There was a reason I didn’t include Bud Foster on my silly little list of defensive-coordinating candidates a while back: I didn’t think he’d leave Virginia Tech for Georgia. And I, for one of the few times in my silly little life, have been proved right.
I figure Bud Foster’s next job is head coach of the Hokies. Frank Beamer is 63 and can’t go on forever. (Then again, weren’t we saying as much about Joe Paterno back in the 1860’s?) I figure a man as accomplished as Foster didn’t need the glitz of the SEC to prove himself. And apparently Foster sees it the same way, seeing as how he just re-upped to stay at VPI. (We oldsters recall when the school in Blacksburg was known as the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.)
But say this for Mark Richt: If you’re going to hire a new DC, Bud Foster’s a mighty good place to start. You never know: He might say yes and your problems are solved. And even if he says no, you’ve sent up a flare that you’re serious about upgrading. It also says you’re willing to step outside your circle of influence — the Bowden/FSU circle — and hire somebody not because you knew him when but because he’s good at what he does.
Georgia isn’t without clout in this search. It can pay big money. (Maybe not Monte Kiffin money — meaning $1.5 million to work for his mouthy son — but big nonetheless.) There’s no reason a program with such resources trying to make do with a substandard coordinator, which is why Willie Martinez is out of a job. There are better coaches out there.
Bud Foster would have been a Big Get, but there are Good Gets still to be had. Kirby Smart would be one, but I don’t think he’ll leave Alabama. Ellis Johnson would be one, but I’m not sure he’ll leave South Carolina. (And Tyrone Nix, who’s a hot name, just spurned Florida to stay at Ole Miss.) But as long as Richt keeps talking to the right guys, he’ll find someone who’ll say yes soon enough.
Were I a Georgia fan, I’d be disappointed the pursuit of Foster didn’t bear fruit. But I’d be more encouraged that Richt saw fit to pursue Foster in the first place.