UGA now can talk to Anderson, Capel

Could Missouri's Mike Anderson be the man the Georgia Bulldogs are after?

Could Missouri's Mike Anderson be the man the Georgia Bulldogs are after? (AP Photo).

The silence is deafening.

That’s the only way to describe Georgia’s search for a new men’s basketball coach. Suddenly it has all gone quiet. That, as you all surely know, means things are getting done.

The seasons of at least two coaches thought to be at the top of the Bulldogs’ wish list ended over the weekend. That means UGA’s search will likely kick into high gear between now and NCAA Final Four festivities in Detroit this coming weekend. Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel and Missouri’s Mike Anderson saw their teams go down in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament Sunday and Saturday, respectively. That means they are now available for Georgia to approach about its coaching vacancy.

UGA athletics director Damon Evans, who’s usually pretty good about getting back to me, hasn’t returned my messages in three days, four if I don’t hear back from him on Monday. Earlier he told me the Bulldogs would not attempt to contact a candidate who was still active in postseason play. None of the four teams remaining — Villanova, North Carolina, UConn or Michigan State — are coached by a person believed to be targeted in Georgia’s search.

Indications are that Capel and Anderson are 1A and 1B on Georgia’s list. As far as I can tell, there was no evidence Sunday that the Bulldogs had received permission to speak to either of them. Asking the school for permission to interview a coach is standard protocol in the business.

I did manage to get Missouri’s chancellor on the phone. “I’ve heard nothing on that and I believe I would,” said Brady Deaton, Mizzou’s top Tiger, said when asked if Georgia had contacted the school about Anderson. “We just got back home and we’re excited about the progress Coach Anderson has made with the program and we’re looking forward to building on that.”

Anderson appears attainable for Georgia from a financial standpoint. According to published reports, Anderson has two years remaining on a contract that pays him $850,000 annually. Georgia would most likely offer much more than that — and Missouri knows it. Word is the Tigers already have offered him $1.3 million.

“Certainly discussions are in progress with Coach Anderson [on a pay raise and contract extension],” Mr. Deaton told me. “We feel good about his commitment to the University of Missouri and are very proud of what he has accomplished.”

In the meantime, phone calls to several Oklahoma administrators Sunday went unreturned. However, Capel — who reportedly has also been targeted by Virginia — did nothing to discourage speculation that he might consider a move after his team got bounced on Sunday.

“My name has been mentioned for jobs every year I’ve been a coach and I’m not planning on getting into it [with the media],” Capel told reporters outside the locker room after Oklahoma’s loss to North Carolina. “I can’t tell people what to write about me.”

Meanwhile, Alabama introduced Anthony Grant as its new coach late Sunday afternoon. The fact that Georgia didn’t budge and let Grant walk speaks volumes about its search. Clearly Evans had his sights set on some other candidates. But that could prove a risky proposition. I talked to a buddy who covers Bama on Sunday and he said Grant was very impressive in his debut before Crimson Tide fans. He talked about how a polished and motivational speaker Grant was. “Blew the doors off the place,” my friend said.

That sets up what will surely be an endless comparison between Grant and whomever the Bulldogs get, especially if it’s Anderson. A great faction of Bama folks wanted the Birmingham native, who coached at UAB before moving to Missouri.

Supposedly the Crimson Tide is going to pay Grant about $1.8 million dollars. That hasn’t been completely verified yet and I’m sort of surprised if that’s true. The only reports I’ve seen are that he made $700,000 at VCU and was going to clear $850,000 with bonuses from this past season. If it is true that gives you an idea of what Georgia is going to have to pay to get its man. Capel makes in the $1.1 million range from what I’ve seen.

But Damon and Dr. Adams knew what they were in for when they laid out the criteria. Stay tuned!

Now for some links:

Here’s a good piece on Anderson from the New York Times. . . . Also, a St. Louis reporter rips Alabama for passing over Anderson. . . .

I don’t buy this for a second but at least one guy thinks Georgia is nuts if it doesn’t go after ousted Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie. . . .

Speaking of Kentucky, it looks like the Wildcats may be closing in on Memphis coach John Calipari. . . .

The Diamond Dogs roll on after a sweep of Tennessee in Knoxville. Intriguing, too, is the fact that the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are rolling as well. Their scheduled meeting in Atlanta was rained out this past week and no word yet on whether they’ll try to make that up. At the very least the two powers will collide on April 14 in Athens. In the meantime, Clemson’s in town on Tuesday, Georgia’s there on Wednesday and LSU comes in for a set this weekend. . . .

Hope you saw Tim Tucker’s Sunday piece on Georgia’s hopes for a defensive revival. Good work as always from Tim. . . .

Found this interesting: Looks like Georgia coach Mark Richt and son Jon were checking out Valdosta State this weekend. Jon, Richt’s oldest son, has left Clemson and is looking for a smaller school to ply his quarterbacking skills. . . .

In case you missed it, Herschel Walker survived another week on Celebrity Apprentice. . . .

This has nothing to do with Georgia but I just thought this video of a professional ping-pong players’ victory dance was hilarious. . . .

108 comments Add your comment

[...] sounds ready to give Anderson his opportunity to make Alabama pay for this [...]


March 30th, 2009
6:02 am

Whew weeee….I’m dizzy after that spin job. Of course UGA wasn’t even remotely interested in Grant. (yea right) Why would Anderson or Capel even be interested in UGA. Oklahoma has far more tradition and far mor success than UGA. I’d say they wil pony up the money IF they want to keep Capel. Anderson? Why would he leave Mizzou? Obviously he can win there.He just proved it. UGA is a career risk. You could come here and not succeed and you would end up as an assiatant the rest of your life sitting in the bench with an elite team somewhere else. Mainly though, UGA will not pay that much money. Sure you can speculate that money won’t be a problem, but when it is time to negotiate they will not out the money up. The reason is they will be negotiating with a 3rd tier “up and comer” instead of an Anderson or Capel or Gillespie. And I was first!!!!!


March 30th, 2009
6:48 am

Capel will be UVA next coach or stay at OK.


March 30th, 2009
7:01 am

reading chip’s article you would think it’s a done deal with either coach.
the changes of the dawgs getting either coach is not good, since other schools are higher up the pecking order than the dawgs.

i don’t have much faith in the combination of adam/evans leading the search.

Atlanta Gator

March 30th, 2009
8:01 am

Given the current sad state of the UGA basketball program, Damon Evans & Co. better be prepared to pay the seven-figure price to get a decent coach. If not, expect more of the same. With all of the negative history of the program over the last decade, an up-can-coming coach is taking as big a chance on moving to Athens as UGA is in hriing him, and the compensation needs to reflect that.

As other bloggers have rightly pointed out, there is no reason why UGA should not have a good to excellent basketball program given the fertile recruiting ground, financial resources of the UGA athletic department, and the strength of virtually every other UGA sports program. UGA needs to commit the resources and hire the right coach (the latter of which is easier said than done). The only easy way to solve the coaching problem is to throw money at it—-and then make sure there is a serious NCAA compliance program in place, so as not to repeat the devastating mistakes of the Harrick era.

Even with the right coach and resources, I think UGA is looking at a 3 to 5-year rebuilding program. For that to be successful, Evans et al are going to need to show some patience while progress is being made.

Georgia Dog

March 30th, 2009
8:11 am

Atlanta Gator, what a gay name. Go back to Florida. I am not moving to Gainesvllle, Fla and calling myself Florida Dog. I would not disrespect UGA in that way. Also Atlanta Gaytor you stated we have to pay a coach 6 digits. Well No ****! We went get Tubby back we will be whipping everybody again like he did before.


March 30th, 2009
8:19 am

Anderson will be a dawg if UGA offers, not sure about Capel. CHIP, don’t overlook Miller at Xavier, he might be a fit as well.


March 30th, 2009
8:23 am

The ping pong celebration was Classic. Yahoo labeled is as “winning a ping pong match” but it was not. The guy was down 10 to 0. I can’t be the only one that can read a scoreboard? It was his first point and he was celebrating the fact he was not inept. That’s why his competitor didn’t KO him. Not un-sportsman like, it was funny as hell.


March 30th, 2009
8:26 am

Reality, I’ve been clamoring for Sean ALL season. I love the fact that nobody is mentioning his name. Capel, no way. Oklahoma has too much $$ to let him go, plus is a huge risk as I’m sure Duke will come calling in a couple of seasons. Anderson knows the Atlanta market and would do a great job in Athens.

HUGE hire that will probably put a stamp on Evan’s legacy as AD in Athens… but then, that’s why he makes $400K a year.

Flordia Dawg

March 30th, 2009
8:35 am

Georgia Dog, chillout. Atlanta Gator’s commets deserves more respect than yours. You give us true UGA fans a bad name. You don’t even know Dog is spelled DAWG.

As far as our basketball program goes. I will belive it when I see one. I hope Damon does the right thing.


March 30th, 2009
8:39 am

Reality is Grant wanted the UGA job, he knows of the instate tallent.If Adams (search commitee) hasn’t already bagged a coach and after the Harrick debacle,not to mention VD,then he would have to be stuck on stupid.

[...] Chip Towers of the AJC writes that Georgia can now focus on Jeff Capel and Mike Anderson. [...]


March 30th, 2009
8:42 am

Apparently Billy Clyde might be a good option for UGA if Capel or Anderson aren’t hired at
Georgia… From reading Big 12 Scout & Rival boards the last several day’s, the schools with
the hot coaches(Ok.St, Mizzou & Ok)most people there are saying if our coach is hired
away bring in BG… He’s highly respected in B12 circles & they definetly play top notch BB in
the midwest…


March 30th, 2009
8:53 am


March 30th, 2009
8:55 am

How do you expect to get a decent coach at a cesspool like UGAG. Baseball? We’ll take care of that soon and hold a Tickle Pile right on your field.

Atlanta Gator

March 30th, 2009
8:59 am

Georgia “Dog”—-Actually, I wrote UGA will need to pay SEVEN figures, not six, to hire an up-and-coming basketball coach. For the record, that would a $1+ million salary, not a $100,000+ salary.

As for the balance of your comments, I’ll let your superior intellect speak for itself. Res ipsa loquitur.


March 30th, 2009
9:00 am

As a Big 12 guy myself, I saw firsthand what Billy Gillispie did at UTEP and A&M. Those are two HARD, HARD, HARD schools to win at. A&M was 0-16 in conference play before Billy got there, two years later he had them in the Sweet 16. He hit the pavement in Dallas and Houston and could do the same in Atlanta if given the chance. A&M is a place that is football first, football second, and football third, their fans didn’t even know what a basketball looks like before he got there and all of a sudden their arena was 100% full.

UGA is wasting their time going after Anderson. He’s just playing UGA for a raise, Mizzou is an established basketball program, and basketball ranks higher on their pecking order than football. They have the long standing rivalry with another basketball first program, Kansas. They get to recruit the more traditional basketball markets like Chicago and the Missouri Valley. Hiring their coach away would be a tough sell. As would Oklahoma’s coach because OU would be willing to pay every bit as much as UGA would. Oklahoma is one of the wealthiest athletic programs there is, you can’t outbid a program like that. You know who you can outbid… nobody, as in no employer at all, i.e Billy Gillispie. He’s the guy Georgia needs, he’s the right fit.

[...] Chip Towers of the AJC writes that Georgia can now focus on Jeff Capel and Mike Anderson. [...]


March 30th, 2009
9:24 am

AG, I think the guy has just become so numb from the latest national events that there is no diffence anymore between 6 figures, 7 figures, or 11 figures.


March 30th, 2009
9:27 am

Chip-so are you saying we should have hired Grant because he is a polished, motivational speaker in his first appearance as Bama’s coach, I think Damon Evans has bigger fish to fry, silence is a good thing sometimes


March 30th, 2009
9:33 am

That ping pong dancer kinda reminds me of the male majorette at tech.

bank walker

March 30th, 2009
9:40 am

UGA did not persue Grant. He wasn’t the guy they wanted! Yes, Grant would have take the UGA job if offered. Compare Georgia’s in-state talent to Alabama’s, there is none. We blow them out of the water, and Grant knows that. Capel and Anderson knows this as well and either one will take full advantage of it. UGA will be tops of the SEC in 3 years, Bank on it!!! GO DAWGS!!!

Right On Time

March 30th, 2009
9:43 am

Atlanta gator:

FYI, “Georgia Dog” is not a UGA fan. I generally appreciate your posts. I hate your team but you seem to be a reasonable person otherwise. I also like your responses to those that are “less fortunate” in the ‘noggin.

As for UGA’er, hop, Archie and the like: I sure would like to have your connections and ability to predict the future. VCU was never contacted by UGA which would indicate Grant was not their target. And as for the $$$$, UGA does pretty well in the area of finances also. In fact, as far as pure profit goes, I think UGA may be tops.


March 30th, 2009
9:45 am

Atlanta Gator…I will apologize to you for the remarks made by Georgia Dog.
Every fan base has fans like this and Georgia Dog is apparently one of ours.
Your take on our BB program is on target and much appreciated.


March 30th, 2009
9:53 am

The silence is deafening. The cliches are awful. And this bunk about guys with far better jobs than Georgia is just pure idiocy. Give us a blogger who knows what he’s talking about!

Atlanta Gator

March 30th, 2009
9:56 am

Right on Time, Florida Dawg & Alta~Dawg—-Thanks, guys. What can I say to diehards like Georgia “Dog”? I’m a University of Florida alumnus and I live in Atlanta . . . if I were him, I would be flattered that so many of us transplants think enough of the State of Georgia to live and work here.

Bo Williams

March 30th, 2009
10:00 am

Take away Blake Griffin and where would OK be! They would be a bottom-level SEC team. Please convince me of Jeff Capel’s value through his body of work. UGA is reaching for straws. If they are smart, they will go after BIlly Clyde.


March 30th, 2009
10:07 am

Atlanta Gator, thanks for complimenting our “sad state” BB program. that really was too kind. Thank God Bama hired Grant. That’s one target down, who knows how many to go. I would agree with the time frame that you laid out. Maybe a little quicker depending what kind of players they can pull in immediately. As always, as a dawg fan, I appreciate your post and input.


March 30th, 2009
10:10 am

Atlanta Gator:

I do think that your tka eon our program is accurate for the most part. Except the fact that we have a 3 to 5-year rebuilding process on our hands. We already have a five-star in Thompkins, a four-star in Jeremy Price, and a three-star point gurad in Dustime Ware. All of them showed a lot of promise. We also have Leslie, Anyorah, Barnes, Jackson, and others who can play. Felton didn’t bring in the top talent, but he brought in some talent.

If the right coach is hired they could have us in the tournament in two years or less. Maybe next year if he can steal a big time recruit away from somewhere (GT maybe). If the new ocach can talk Swansey into staying, then that would help as well. We aren’t that far off from competing, but we are far off from something like the final four.

Big Will

March 30th, 2009
10:13 am

I never hear Gonzaga’s Mark Few mentioned for any job openings. Does he really want to stay in Spokane that badly? He wouldn’t even need to change mascots if he came to GA.


March 30th, 2009
10:15 am

I think we are going to hire either Capel, Anderson, or Jay Wright. I have heard that Damon Evans is very confident in our ability to hire a high level coach. The fact that we haven’t heard anything about the coaching search tells me that we have been in “back-door converstions” with coaches still in the tournament. No, we haven’t asked for “official” permission. No, we haven’t offered anybody the job. No, we haven’t started negotiating. But, I am sure we have guaged interest and have been led to beleive that we have a very realistic shot with one of the coaches who were still playing this weekend. The fact that we didn’t even speak with Grant lets me know that we are confident that we will get one of these other guys. We have the money, tradition isn’t as important as everyone thinks, we have an AD with the commitment to win in BBall, and we defnitely have the talent base. I guess we will see.


March 30th, 2009
10:26 am

The only issue I have with Atlanta Gator is that damn 4 Foot Gator logo that takes up the whole back glass of the Monte Carlo. Uuuuuugly! And I know they get tired of those orange tank tops at the Law Firm.


March 30th, 2009
10:29 am

There is more talent in Athens right now than many think.


March 30th, 2009
10:39 am

As much of a dawg fan that I am, I hate to say this but, Capel and Mizzouri would be a fool to leave their programs to come to Georgia. They both have highly recruited classes coming in and they are very comfortable with their jobs, both were very successful in their runs this year through the tournament and they can recruit players to come to their univerities. Georgia may regret they never called Grant from VCU. Alabama will compete next year and Grant will recruit some good talent at Alabama. I am not sure if Georgia has enough to entice a good coach to come here with Kentucky and Arizona jobs still vacant, thats not to mention Virginia’s job vacancy. Damon is rolling the dice and I am not sure if he is doing the right thing waiting so late. We are losing recruits.


March 30th, 2009
10:43 am

As an outsider who knows very little about this basketball coach searching thing, I’d have no problem with them hiring Gillispie. I’d at least find out if there was any other reason besides performence that he was fired.

Chip Towers

March 30th, 2009
10:47 am

To be sure, what Damon is doing is somewhat risky. He’s swinging for the fences and there is always a chance he could strike out. But I would think he knew that going in and is planning accordingly. What’s not clear is what his backup plan is. But I guarantee you he has one.


March 30th, 2009
10:54 am

Chip do you really think it’s either Capel or Anderson he’s going after or could someone else be in the mix? Just gotta wonder what his backup plan is?


March 30th, 2009
11:01 am

Altadawg, you forgot to mention the 24″ blue and orange dubs spinning on that Monte Carlo. Colors spinning fast enough to make a clown puke.


March 30th, 2009
11:03 am

He better have one! I wanted Coach Grant, but if he can get Anderson or Capel thats great. They must be able to recruit man! We are loosing top talent to other schools (out of State schools) I assume the consultant firm must have led them to Anderson and Capel. Give them a long term deal with lots of money and perks. When we start winning like we did with Tubby, do not let other schools talk to either one we decide to hire.

All Quiet on the UGA Basketball Front

March 30th, 2009
11:10 am

[...] UGA Now Can Talk To Anderson, Capel – [...]


March 30th, 2009
11:14 am

Billy Gillispie is the man. He was not given enought time to get his own players etc..before he was fired. Anyone going to UK will catch hell from day one, ask Tubby. GO DAWG!

Big Will

March 30th, 2009
11:17 am

Regardless of how good a coach he is, Billy G. is tainted goods. Better stay away.

Chip Towers

March 30th, 2009
11:17 am

Chardog: Me too.


March 30th, 2009
11:18 am

This hire had best be good if we didn’t even talk to Grant! Capel & Grant may see UGA as a stepping stones for the Florida or Duke jobs so for that reason I can see passing on them provided the guy we get is going to be the right long term fit for UGA. I’m a little surprised Grant didn’t go to UVA. To me the talk of us getting Capel reminds me of UT fans saying they thought they could get Bob Stoops.,there’s no way he was leaving OU for UT! The only place he might go is FL or to the NFL. OU can match whatever we offer Capel & I think UVA would be more attractive to him. However I do feel like we have a shot at Anderson & would love to see that style of play at UGA! But we need to move quickly because if the Memphis job comes open he’d be a great fit there & right now that’s a way better basketball job. I’m not real big on the idea of bringing in Gillespie after he just got ran off from UK. People keep saying he’ll land a top gig personally I don’t see it & think he’ll have to take a mid-major job at best. Sean Miller & they guy at Dayton or Butler would be good choices too. Maybe those guys are the backup plan that Chip just mentioned. Since if I understand Adams the list of qualifications said UGA was looking for in a new basketball coach none of them nor does Grant have them. A guy that does & I’d love to see us get is Jay Wright but the only place he might leave Villanova for is UK. I hope all this talk of public silence meaning that privately the search is hot & heavy are true. If not then we end up settling for somebody (like say Gillespie or a less prominent mid major guy) when we could have had Grant would not reflect well on Damon! It could also turn the growing frustration over his lack of action on needed facility improvements while other schools in the SEC pass us by (stop talking & start building with that surplus we hear about all the time!) into a bigger issue about his overall performance. The only good I can see from this search going bad is maybe it’ll help get finally get Adams out the door! Damon has rolled the dice on this one so let’s all hope he comes up BIG!

[...] Towers says that UGA hasn’t contacted Missouri for permission to speak with Anderson, yet. It can’t be long [...]

[...] Sentinel, has a little fun with Kentucky fans and their unrequited love for Donovan.UGA:  Now that Missouri’s Mike Anderson and Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel are out of the NCAA Tournament, are we about to start hearing news on Georgia’s coaching [...]

Chip Towers

March 30th, 2009
11:39 am

You guys dissing Georgia’s chances with some of these coaches might be advised to ease back a little. I mean, like I said, I know it’s a risky strategy and may seem a long shot. But I wouldn’t discount it as a realistic possibility. Georgia’s a $200 million athletics operation and Damon is serious about making basketball relevant again. Crazier things have happened than the Bulldogs hiring a high profile coach to run their show.


March 30th, 2009
11:45 am

This is great. ‘Em dawgs thinking that anyone over the status of Ron “Don’t call me Shirley” Jirsa would now coach at that dump is hilarious.


March 30th, 2009
11:47 am

I dont know much about Anderson, but Capel defenitly isnt among the top level of coaches! No one will EVER mistake him for Patino, or Calapari…. in fact Fox sports said: “Jeff Capel simply cannot coach. That Coach K tree produces some rotten fruit.

Oklahoma does not have an offense. The Sooners do nothing to free Griffin in the low post. He gets his points off talent and nothing else. Capel’s offense does not require Warren to move without the basketball. Warren is a compact version of Glenn Robinson. We can only hope Warren doesn’t waste his skills like a Big Dog”


March 30th, 2009
11:49 am

Don’t think for a minute that the SEARCH firm isn’t calling grant, anderson and capel and others for UGA.

UGA can’t expect to go from 14 wins annual to 25 wins every year, but we can go .500 in the SEC with 20 wins. That’s a start. Dennis left us in worse shape than Jim Harrick did. Once again, we need a coach with character – but this time we need one who isn’t a jerk. That’s why Gillispie won’t work, nor will Bobby Knight.