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?

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130 comments Add your comment

Mobile Dawg

December 3rd, 2010
6:28 pm

War Eagle, bring home another Crystal Trophy. Bill, looks like it really doesn’t matter what we think, we’re going to get what Richt gives us. Hopefully an improvement on the football field.


December 3rd, 2010
6:38 pm

I am a hardcore UGA DAWG, but I have to say go WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would rather see two SEC teams in the BCS than one. My reasoning is simple, just to show the nation that the SEC is the toughest conference.


December 3rd, 2010
6:54 pm

Never in my life did I expect to pull for the Evil Genious but I will die a happy man if the Auburn Scumbags lose every game they play, both before and after they get the death penalty. And c’mon Bill, who cares if that means Birmingham instead of Memphis? Both places suck.

@ What? @ 5:52 PM

December 3rd, 2010
6:57 pm

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

Because they ARE guilty and we want to see justice served. Next stupid question?

@ Always next year! @ 12:54 PM

December 3rd, 2010
7:05 pm

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

So you’re giving UGA and 59. I’m willing to take that bet for $100K, even if I have to cash in my 401(k). You in?

Auburn 82

December 3rd, 2010
7:43 pm

Man, I cannot believe UGA fans would not pull for Auburn. We always pull for the Gym Dawgs…you guys rock at girls gymnastics!!

O Bama

December 3rd, 2010
8:17 pm

Coaching genius Mark Richt may take you to 7-5 or even 8-4 occasionally, but Florida will still win the SEC, meaning no BCS bowls and no top 10 final ranking. Most years, UGA will be extremely lucky to finish in the top 25, and only after a big bowl win over a nobody opponent.

It’s a different world now, and Dawg fans need to adjust their expectations downward to reflect reality.

Unfortunately nothing is going to change until UGA changes its mediocre coaching. That’s where the difference is, and that’s why everyone outside Dawg 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, to name two 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.

Harry the Hat

December 3rd, 2010
8:20 pm

“So you’re giving UGA and 59. I’m willing to take that bet for $100K, even if I have to cash in my 401(k). You in?”

Just wait a few months. The line will probably increase.

tide roll

December 3rd, 2010
8:36 pm

Richt loves letting these so-called “problems” fester. There are two ways to stay on the $ 2.8 million dollar gravy train, One is to compete to the fullest and win, the other is to constantlly rebuild, Whether its a redshirt freshman quarterback that has to mature, a 3-4 defensive scheme that the guys just can’t seem to pick up, or the latest, a strength and conditioning program in need of repair. Richt stays on the “Train”, Whether its beating Florida and competing for an SEC title, or the easier option, and Richt’s preference, creating problems that shouldn’t be there, Either way, Richt stays on the $2.8 gravy train. Don’t Uga fans sense that they’re being played?


December 3rd, 2010
8:47 pm

I sound like Richt is doing the Liz Taylor thing. Marry the Devil you alread know. RICHT is a FOOL and he must love to eat Leftovers. Hiring Joe T Jr is like reusing a condom. It may work for a few drives but it will bust under real pressure.


December 3rd, 2010
8:54 pm




December 3rd, 2010
9:07 pm

Mathdawg stop crying you lil Bitc. Hershel Walker was paid by UGA 30 years ago. Get over it or prove it. The SEC is the bigger JOKE than the NCAA. I guess every HOT 18 year old will be a GOLD DIGGER because the best Piece of A.s should always pimp herself for money no matter what the man is like.

Dawg Tired

December 3rd, 2010
9:54 pm

Are you kidding me!!! Fire the fricking weight lifting coach and act like everything is great now???!!!!…he didn’t recruit a bunch of light hitting no tacking D backs…He didn’t waste a season on Joe Cox…He doesn’t decide NOT to rush punts, field goals or extra points…he doesn’t take a damn knee with 25 seconds to go in the half when he’s down by 14…he doesn’t get 14 points up in a game and decide to quit being aggressive on offense and Defense…I’ll like Mark Richt when he finally drops a pair and can square up with Urban Meyer or Les Miles or Nick Saban without having his ass handed to him every year..Lets move on… at least when this bunch of break even season disgraces to the Bull Dawg Heritage lose to UCF in the Elvis Bowl we won’t know what to expect next year except that it couldn’t possibly be worse. I’ll bet even Money that Chris Petersen and Boise St beat Mark Richt in the first game straight up…who wants some of that????


December 3rd, 2010
10:06 pm

I like the move, but the question remains- can Grantham turn around the mess and complete lack of talent that Willie Martinez left in time to save Richt’s job?
We’ve scored 30 points 7 straight games; had never had more than 4. Doesn’t matter when you suck on defense


December 3rd, 2010
10:07 pm

Dawg Tired what is Bull Dawg Heritage? I the 1980-82?


December 3rd, 2010
10:08 pm

Who and what D did the Dawgs score more than 40 against?


December 3rd, 2010
10:14 pm

Stars Mill looks like they are going to beat Tucker.


December 4th, 2010
1:02 am

I grew up in Columbus, and heard Wah eagle all my life ( to the point I just wanted to puke ) and , I guess after this year ,I’ve discovered a new found hatred for these folks that has surfaced that I just did’nt realize that was so deep-seated in me , I mean I just can’t stand ‘em. Pl
ease let ‘em win win the whole ball of wax so it can be taken away from them


December 4th, 2010
2:47 am

I can’t believe any of you guys would pull for someone that throws flea flickers in the 4 th quater in sanford stadium with a minute to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!How stupid can you people be?


December 4th, 2010
2:57 am

I know this is off topic but one more jab at Cam Newton.
A friend of mines daughter got caught with friends that had broken into someone house and thrown a party.She did not know they didn’t have permission to be in this house. She had to pay over $2000 for damages to the house and 100 hours of community service,along with all the other teen agers. She was guilty by association and CAM NEWTON IS TOO.
MATHDAWG, I agree that the NCAA just screwed up and every top recruit will let their father or mother negotiate the terms for the recruit signing to go to a particular school as long as the recruit doesn’t know what’s going on. This precedence will come back to bite the NCAA in the rear end.


December 4th, 2010
6:48 am

Hey Flat Tire in I-95 in Jacksonville-
Amen! Agree to everything you have always been saying. The thug ghetto dancing, classless celebrations, dreadlock, off-field foolishness, and lack of heart and character is at the root of the players’ problems. And the lack of top-tier coaching talent is at the root of the staff problems. Nothing significant will change under the current regime. Sorry y’all, just sayin’………………


December 4th, 2010
7:43 am

As much as I hate Newton, Fairley and Chizek – I dont want to see the SEC’s string of national champions broken. Go SEC and bite my lip, go war eagle

Richard Simmons

December 4th, 2010
7:54 am

That David Pollack is a Hunk ! Carrot sticks or cucumbers anyone?

Dawg Tired

December 4th, 2010
9:29 am

WE BULL DAWG FANS ARE BEING PLAYED!!! Terseshinski…didn’t we already waste a season on him as quarterback.???Changing the strength and conditioning coach is like changing the frickin trainer…. OK guys we have a new trainer…now what…. we play the same effortless light hitten no wrappin bunch of thug wannabes (RAMBO)…we don’t make adjustments until halftime…”we run the same predictable offense…”we are going to run a quarterback sneak on 4th and 1 on the goal line 3 times in a row see if you can stop us”…and they do.. …Thats why Richt called a timeout against Tech on the goal line he knew Bobo was running another predictable call up the middle. He finally pitched to Ealy around the end and he walked in…besides isn’t Tershinski he like the Joe Cox of strength and conditioning…


December 4th, 2010
9:51 am

Well, it appears we’ll be subjected to the frustrated ramblings of Dawg fans(?) disappointed that they didn’t get their Christmas wish of Mark Richt’s (or Bobo’s or Grantham’s) head on a platter.

I would be more upset if we weren’t doing something. Either CMR is taking the initative or McGarity has identified this problem or CMR has been reading these boards.

It’s good for CMR to show recruits that he’s not happy with 6-6 and he’s being proactive in trying to remedy the situation. We may not know all the variables involved in this situation which dictated hiring from in-house versus going outside for the solution. It may or may not have been entirely CMR’s decision.

Ted M

December 4th, 2010
9:56 am

Was Dave Van Halanger fired or I guess demoted or something else?

Ted M

December 4th, 2010
9:57 am

Bill King tells what this new technology is that is being brought in.

Golden Nest Egg

December 4th, 2010
11:17 am

Cam’ dad won’t receive the money now. It’s an IOU. That is, Feds won’t be able to trace this money until 10-15 years from now. That’s when the payment will be made. And, it will be more than $180,000.

Cam will sign NFL; make his money; support his dad/mom for now; then, Cam Senior will cash in.


Dawg Tired

December 4th, 2010
11:39 am

Since when does the Coach get to say when/if he comes back?? Dawgnation will never get any relief until we get a new coach>>SOS same ole…

Dawg Tired

December 4th, 2010
11:49 am

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