Georgia’s hiring of Fox quick, unexpected

Well, that one came out of left field, at least for me it did.

I didn’t start getting strong indications about Nevada’s Mark Fox until late in the afternoon Thursday and I initially discounted them. As the night wore on, it grew more and more plausible and the pieces started coming together. It took a while to get the hire confirmed but, once I looked into just who this guy was it started to make a little more sense. Now whether he’ll make a good fit for Georgia, I’ll let Mark Bradley and our other columnists opine on that. All I can say for now is what everybody else is saying – “didn’t see that one coming.”

It appears Fox is at least the fifth person approached about the job, or at least among five. Georgia is known to have had extensive talks with Missouri coach Mike Anderson before he Anderson decided to remain with the Tigers, who offered him a new seven-year contract at $1.6 million a season. The Bulldogs or their representatives also had preliminary discussions with Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel, Clemson coach Oliver Purnell and Miami coach Frank Haith. None, it appears, were interviewed.

Here’s a few facts on Fox:

  • He was 123-43 in five seasons at Nevada and never won fewer than 21 games there. He went 29-5 in 2006-07.
  • Nevada competes in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and Fox’s teams won the league four of his five seasons. They finished second to Utah State this past season.
  • The Wolf Pack[cq] played in the NCAA Tournament three straight seasons but not the past two. They reached the second round in 2005 and 2007.
  • Fox’s teams played Georgia’s twice, winning both times. Nevada beat the Bulldogs 58-47 in Athens on Nov. 26, 2004 and 68-62 on Dec. 21, 2005.

That’s the gist of it. But we definitely want to know what you guys think.

156 comments Add your comment

GradyGrad96

April 2nd, 2009
10:10 pm

Huh? Well, a coach is better than no coach. As an alumnus not really sure what to think about this one. How is this guy going to recruit in state? He has no ties to the south. My guess is he doesn’t know anything about the south. Well, at least he will have something in common with Felton – inability to get in-state kids to stay in state.

So far, I’m not impressed. But I will withhold any real opinions for year. I want to see his first recruiting class.

At least the Clemson people can stop clamoring about taking their worldbeater of a coach.

[...] What do you think of Dogs getting Fox? – AJC Category : Basketball [...]

ArkyTech

April 2nd, 2009
10:14 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

ff

April 2nd, 2009
10:14 pm

i’m happy to give the benefit of the doubt with Coach Fox. Welcome to Georgia, hope you like sweet tea

BadgerDawg

April 2nd, 2009
10:21 pm

Best of luck, coach Fox. I hope his recruiting skill serves him well at keeping players in state. Feel free to question the hire, but this is exactly what we were in line for: a mid-major coach performing at a high level. Hopefully, he works out much better than that prototype we just shipped out.

bigboi

April 2nd, 2009
10:26 pm

once again Georgia couldn’t get it done. We had our chances to get Mike Anderson of Missouri who would of been a much better fit, but Damon Evans couldn’t pull the strings. Typical Georgia…

SoCal Dawg

April 2nd, 2009
10:29 pm

I think it may take 2 or 3 years but I believe there’s hope.

SoCal Dawg

April 2nd, 2009
10:31 pm

I think we may win the SEC next year if someone gives him this website and he follows our wonderful advice.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 2nd, 2009
10:34 pm

HUH?

WHO?

FROM WHERE?

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 2nd, 2009
10:34 pm

BWHAHAHHAAHAHAA!!!!!

Coyote

April 2nd, 2009
10:36 pm

Not the big name some hoped for but I’d much rather take a shot with a mid-major guy than someone like Purnell or Haith. It’s impossible to know if he’ll be the next Billy Donovan or the next Dennis Felton but at least there’s some potential upside. Hard to have a better mid-major resume than the one he’s got so I’m on board.

Buzz29

April 2nd, 2009
10:38 pm

Why you laughing Ramble? We still have Phew. I hate all things UGA but congrats on getting a coach not named Paul Hewitt

Coyote

April 2nd, 2009
10:38 pm

By the way, for any Tech fans laughing at this, let me remind you that your coach has been a massive underachiever for years. Maybe the elite recruits will save him because the man simply cannot coach and deep down you know it’s true.

Bill Coin

April 2nd, 2009
10:44 pm

lawzoo

April 2nd, 2009
10:50 pm

How much will ga. be paying this big name coach that they were in the hunt for? If it’s over a million it’s crazy. Will the ajc ever admit that their “reporting” on this story was shoddy….I’m being kind. To actually promote coaches who declined(Anderson took 1.6 and declined 2.1) the job(the hated Purcell, who the ajc wrongly said was being interviewed)was not even considered i.e., Capel, Purcell,and a cast of thousands made ga. look extremely like the crummy job it is with laughable “facilities.”

Randy

April 2nd, 2009
11:02 pm

Just priceless. The Dawg bloggers talked about Jay Wright or bringing back Tubby Smith. Maybe Butler’s coach? UGA pursued Anderson, Capel, OP, who knows who else. What, were they cold-calling?

Not even an up and coming mid-major coach wants to coach in the GA b-ball cess pool. This is a career ending job for up and comers (Dennis Felton), and anyone established can fall out of an airplane and find a better b-ball school.

And the result? Fox from Nevada? Wow, good thing Evans snatched him up before someone else got him! Whew, that was probably close!

HaHaHaHa! If this doesn’t provide some humility to anyone who thinks UGA b-ball deserves any respect, I don’t know what will.

gdawgs77

April 2nd, 2009
11:04 pm

CHIP, I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY WOULD COULD NOT OF HIRED EITHER SEAN MILLER, BRAD STEVENS, BRAIN GREGORY OR TUBBY SMITH. ANY OF THOSE WOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD!! ESPECIALLY SEAN MILLER!!!

Fox is a winner

April 2nd, 2009
11:04 pm

Welcome coach Fox! For those Dawg fans who are not excited about the hire – Fox’s winning percentage virtually the same as our beloved CMR. If Fox can match CMR’s success on the basketball court, I believe we have a good coach.

UGA

April 2nd, 2009
11:06 pm

Great Hire!!!!!

This guy can coach!

Anderson or Grant would have been good also, but this is an awesome hire!

UGA

April 2nd, 2009
11:07 pm

His name may not excite everyone, but who cares, we will win now.

Stegro

April 2nd, 2009
11:09 pm

What an utter albatrous. No wonder Georgia has always and will always suck in Basketball. No one even wanted the job, so they picked up a 2nd tier guy that even a good mid-major would not have chosen. What does that make us? Below a mid-major??

Kcc14

April 2nd, 2009
11:11 pm

His wife Cindy is from Augusta and he wants to be a Dawg!!I will take a 75% winning percentage. Unlike DFelton, he will take his coat off and hurl it into to the stands. Goooo Dawgs

BLACK AND RED DAWG

April 2nd, 2009
11:18 pm

I like the pick. Ithink that Coach Fox shoul;d hire a strong southern recruiter to go on his staff. and who knows maybe UGA basketball can be one of the top programs in the SEC maybe the NCAA. Lets give him three years to see what can happen. He’s a proven winner! GOOOOO DAWGS!!!

Mike In Valdosta

April 2nd, 2009
11:24 pm

ArkyTech and Ramble on,
Two words: Paul Hewitt

SoCal Dawg

April 2nd, 2009
11:27 pm

Kcc14 Do you know for sure his wife is from Augusta.

Pago Flyer

April 2nd, 2009
11:31 pm

Actually, we thought the AD would hire a “brother”!?

Gen Neyland

April 2nd, 2009
11:32 pm

The Fox era has begun…Hope we can welcome him to Knoxville in fine fashion.

rickyt

April 2nd, 2009
11:39 pm

I lived in Reno for 3 years and watched the wolfpack a couple of times a year. i think he will surprise people because he is a good coach and gets the most out of his players. the only trouble i see is recruiting but getting kids to come to athens will be a lot easier than getting kids to go to reno, trust me. hopefully he can get some good kids from georgia to stay and play. i think we could be competitve in a couple of years. he gets fired up on the sidelines during games which i think motivates his players. he was an assistant for the guy coaching lsu now.

turkey

April 3rd, 2009
12:06 am

See for all you doubting Thomas the search team worked. We got crazy like a Fox.

Steve

April 3rd, 2009
12:12 am

Nevada has been down the past 2 years – RPI 81 this season. Fox was stacked for next year – there top 3 players were Sophmore, Freshman, Sophmore, and the next 2 were Juniors. He doesn’t seem to play alot of bench – 7 main guys and the rest are just fillers. Not a great recruiter like he is potrayed according to their last 3 classes, but serviceable (adequate). The SEC East is tougher than ACC people like to admit. Remember Odom from Wake Forest? Great at Wake, mediocre at South Carolina. Why? Kentucky, Florida, Tenn., Vandy and now South Carolina are all perennial postseason teams, and we have to play each twice a year. Felton may have been the best game coach in the SEC East – but but losing Mercer, Takais Brown, Humphries, Singleton, and Jeremy Jacobs (who is a stud) within a year was just too devastating for the program to endure. Best of luck Coach Felton (maybe the Nevada job?) and best of luck Coach new Coach Fox! Welcome to the Bulldog Nation, you and your family! And guys, we want a winner, but lets give him 3 years at least before passing judgment. The way this team is stacked with talent and signees, we will be awesome in 2 years if everybody stays (Thompkins, Price, Barnes, Ware, Daniel Miller, Demario Mayfield, Travis Leslie, Enyaroh, and Zloravic). Stay on board team – you got a great coach.

bwell

April 3rd, 2009
12:12 am

WHAT THE @()*$$$!@, WHO IS THIS GUY! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! The WAC player of the year, just got picked up this week on robbery charges. 4 teams in 4 years in the NBA. Some recruiter! I hope it works out, I will support him. I’ll give him 4 years to turn it around.

GT Fan

April 3rd, 2009
12:18 am

Coyote, Hell man I’ll trade Paul Hewitt for Fox any day of the week. Lets deal! I’ll even go you one better, I’ll trade Paul Hewitt for any damn one that has the title Coach. I love GT and Hate Hewitt. I hope Fox does a great job at UGA.

Mike48

April 3rd, 2009
12:21 am

Dammit – I had my chair ready to throw. Maybe Fox will try and relate
to UGA fans unlike Felton who wouldn’t.
Let’s give this guy a chance and see what happens. After 38 years of
season ticket mediocrity with an occasional good team, there’s no way
to go but up. My guess is a year from now, the Humble Bumbles will be
up in arms when Hewitt flames out again with all of his new talent.
By the way, Coach, pick up a few new players on your way into town.
Without Swanzey next year we’re in big trouble! Keep Thompkins, Ware,
and McPhee and let the rest earn a spot. Rumor has it that Swanzey has
signed with a Division III program somewhere.
One more thing, please let the air out of the stupid “balloon” Dawg
that bounces around the floor on his/her/its head while we are trying
to enjoy the ass-ets of the Dawgie Dance girls. That thing looks a bit
like Barney Frank anyway, and we see way too much of that slobbering
creep during the newscasts.
Thank you in advance for your consideration – see you in December.

dawgbone

April 3rd, 2009
12:44 am

first order for coach fox is to beat yech, like coach richt does 9 outa 10 for sure, maybe we can get favors to change his mind, is it to late ?

BadgerDawg

April 3rd, 2009
12:57 am

Steve, the idea that Odom succeeded at Wake but couldn’t handle the “pressure” of the SEC is laughable. You’re right, he’s worried about having to play Vandy when 2 games each against Duke and UNC just got wiped off the schedule. I don’t like the ACC either but these comments are as dumb as the “we’re getting Pitino” ones are.

innocent bystander

April 3rd, 2009
1:10 am

I remember Coach Harbin “Red” Lawson whose recruiting was hampered because Woodruff Hall was said to be the only bb arena in America where weather was a factor. I was present in 1963 at the Coliseum Inaugural when Coach Lawson’s team upset Georgia Tech.We’ve never been a real basketball school which is sad because Georgia is a real basketball state.I’m not a prophet because I liked the Felton hire. I was impressed (as I guess Coach Dooley was) that Coach Felton had thumped Kentucky a couple of times–something we were never able to do when Tubby coached here.Relationships are everything and Mark Fox’s lack of connectedness with the South may hurt us. But he can coach. I feel much better about this than our options at Miami or Clemson.I think it’s a good hire. Let’s support our AD and our new Coach and give him time.Welcome to the Bulldawg Nation Coach Fox. May your stay be a long and happy one.

Poopy Pants

April 3rd, 2009
1:26 am

On the bright side, we can’t suck any worse than we did this year…. can we?

dawfbone

April 3rd, 2009
1:55 am

i look forward to seeing what he can do, maybe he can steal derrick favors from techs class, that would be too cool, anyway heres to beating tech at everything, crush the bugs

BarkingBulldawg

April 3rd, 2009
1:55 am

WOW is all I can say….

TechTony

April 3rd, 2009
4:47 am

Wasn’t Fox in Reno in 2004 as well when he coached Kirk Snyder and lost to Tech in the Sweet 16?

This will be either another yikes moment in the annals (or anals) of UGA basketball or a fine move, who knows? But it does seem to me, as I’ve said all along, that Evans’s future is irretrievably linked to the success of Fox.

Bamafan

April 3rd, 2009
5:39 am

The new coach at Georgia should hire Phillip Pearson as his chief recruiter and Phillip would do a great job recruiting talent to Athens. Phillip Pearson coached at Alabama under Mike G and replaced
him after he was fired. Good luck to Coach Fox he going to need it working in the SEC east against
Pearl,Calipari and Billy D.

Lane

April 3rd, 2009
5:54 am

The guy has a 75% winning %, not to shabby!!!!

I, however would have preferred Sam Mitchell

Oh, well

UGASlobberknocker

April 3rd, 2009
6:51 am

i havent been this excited about the Dawgs basketball program since…last week.

At least we will continue not having any to be distracted during spring football practice with those annoying NCAA tourney games.

Mr. Skynyrd

April 3rd, 2009
6:54 am

Better than Paul Hewitt.

Wanna trade?

Best of luck (unless you’re playing Tech).

Douglas

April 3rd, 2009
7:16 am

I hope he succeeds. But I don’t think the ticket sales office will get any major phone calls today for seasons tickets. I am disappointed.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

April 3rd, 2009
7:17 am

This is better than those other possibilities from Clemson & Miami. Terrence is going to be pissed.

Brownie

April 3rd, 2009
7:27 am

I live here and my job headquarters are in Reno. I have followed Fox’s career since he took over for Trent. I believe the people of Ga. and its fans will get to enjoy his coaching style and his coaching abilities. As far as recruiting he has been up against some of the best in the west and has done great. Lets give him a chance he is better then the last three coaches.,

Dawgdaze

April 3rd, 2009
7:29 am

This guy is probably a good coach. What? You afraid he’ll mess up the storied tradition of Dawg hoops? Dawg fans this is what you get when you don’t support a program. Divert some of the cash from the over hyped football program and build a stadium. Playing in a half empty barn everynight is a tough sell for any coach.

J. N. CORNER

April 3rd, 2009
7:34 am

ANOTHER COACH WHO HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE ABOUT THE TALENT IN GA! HE IS A GREAT COACH….BUT YOU CAN’T WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY WITH A MULE….WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEE GA. BOYS PLAYING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY IF HE DOESN’T HIRE SOMEONE IN THIS STATE THAT KNOWS IT!

Dawgdaze

April 3rd, 2009
7:46 am

JN Corner, coaches know that there is a mother lode of bball talent in the state. They also know that the talent ain’t coming to Athens. That’s why you have to settle for a lesser known coach. Why?? The environment number one and number two the facilities and fan support are abysmal.