Which coaching pair is better: UGA’s Marks or Tech’s Pauls?

One of Tech's Pauls, one of Georgia's Marks. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Saints marching in? Tech's Paul Johnson, Georgia's Mark Richt. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Four men, all named after saints. Two led their respective teams to conference championships in their second seasons. One played for a national championship in his fourth season. The other has been in place a little over a year and has stirred enthusiasm where none existed.

For Georgia, two Marks: Richt coaches football, Fox basketball.

For Georgia Tech, two Pauls: Johnson coaches football, Hewitt basketball.

For you, one question: Which pair would you rather have?

It’s not an easy call: Johnson just took his Jackets to the ACC championship, and Hewitt’s Jackets just played for the ACC title. Richt’s Bulldogs haven’t graced the SEC title game since 2005, and Fox’s Hounds — sorry, still can’t resist — finished last in the SEC East.

Were I picking the best pure coach of the four, I’d pick Johnson. Were I picking the coach who has known the most sustained success at the highest level, I’d pick Richt. But that’s not today’s exercise.

Think of this as an alternate-shot tournament in golf. If you take PJ of GT, you also have to take Hewitt. And the same on the Georgia side: If you choose Fox, you have to take Richt. And that said …

Which is the more dynamic duo?

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I’d pick the two Marks over the two Pauls.

I’d pick the Marks because I believe Richt’s team is about to get really good again, and I’m not sure Hewitt’s ever will. And, as noted yesterday, I like what Fox is doing with Georgia. (He’s already 1-0 against the Jackets.)

But that’s just me, and I’ve been known to be wrong. And this isn’t as much about me as about you. So here’s your chance.

On Election Day, please cast your vote. And just this once, ticket-splitting is not allowed.

391 comments Add your comment

Angus

July 20th, 2010
8:30 am

light fuse, get away

FalconUGAFan

July 20th, 2010
8:35 am

Objective Dawg

July 20th, 2010
8:37 am

As I Georgia fan, I’ve always had a lot of respect for Paul Johnson. He’s been wildly successful everywhere he’s been. However, over the past year or so I’ve lost respect for him. He seems to be a sore loser and just a d*ckhead in general. I don’t mean this as a jab at Tech fans. I’m just being honest. Paul Hewitt gets the nod over Mark Fox right now simply because of his accomplishments.

As always, Go Dawgs….

quinn

July 20th, 2010
8:39 am

One SEC title= 3 ACC titles. When Gaileys recruits are all gone CPJ program will suffer. We run this state.

Waterboy

July 20th, 2010
8:40 am

I’ll take Richt. I like an offense that knows how to pass, and one that plays in a competitive conference.

Waterboy

July 20th, 2010
8:42 am

Basketball, well I think that boils down to potential. Hewitt is in decline, and Fox is on the rise.

dagnabit

July 20th, 2010
8:42 am

I’ll always take Paul Johnson so I’ll just choke on Blewitt. Richt and Fox really are a good combo.

Forsyth Dawg

July 20th, 2010
8:43 am

If you don’t vote Tech, Johnson will punch you in the face! Look, we all know that both UGA programs are on the upswing. Get used to losing, Techies.

coach

July 20th, 2010
8:43 am

UGA’s have more class and are better coaches.

Win /win !

GTPhenom

July 20th, 2010
8:45 am

I’m avoiding any side with Hewitt on it. Richt and Johnson are close enough to be a wash. Fox is significantly better than the $7 million man at Tech. It pains me to write that.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 20th, 2010
8:46 am

Johnson has been a winner at many different places, but this is Richt’s first head job. Richt has done great, but with the talent he gets the dawgs should be better. Give CJP that many 4-5 star recruits and I promise CJP would have a MNC and probably play for championships regularly.

Eastman Jacket

July 20th, 2010
8:46 am

I would take the guy who has actually won national championships – Paul Johnson. He knows what it takes to be the best around your competition. He won the ACC in his 2nd try. He will be playing for a national championship before any of the other guys will.

It is like playing 2 on 2 and one of the guys is the Michael Jordan of the 3 championships. Doesn’t matter who the second guy is. Johnson for the win…….swoosh!

RomeDawg

July 20th, 2010
8:47 am

The two Mark’s in a landslide. Not really a comparison on the football side. If I were starting a high school program, I would take Paul “Man Boobs” Johnson. Richt is a helluva coach who has never brought a moment’s shame to our program. Johnson does for Tech by sight alone. What a slob! Hewitt’s time is done, we all know it, just a matter of time. Is there a team on the rise faster than UGA’s basketball program.

Eisendawg

July 20th, 2010
8:48 am

Mark, How do you dream these columns up? I’ve got one for you- How about: “who do we think is the best AJC blog writer”? lol

Nope

July 20th, 2010
8:49 am

Can I mix and Match??? I will take CPJ and Fox, and the Dawgs can have Hewitt. Seriously, I mean that.

Mark Bradley

July 20th, 2010
8:49 am

I probably should recuse myself from the voting, given that my first name is … well, you know.

randallsdad

July 20th, 2010
8:51 am

(Full Disclosure – UGA Grad) I’ll never change my position that PJ panicked at the end of the UGA game last year with, was it three deeeeeep passes in a row, when there was time to just run the offense and get into position to throw it in the end zone from 20-25 yards, not 50. Marks all the way!!!!!!!!!

F-105 Thunderchief

July 20th, 2010
8:51 am

Marks. Though the football Paul could very well be better, though not by a lot. The basketball Mark is miles better than his counterpart.

Mark Bradley

July 20th, 2010
8:51 am

Nope, Nope. No mix-and-match. That would be too easy.

Be Nice ...

July 20th, 2010
8:53 am

Come on RomeDawg, do we need to put your muzzle back on? lol

Mark, this is a good one! I’ll take the Mark’s without a second thought. I have always admired and followed Paul Johnson since he was in Statesboro. Paul has graduated from the B-team to varsity, but @ Tech and the ACC he is still playing AAA ball … Georgia …. AAAAA.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, J. Stansbucket. J. Stansbucket said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Which pair of coaches is better: #UGA's Marks (Richt and Fox) or #GT's Pauls (Johnson and Hewitt)? http://bit.ly/aIQN2F [...]

Pi$$onaDawg

July 20th, 2010
8:53 am

RomeDawg did you see the photo of Stacy Sorrils(?) and the recruit? Richt has 1 head coaching job at 1 school and he has been OK in the SEC east. Johnson was won every place he coached and that was not easy at Navy. Put Richt and staff at say Kentucky and do you really think Richt would have won anything and had a job after 9 years?

Josh Kinsey

July 20th, 2010
8:54 am

MB is just wanting a message board fight.

So I will help him, and select the pair from UGA.

Mostly because coach fox can still dunk

Paul in RDU

July 20th, 2010
8:54 am

As a GT fan I have to go with the 2 Marks. Johnson vs Richt is essentially a wash – they are both good fits with their respective schools. Although Fox has only been at UGA a short while and so the jury is still out, he did have a good record at Nevada and he has made great strides in recruiting and in energizing the fan base. The obvious weak link of the 4 is Hewitt. In 10 years at GT he has had a winning record in the ACC regular season only once. He couldn’t get a winning conference record in a down year with a lottery pick and another 1st rounder. I foresee continuing mediocrity until DRad finds the money to buy him out.

destin dawg

July 20th, 2010
8:55 am

Paul Johnson is a winner everywhere he’s been .. I wish Tech good luck in all games but one and I like to see our Ga. talent stay in State… We don’t play in the same conference.. so there’s no need to hate.. ACC is not as strong as SEC.. Mark Richt is the best FB coach on the planet, (except maybe Saban)… who is too intense to be around on a daily basis.. UGA FB and BB are both on an upswing !!!!! Go Dawgs !!!

Mark Bradley

July 20th, 2010
8:59 am

The ability to dunk is no small consideration, Josh Kinsey.

SEC Fan

July 20th, 2010
8:59 am

Unless you are a extremely biased UGA fan, you have to take the Pauls just because of Johnson. The man is probably the best pure football coach in the country.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 20th, 2010
9:01 am

Paul Johnson can DUNK like a MAD MAN. Have you seen him with a box of KrespeCremes and a Mug-o-Joe?

gadawgs

July 20th, 2010
9:02 am

Mark- I’ll take the Mark’s hands down. Richt winning two SEC Championships trumps Johnson’s one ACC Championship. It would take multiple and I mean multiple ACC Cupcake Championships for CPJ to match CMR’s two. Put Johnson in the SEC and he would lose three/four per on average. In regards to Fox vs. Hewitt this is also a slam dunk. Yes Hewitt took Tech to the Final Four but he has followed that up with NOTHING. Fox is a better coach and looks like he can recruit too. Fox’s program is on the rise and Hewitt’s is standing still or even on the decline. Nice topic on Elecction Tuesday. I don’t always agree with your points Mark but I enjoy you columns and blogs. Keep it up.

Rodney Dangerfield

July 20th, 2010
9:03 am

Paul Johnson doesn’t need the backing of a football factory to win. He doesn’t need a squad of 4-5 star recruits to win. He wins with 2-3 star recruits with a few 4 stars sprinkled in. Ole man boobs like so many haters like to call him put one over in Athens two seasons ago. People call him a big meany just because he says what he thinks and does not give you coachspeak. I like how Paul Johnson handles himself much better than the guy over in Athens who prays before he lays in his tanning bed.

Mark Fox and Paul Hewitt is a toss up. One seems bogged down in mediocrity yet has achieved a NC game appearance and one has done absolutely nothing other than talk big and look good in pictures.

Fox?

July 20th, 2010
9:04 am

Please call back when Mark Fox accomplishes something. The last place trophy is not impressing anyone yet.

Mark Bradley

July 20th, 2010
9:04 am

Have you ever seen the last-place trophy? It’s very handsome.

Paul in RDU

July 20th, 2010
9:04 am

This column got me thinking – which pair of coaches would I take up here in the Triangle. I would have to go for Butch and Ole Roy (2 coaches who have built NC teams) with K and Cut 2nd and O’Brien and Lowe bringing up the rear

JB

July 20th, 2010
9:04 am

Both Marks lead in head to head and I don’t see that ever changing and frankly getting more slanted to UGA with each passing year.

IT’s frankly, a no brainer.

HBTD!!!

Mark Bradley

July 20th, 2010
9:05 am

That’s always my intent, Paul in RDU. To stimulate thinking.

Or maybe not. But you would have to go with the Tar Heel twosome, would you not?

Michael Scharff

July 20th, 2010
9:07 am

The two Marks by a landslide!

Soulja Boy

July 20th, 2010
9:09 am

I am with Richt because he believes he is a saint.

woowoo

July 20th, 2010
9:09 am

What does HBTD mean?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 20th, 2010
9:11 am

Tech argument-

CPJ gets more out of less, so he has to be better than CMR

What about Paul Hewitt? The cat gets McDonald’s All Americans and still falls on his face.

Give me BOTH Marks in the debate! CMR has been the model of consistency in the toughest conference in the Nation for a decade now.

dap01

July 20th, 2010
9:11 am

Not even the most rabit Tech fan would pick the Pauls over the Marks.

Paul in RDU

July 20th, 2010
9:12 am

I’d definitely have to go with the Tar Heel twosome – in fact I’d go with them over the 2 Marks and the 2 Pauls – or any combination of the 4 of them.
Ole Roy has 2 NC’s and Butch built the UM team that won for Coker in his first season.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 20th, 2010
9:12 am

H-ow

B-out

T-hem

D-awgs

JB

July 20th, 2010
9:13 am

Ding!!!!

HBTD!!!

Mark Bradley

July 20th, 2010
9:15 am

I thought HBTD had something to do with television. But maybe I got that wrong.

meh

July 20th, 2010
9:16 am

I’d go with the Marks. UGA is better and always will be.

jay dawg

July 20th, 2010
9:17 am

Bradley, your obvious GT bias is highly apparent in your ranking Johnson as the best of the 4. Richt had more success in his first 2 years on the job at UGA than Johnson has had at GT. Just what makes Johnson better than Richt as a pure coach? The fact that he runs a gimmick offense that will crash and burn in 2 years? Ask any college football coach in the country and they’d tell you that Richt is the better of the 2 coaches on the field. Now Johnson definitely has a bigger mouth but that doesn’t make him a better coach, it just makes Richt the more wise one.

Mark Bradley

July 20th, 2010
9:18 am

My obvious Tech bias is indeed showing, jay dawg: Otherwise why would I pick the two Georgia coaches as the better pair?

Barry from Eastenders

July 20th, 2010
9:23 am

Eastman Jacket — Kudos, keep ‘em coming brother, keep ‘em coming. That is good stuff. Unfortunately, I sprayed coffee all over my keyboard, but the belly laugh was worth it.

Out of curiosity though, did that comedy gold spring from a bottle or a pipe?

Dan

July 20th, 2010
9:24 am

I think it’s a tough argument to make that UGA’s football team is on the upswing. The results belie that position. On the other hand, it’s easy to argue that UGA’s hoops team is improving.

Similarly, while Johnson has only been at Tech for two years, the program is improving and will continue to be good regardless of what anyone says about Gailey’s recruits. On the other hand, Hewitt’s program seems to struggle given the talent he’s had on hand.

In my opinion, Mark Fox and Paul Johnson are very similar in that they maximize the talent they have. Mark Richt and Paul Hewitt seem to ride the talent they have but as soon as they face a team with similar talent, they lose. It suggests that Richt and Hewitt are good at accumulating talent but not so good at coaching it.

Biff Pocoroba

July 20th, 2010
9:24 am

Paul Hewitt drags the Tech coaches down to the bottom of the ACC, SEC, and Southern conference. Since he got the lifetime contract, he doesn’t care anymore and this year’s team will be worse than two years ago since he forgot to recruit a big man and had to search on craig’s list for one this summer.