Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo held a teleconference call with reporters on Thursday. And while the information he shared (more on that later) was interesting and useful, just the fact he was holding a teleconference was the most intriguing thing for me.
Bobo, 34, has kind of quietly become the star coach of head coach Mark Richt’s staff and his rise to his current status therein has been meteoric.
We all took notice when Stacy Searels and Rodney Garner turned down lucrative job offers at other institutions to remain at Georgia. Richt promptly rewarded those coaches’ loyalty with substantial raises for this coming season. Searels got a $54,600 bump and Garner $36,699. Linebackers coach John Jancek, who was recently named co-defensive coordinator after turning down a job at South Florida, will probably receive similar treatment in coming weeks.
But lost in all that was the fact that Bobo received a $57,500 raise. Now only defensive coordinator Willie Martinez makes more than Bobo’s $335,000 salary. Just to be sure I asked Bobo Thursday whether he’d had an interview or entertained a job offer after last season that we hadn’t heard about. “I did not,” he said.
So that got me to looking back and did you realize just over five years, Bobo has more than tripled his income at Georgia? In 2003-04, Bobo, then just a young quarterbacks coach, was making just $95,000. Of course his responsibilities have increased exponentially since then, too, both on and off the field. Bobo and wife Lainie have five children under age 5 at home. And in addition to coordinating the offense, calling plays and coaching quarterbacks, Bobo also is one of the Bulldogs’ most popular and effective recruiters.
So clearly, Richt is a big believer in Bobo and feels he is extremely important to Georgia’s success. And when you think about it, while suitors haven’t swooped in by the dozens for Bobo yet, it’s only a matter of time. Bobo’s best buddies include Will Muschamp, who’s defensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting at Texas, and Kirby Smart, who’s DC at Alabama. One of these guys is going to get head job very soon and you know they’ll want join forces. It looks like Richt is doing everything he can lock down Bobo at Georgia.
Heck, he’s already giving him his own teleconference!
Speaking of, here were some of the more interesting tidbits to come out of that session:
- I thought Bobo’s statements about tailback Caleb King were the most revealing. With Richard Samuel and Dontavius Jackson sidelined for the spring with injuries and Washaun Ealey not on campus yet, Bobo indicated he expects King to take the job by the throat and make it his. At least that’s what he hopes. “He’s going to be the primary back back there. He’s got a great chance to show us what he’s got. He’s been working hard in the offseason. He’s doing a great job in our morning workouts. We’ve seen the flashes and the quickness and the explosion we saw coming out of high school. He’s shown us at times. Sometimes it’s difficult for a guy with a guy like Knowshon Moreno in there and you’re waiting you turn. But I think now it’s his time and he’s taking advantage of it. I think he’ll have every opportunity to show what he can do this spring. And I’m excited about him. I think he has a bright future here.”
- Bobo wasn’t too excited about the big numbers the offense put up last season. “Yeah, we had some productive numbers and stats, but that really doesn’t mean anything. We lost three games, got blown out in two of them, basically disappeared for some stretches of those games, and lost to our archrival Georgia Tech in the last [regular-season] game. . . . There is still a bad taste in our mouth around here.”
- On O-line: “I think we’ll be better. I thought we’d be better this year and then we had injuries hit. But we were able to fight through that and Coach Searels and those linemen did a great job no matter what the lineup was. They went out there and found a way to get it done for the most part and I think that experience will be very valuable going into this year. But, knock on wood, we need to stay healthy at that position and find some continuity if we’re going to truly be better up front. You have to have continuity and depth and we have the prospects of that.”
- On where Clint Boling, who played every position but center last season: “Clint will probably start out at left tackle because Trinton is not going in the spring. As far as Trinton getting back, he played left tackle last year and we obviously see him play8ing there. But we’re going to just find the five best guys and find a way to get them on the field.”
- Who might step up to fill MoMass’s leadership role at receiver: “Mike Moore has done a nice job this offseason. He was inconsistent in too many areas early on. Last year he became more consistent last year and he came though this year and did a very outstanding job for us and has carried it over into this offseason. … Out of that group, I’d say Michael Moore has done an outstanding job and look to him improve on what he did last year.”