whooooooooo boy!!!! That was it all along and “if” you’d had him this year you wouldn’t have lost a game. Kinda like replacing the D coordinator last year solved all your probl…….wait…………..

Virginia DAWG

December 3rd, 2010
12:43 pm

The way to curb a lot of off field problems and also ensure the players are eating and sleeping properly is to bring back the jock dorm concept. I know that this was voted out by a number of the smaller schools in our NCAA division, but it just makes a lot of sense and also breeds a better sense of team. When I was in school in Athens we were allowed to eat at the jock cafeteria and the portions were huge!

Always next year!

December 3rd, 2010
12:45 pm

Boise State 72, UGA 13. It’ll be a slaughterhouse on the field.

It's not the conditioning, folks

December 3rd, 2010
12:52 pm

Unfortunately nothing is going to change until UGA changes its third-rate coaching. That’s where the difference is, and that’s why everyone outside Dawgt Nation just laughs at Dawg fans getting so excited year after year about what a great recruiting class UGA gets. It doesn’t matter how many blue chip high school players go to UGA, they simply don’t get the coaching they would get at Florida or Alabama or USC or auburn, to name a few schools whose programs are far ahead of UGA. And that’s not going to change as long as Mark Richt is in Athens.

Get your heads out of the sand and face reality. And mediocrity and irrelevance.

ca dawg

December 3rd, 2010
1:02 pm

walter is right, i think, when he says that his new division of responsibilities plays to the distinctive strengths of CVH and CJT. but we have to work harder and smarter, so i also like what dawgs forever says about nutrition. in fact, CJT has already said he’s going to make some changes in terms of nutrition (including hiring a full time nutritionist, which we currently don’t have).

marc weiszer over at the ABH just wrote a very fine blog about this same topic:


December 3rd, 2010
1:03 pm

Hopefully Joe T. (and maybe John Kasay) will combine old school attitude with the most current science in S&C. Just cuz they’re old school UGA insiders doesn’t mean they can’t hire some top notch consultants to design workouts and (at last!) a proper nutrition program. Joe T. is saying the right things.


December 3rd, 2010
1:04 pm

At 1st I was not too impressed about Coach T taking over. I have done some research on this guy and now I’m convinced that he is what we are looking for. He will get our guys not only physically ready, but mentally ready as well!
The 1st test will be in the 4th quarter of the Boise State game!

And please haters, Come on here and sprew your BSU 1,552,636,311 UGA 3 crap. If I recall about 5 years ago the same was said and we all know how that turned out. CMR will get this ship turned around and pointed in the right direction in 2011!!
Go Dawgs!


December 3rd, 2010
1:06 pm

I’m pulling for S Carolina. Facing a Big East team in Birmingham may just have a little more luster than SMU or UCF in the Liberty, to be honest. Plus there’s still a chance Auburn could lose and still go to the BCS over TCU, or if they don’t, that another SEC team still gets an at large bid.


December 3rd, 2010
1:10 pm

To:It’s not the conditioning, folks

You’re absolutely right. UGA has the talent a resources to be on the inside looking out as opposed to the outside looking in in regards to National Titles. Look at Auburn: 2 years ago they were 5-7! After things got stale with Tuberville, they took a risk with Chizik and it payed off. They had a rebuilding year last season going 8-5, and now they are 12-0! New system, new players, new coaching. Sometimes that is just what a program needs. Richt, like Tuberville, has had some good years in Athens. But it is time for him to move on, and more importantly; its time for our program to move on. Going 6-6 at a place like UGA that has great instate talent and the resources to be successful is inexcusable! I expect more from my alma mater and so should everyone else.


December 3rd, 2010
1:17 pm

Chizik build a one year wonder. When Cam and Farley leave for pro ball Auburn will be lucky to win 6 games next year. UGA will beat Auburn next year by three touchdowns.


December 3rd, 2010
1:23 pm

My only reason for backing Auburn is that if they do in fact win an SEC team will play for the National Championship.


December 3rd, 2010
1:26 pm

MMA training might be all the rage and the new sexy way to train, but it is way different than football training. They have nothing in common and both sports should be trained differently


December 3rd, 2010
1:28 pm

Go South Carolina!!!!!

ca dawg

December 3rd, 2010
1:31 pm

@ it’s not conditioning folks: i recognize your little tagline and have seen you cut and paste the same entry several times. you mention the coaching they would get at auburn… really? what is gene chizik’s record as a head coach without cam newton? we’ll see how good a coach he is when he loses his QB, 4 starting OL’s, and his best defensive player. how good does urban meyer look without tim tebow and percry harvin? USC won exactly one more game than we did this year, and if there were ever a team that coasted on superior talent and lazy coaching, surely it’s the trojans. even saint nick lost 3 games at bama this year.

how did you learn to type with your head so far up your own a**?

ca dawg

December 3rd, 2010
1:37 pm

@robodawg: i was also impressed by what joe t had to say–definitely not a guy who sounds like he has his head in the sand. emphases on nutrition and modernization of workouts seem very reasonable, and reflect concerns that have been expressed by people inside the program.

hope it shows up on the field next year!

Class of '98

December 3rd, 2010
1:59 pm

Is the new motto going to be “Finish the Set”?


December 3rd, 2010
2:07 pm

The idea of having new blood is not only bringing in different ideas, but also enthusiasm as well. Sorry, but these old guys just aren’t going to burn the midnight oil like some go-getter in his 20’s or 30’s.

ole island dawg

December 3rd, 2010
2:18 pm

I’m pulling for South Carolina. Chizik lied and Fairly is dirty. Cam is a great player but I agree with the AD at U Southern California, the family is an extension of the player.Auburn got by with one so far.


December 3rd, 2010
2:38 pm

If David Pollack endorses Tereshinski then I’m sold!


December 3rd, 2010
2:38 pm

The SEC will still get 2 in even if South carolina wins.

BCSCG: Oregon vs. TCU
Rose: Stanford vs. Wisconsion
Sugar: SC vs. Ohio St.
Orange: VT/FSU winner vs. Auburn
Fiesta: OK/Neb winner vs. Big East

You can’t have more than 2 from any conference. We know The ACC and Big East will not get an at-large bid and the Big 12 is down. The Orange Bowl is not going to want a three loss Nebraska or Oklahoma when thay can get a one loss Auburn with the Heisman trophy winner. Come on Bill think!


December 3rd, 2010
2:41 pm

Scam U and Chizik are bums and for that reason I hope the chickens beat the crap out of them. As for the old coaches. Well lets see what they can do.


December 3rd, 2010
2:47 pm

ca dawg

UGA has lost 11 games the last 2 years! Compare this to the other big name programs in the conference

ALA: 3
AUB: 5
FLA: 6
LSU: 6

UGA has the resources to be hanging with all of these schools!! The last two years: 11 losses! UGA from 2002-2005? 9 losses! You do the math. And after doing so, if you still think that Richt is the right guy for the job, then you my friend are the one with your up you a$$!


December 3rd, 2010
2:56 pm

Oh and to further belabor my point about what a lousy job Richt is doing: Tennessee with Derek Dooley and a depleted roster was still able to finish 6-6!! And this with a bunch of freshmen and sophmores!!! Considering how down the SEC is this year, UGA at the very least should have finished 8-4!


December 3rd, 2010
2:59 pm

May Carolina be just in their punishment and right the wrongs made to their brothers in the SEC ……….. and I hope Carolina will strike down upon Auburn with great vengeance and furious anger for their cheatin’ ways…….

The righteous will have their day!!!!!! Beware Auburn…….what goes around comes around….. I hope Carolina crushes you…….


December 3rd, 2010
3:06 pm

oh, and btw, I expect after Carolina beats Auburn, the NCAA will declare Carolina ineligible and give the win to Auburn…… why not? they know the Newton’s broke NCAA rules but turned their back….. they just want a big championship game, its not about football and integrity any more, its about the $$$$$$$$.


December 3rd, 2010
3:08 pm

I rather not have the SEC represented in the championship game rather than have some cheatin’ team represent the SEC…. think about it, when the truth comes out, it will tarnish the whole SEC instead of just Auburn….

Frank Lane

December 3rd, 2010
3:22 pm

Auburn. We need another SEC national champ. I think all their wins this y ear will eventually be vacated but let’s win it on the field anyway.

Joel in Demorest

December 3rd, 2010
3:23 pm

Richt could take the greatest conditioned players in the country and still coach out a marginal winning season!!!

And therein lies the problem. Richt is really just a mediocre coach, and his best days are years ago. For things to improve and UGA to become competitive again, Richt has to go. How long is it going to take for the “powers that be” to recognize this and take action?


December 3rd, 2010
3:26 pm

Boise State 67
Georgia 17

Fun in Hotlanta!

Old 1984 guy

December 3rd, 2010
3:31 pm

I have a copy of one of Erk’s old August motivation month calendars, If they need it. Good hire.


December 3rd, 2010
3:43 pm

Can’t pull for Spurrier. He’ll lose and be 9-4 during the weakest year ever for the SEC East, which will be his high-water mark at Carolina.

Can’t really pull for Auburn either and I find Newton and Fairley annoying, but I don’t hate them. In a league full of thugs, they have simply out-thugged everyone else.

I don’t have a rooting interest in this game, but it should be fun to watch.

old dawg

December 3rd, 2010
3:46 pm

i am sorry, let’s draw a distinction here. yes dawgs fans call for a return to an erk russell style of tough defense. on this we can agree.
it is the approach where i part ways with the decision that has been made. players are much bigger, stronger, and faster than when erk was in charge. the METHODS to make this happen have advanced.
am i to feel good that this “return ” will yield tough minded players like yesteryear. great, i would like to point out that this will yield players of the same size, strength, and speed as yesteryear. they would struggle to compete in the SEC of today.
i read the press conference. we are going to all watch home movies of workouts…..sorry, i nodded off. why don’t they get together and watch the tape series “buns of steel” instead. it has to be more entertaining and just as useful. maybe they could slip in an episode or two of “the dukes of hazard”.
strap in folks, the dawgs have just lost all power and will be settling to the bottom soon.


December 3rd, 2010
3:50 pm

Birmingham or Memphis, really? Who cares. I would prefer Birmingham so I can drive home after the game. Memphrica is such a craphole.

Always next year!

December 3rd, 2010
4:03 pm


December 3rd, 2010
4:06 pm

ugaclassof2004 – Is it inexcusable for a team like Texas to go 5-7? What about UF going 7-5? Or how about Southern Cal going 7-5? It happens guy!

Paul H

December 3rd, 2010
4:07 pm

SC. Just like everyone else on the planet, sick of Auburn and all their BS.


December 3rd, 2010
4:29 pm

Enter your comments here


December 3rd, 2010
4:30 pm

Stop blocking me, AJC.

All I said was Un-Fairley is trash.

It’s a fact.

I’m for any team for which he doesn’t play.

Go Carolina!


December 3rd, 2010
4:39 pm

The mark of an intelligent coach is the realization that something is wrong and needs to change. Bear Bryant had a couple of mediocre years and made a change, and in the process did more to integrate the South than Dr. Martin Luther King (but thats another story). Coach Dooly had a couple of mediocre years and he made changes.

Mark is a smart guy. There are no guarantees in this business, but he is making an effort,and that is really all any of us can expect him to do.

There is no magic potion or panacea to S&C work. It is just staying after it, and when you think you can do no more, go one more time.

I was extremely critical of the decision not to have more than one two a day in the summer. I have coached high school players and many times we would beat a far superior team in the last 5 minutes of the game in that we had prepared in the summer heat to do that, and would not hesitate to practice live tackling in practice if we saw it get sloppy in the game. An old saying that fatigue makes cowards of us all is so true, and it also makes us drop our heads and not wrap up. The solution: be less tired than the other guy.

This stuff is not rocket science, it is just being willing to pay the price. A lot of folks say they are, but don’t.

If Coach T gets after them like he says he will (and has) we will be fine.

Get me Rex Kramer

December 3rd, 2010
4:44 pm

What is this getting whipped in the 4th quarter garbage??? We have been getting our ass kicked the entire 60 minutes.


December 3rd, 2010
5:20 pm

Good thing Bill is a THUGA homer and forgets about all my chop blocking i I do.
Fairley plays dirty, but I play even dirtier. He is too big of a punk to admit it!

long-time dawg

December 3rd, 2010
5:31 pm

I seem to remember that the Dawgs did not bring Erk Russell back to replace Dooley because Erk was considered to be too old(school). We went with youth(Goff)instead. Joe T. is used, but he ain’t used up. Give him his due, and a chance.


December 3rd, 2010
5:40 pm

nick farley for president.


December 3rd, 2010
5:41 pm

Georgia can still go 6-7. Now that is a good thought.


December 3rd, 2010
5:52 pm

Why do UGA fans want Cam/Auburn to be guilty?

Peter Piper Picked A Sausage

December 3rd, 2010
6:00 pm

(((42-34))) LOL…

It’s natural to want new blood in the program, but it sounds like all the Assistant Coaches supported this move. I think it will be good for Georgia.


December 3rd, 2010
6:01 pm

@75-76-DAWG Why would Cam leave for the NFL? Do you really think he’d take a pay cut?