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.”

ROCK, MEET HARD PLACE

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

1eyedJack

December 3rd, 2010
10:43 am

I’m da man?

dawg73

December 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

I’M PULLING FOR THE OLD BALL COACH !!! AT LEAST THEY WIN WITH CLASS , AND YOU CAN BET A DIRTY PLAYER ON HIS TEAM WOULD BE WATCHING THE GAME , NOT PLAYING IN IT !!!

hammerhead

December 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

I’ve never been first!

bigtimedawgfan

December 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

First! and thanks for the info!

hammerhead

December 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

And, I still haven’t…. dangit.

bigtimedawgfan

December 3rd, 2010
10:46 am

damn shouldnt have read the article first. haha

1eyedJack

December 3rd, 2010
10:47 am

You snooze..you lose.

Eat and Tweet

December 3rd, 2010
10:51 am

Nutrition is also a key in our S & C program. Beer and pizza consumption needs to come to a complete halt The culture for our student atheletes need to change if UGA wants to win championships. Hard nosed coaching and motivating wins. Coddling players breeds softness plus excuses and that is what the Dawgs have become.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

December 3rd, 2010
10:52 am

Bill

This program has been codled into the I need motivation to play a UGA

Stupid uniform changes
Dancing on the field
Beard Growing

I wonder what will be next

Bryan

December 3rd, 2010
10:56 am

I like the move….as always good stuff Bill!

IC or Bust

December 3rd, 2010
11:00 am

We need a RB. Caleb Queen and Ealey are below average SEC RB’s. Go find us a RB.

hornblowermg

December 3rd, 2010
11:00 am

i remember when Stanfill and Patton planted spurrier time and again on a Sat. afternoon in Jacksonville. auburn’s criminal element players and their sissy, classless coaches and athletic supporters must have unlimited finances to be able to influence those administrators who make decisions regarding discipline for college football. it is time for the NFL to develop a farm league like major league baseball and send college football to the status of “club competition”. as the situation stands now, the only real competition in college football is who has the premier “satchel man”. and with that said, it is time to send Rodney Garner and his priorities for recruits out the door and over to Auburn where he belongs.

egeagle

December 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

The fiery old-school approach will work as long as some new methods are infused. Erk’s way, as with Tereshinski and Kasay, can engender a toughness and edge that wins games late rather than fade. New exercises and techniques will work just fine if the players have the proper work ethic and mind set to be tough. One of the things that made me a Dawg fan in my early years was the idea that the Junkyard Dawgs would fight you for every blade of grass on the field. That’s how they handled Fla, always filled with great athletes, so often in the old days.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

December 3rd, 2010
11:04 am

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by UGA Alum Charleston, SupaE , Tim Tucker, Gordo, AJC Junkyard Blawg and others. AJC Junkyard Blawg said: Richt’s latest move: Fans debate ‘old school’ vs. ‘new blood’ http://bit.ly/fRexPm [...]

Zoomie

December 3rd, 2010
11:07 am

“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.”

If this is what this change brings to the table, I’m 100% behind it!

I think folks are getting a little off track with this selection. These older guys are quite capable of learning, understanding, and implementing modern S&C practices. The strength or weakness of this change resides in the leadership these guys bring to the program, not the methods. Not knowing Tereshinki or Kasay, I can’t comment on their leadership abilities. Time will tell, and I’m still willing to give Richt, McGarity, Tereshinki and Kasay the benefit of the doubt.

NOOGA DAWG

December 3rd, 2010
11:09 am

Love the move, now bring on the pain !!!!

NOBODYYOUKNOW

December 3rd, 2010
11:11 am

Its gonna take it all. Good coaching, hard training, great recruits, dedication and patience. But it will get done.

Ed

December 3rd, 2010
11:12 am

Bill, the SEC will still get two BCS games. If Auburn loses, they’ll go to the Orange.

ICMII

December 3rd, 2010
11:16 am

Screw Auburn!! Go Chickens!! And for an evil genius, Steve Spurrier is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

dawgfacedboy

December 3rd, 2010
11:18 am

One by one the scapegoats are being eliminated. He still has about 3 more coaches he can replace before he’s out of excuses.

Abnerish

December 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

Is there a way to have BOTH teams lose? Where’s that Ga Dome tornado when you need it?

1eyedJack

December 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

If he’s got Pollack’s endorsement I’m on board with it. DGDs, both of ‘em.

Bo

December 3rd, 2010
11:21 am

I have no idea if the move to Tereshinski will work out and neither do most people posting on blogs. However, I can comment on people saying that ‘reshuffling chairs’ in the S&C program is a failure in an of itself.

Our company has a concept that every employee is on a bus and the bus is headed to where we want to go. Our job as managers of people is to make sure that the right people are on the bus and those people are in the correct “seats”. We have had several employees who we determined were the right people to be on our bus but were not succeeding in their current role. We made those people some of our best employees by moving them to a different seat.

Absolutely, this move could be a failure. However, maybe Joe T will kick some butt and oversee an excellent program…and possibly, Van Halanger will be able to offer some guidance and mentoring to some of Georgia’s players. As a Dawg fan, I certainly hope so.

Dbalcer

December 3rd, 2010
11:27 am

I think the strength and conditioning move is a good one especially since DAWG greats Robinson and Pollack are on board with it. I am rooting for SC because of Fairley and the whole Newton taint. In the past if you had asked me if I would ever root for Spurrier I would have said no way but this Saturday I am.

azdawg

December 3rd, 2010
11:27 am

This is a SURPRISE move. Would have thought if Richt even replaced Coach Van that it would be w/someone outside the inner circle but then Coach T is a firey type of guy as can be seen on the side lines during games. You have to like that and it does fire up players. If he performs anything like Erk Russel he’ll get the guys in shape. Recall Freddie Gilbert in 1980 saying before the FL game Erk made his Def players run the entire week before the game. Come the 4th qtr they were not gassed but FL was and of course we won that game. However, other than playing experience, has Coach T kept abreast of S&C? He has the right mind set but does he have the knowledge other than the bull in a china closet approach? I believe it will be lets wait and see if GA players profit from this move and get in better shape.

Then again maybe this was a token move by CMR to appease the fan base and maybe backfire on him like the hiring of Grantham to run the defense which has been a total failure.

Supes

December 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

I would take a lower bowl to see Auburn get knocked out of the NCG.

Even though I don’t like Darth Visor at all…I respect South Carolina and what they’ve been able to accomplish in a SEC East down year…which GA did not…they seized their opportunity and finally got to Atlanta…something that people thought was impossible with FLA/Tenn/GA being the traditional SEC East favorites.

Auburn will be found out for the cheating dirty paper tigers that they are…their coach is a sell out classless person…no way will this GA fan be cheering for Auburn ever again. (ironically before this year I’ve always respected Auburn and have cheered for them in the past when they represented the SEC in bowl games and such) but never again.

Lets hope that South Carolina will somehow find a way to end this travesty and send Sham and co home packing with a loss.

H-Town Dawg

December 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

I don’t think Joe T is a bad decision, but i do think we need younger blood in our S&C program. We need to do what the Falcons did and go and get a top MMA trainer to add to our S&C program. This will bring toughness and a junk yard dawg mentality as well as great conditioning. Get a JC nose guard for our defense and Isaiah Crowell at tailback and we will see improvement.

Will

December 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

Bill, two SEC teams are going to make BCS bowls no matter what. If SC wins, they go to the Sugar Bowl and Auburn will get an at-large bid. In fact, Arkansas may even have an outside chance at sneaking in one as well if they’re still in the BCS top 7.

what of it?

December 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

So we’re promoting from within? That should bring some new perspective. Great idea from the old brass. Let’s make sure we keep the legacies around b/c Tereshinski III didn’t cost us a QB problem and scholarship at all, and Bobo’s done such a nice job as a legacy as well. Maybe we can bring in Quincy Carter for quarterback coach.

BULLDOG

December 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

Are you crazy. Ealey is a good SEC back. He is only a sophmore and had more TDs than AJ green this year.

DawginLex

December 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

Why does http://www.cfn/scout.com continue to show us going to Atlanta to play FSU in the Chicken Bowl?

Are we even on their radar?

1eyedJack

December 3rd, 2010
11:41 am

Speaking of MMA, now would be a good time to bring Herschel back into the fold. He’d have them doing ballet and karate and kicking bootay. Depending on which of his personalities showed up that day. ;)

RealDawg

December 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

Please take a look at what the Falcons are doing. Have you seen their injuries compared to the other teams in the NFL? Have you noticed how many games they have pulled away in the 4th quarter or come back? A huge part is their new approach to training and fitness.

Supes

December 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

Ealey is a good SEC back. He is only a sophmore and had more TDs than AJ green this year.

**********************************

Key fumbles aside…Ealey is a good SEC Back but he’s not great. He lacks that top gear and the ability to run over people when needed.

Greg

December 3rd, 2010
11:52 am

The SEC is going to get 2 teams in the BCS regardless of the outcome tomorrow. If Auburn loses, SC goes to the Sugar. Do you not think an 11-1 Auburn team would still get a BCS bowl bid? I think so.

Arkansas is the team that’s really pulling for Auburn tomorrow. Doesn’t matter nearly as much to other SEC schools.

Dawg Fud

December 3rd, 2010
11:53 am

Re: SECCG

I just want to see a good game. May the best team win.

And for the record, I have always liked Spurrier. I think he’s great. Would love the opportunity to play 18 holes with him and pick his brain.

Dawg Fud

December 3rd, 2010
11:55 am

Supes,

a RB should have more TD’s than a receiver regardless of age or talent. Any team worth its salt is able to run the ball effectively in the red zone or goal line.

Dawg Fud

December 3rd, 2010
11:55 am

Greg,

if you don’t win your conference championship, how do you advance to the title game?

Walter

December 3rd, 2010
11:56 am

Here’s the thing.

1) Richt’s won 96 games in 10 seasons, he makes excellent decisions
2) Richt said in his own book, Strength & Conditioning was the foundation for a footballl program, so he knows how important this is
3) Richt needs to build more aggressive guys around him to balance his calm & steady style in leadership roles–especially when you’re trying to get guys to be maniacs about S & C
4) Coach VH is in a better fit for his strengths too–which have always been mentoring
5) With all the off-the-field arrests lately, Coach VH focuses 100% on teaching character/ethics, makes a lot of sense. Discipline ON the field corrsepsponds to discipline OFF the field.
6) Richt, by making this S & C move, gets 2 guys who share his values, but bring a tougher style to the S & C program.

You don’t need new “techniques”, you need the right mentality.

Barry

December 3rd, 2010
11:57 am

Interceptions and poor red zone play, and poor play on 3rd downs, and in the fourth quarter, aside from that, Murray’s a decent QB.

Barry

December 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

Going wiht Richt and Pollack on this one.

Those 2 know a lot more about what needs to be done, than bloggers & writers.

UGA Alumnus

December 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

Auburn is a great team. We should have beat SC. Why would I pull for an inferior team to win the SEC? I’m expecting Auburn to win another national title for the SEC.

War Eagle, and…

Go Dawgs!!!

we'll see....

December 3rd, 2010
12:03 pm

well, as usual the disneydawgs are proclaiming this the second coming of erk.

i think if richt hired kim jong il or osama as a coach, they would be proclaiming georgia’s return to greatness.

if richt stuck with van halanger, they would talk about how every coach has a “down period” and that
the “true fans” are being patient with the greatest coach in the history of georgia football (even though he hasn’t won a MNC…..)

as for me, I say wait and see. CMR continues to circle the wagons around a fort that is burning from the inside out. while rome burns, he plays his fiddle….the disneydawgs swoon, and he collects his millions.

in december 2011, we’ll know a little bit more about whether or not this worked. till then, it’s all conjecture.

Jackson

December 3rd, 2010
12:04 pm

Ealey averages more yards per carry than Marcus Lattimore. And Ealey averages almost 7 ypc in the 4th quarter, which is crazy, his conditioning is excellent. Ealey’s 11 td’s were big, especially on 13 carries a game.

The Mole

December 3rd, 2010
12:13 pm

The 4th Quarter will never be a problemwith Joe T. and John C.. leading the conditioning.The team will be looking forward to the 4th Quarter. That is when we have fun.

75-76-DAWG

December 3rd, 2010
12:14 pm

If Tereshinski will bring back discipline to our football team then I’m all for this hire. The problem UGA has is everybody is trying to be the “COOL PARENT”. Somebody has got to be the the disciplinarian and CMR is too busy adjusting his designer sun glasses.

UGAgrad71

December 3rd, 2010
12:16 pm

Boy am I old! Was a grad student at UGA when Joe T II was playing. It does not matter what you weigh when you hit the field if you are a marshmellow and the other guy is a rock.

DAWGS forever

December 3rd, 2010
12:16 pm

Nutrition is also a key to the SC program. This is not a bad move but is it the best? I am more at ease with 47 and 5 being on board but a little skeptical.

I am old school by the way. But admit the game has progressed so much from Dooley’s days. Look at some old film of games. WOW.

Here is one hoping this turns out to be a great move… just not sure now….Go DAWGS!

mountainman

December 3rd, 2010
12:24 pm

Richt could take the greatest conditioned players in the country and still coach out a marginal winning season!!! How about a “Coaching for Dummies” mentor (Admin. Asst.) to help him, and he needs to quit wearing those “rose-colored” glasses for pete’s sake!!!!!!!!!!!!