It’s official: Koenning is at Illinois

(Updated 2:30 p.m.)

Athens — OK, you can officially remove another name from the list of candidates for Georgia’s open defensive-coordinator job: Vic Koenning was introduced as Illinois’ new defensive coordinator at a press conference in Champaign, Ill., this afternoon.

While Georgia discussed its DC job with Koenning, his reported salary with Illinois — $325,000 — would suggest UGA didn’t aggressively target him. That’s almost the same salary Willie Martinez was making ($325,815 plus bonuses), and indications are that Georgia is prepared to go well beyond that figure for the right hire.

“There was some dialogue [with Georgia],” Koenning said at today’s press conference, “and it made for an interesting last 16, 18 hours, you might say. But when push comes to shove, the character and the drive and the enthusiasm that [Illinois] coach [RonZook exhibited makes sure there was no doubt in the outcome.”

A couple of hours before Illinois’ press conference, Georgia coach Mark Richt passed when asked to shed light on Georgia’a interest in Koenning.

“I think everything is just –- this whole search stuff -– I’ll just say there is nothing to shed,” Richt said. “I’ve got nothing to shed on it.”

Richt did not signal that his search is any closer to resolution than on Wednesday, when he said it might last into the new year. He noted that many prospective candidates are committed to completing the season with their current teams. That would apply to college coaches whose teams are in bowls, as well as to NFL coaches.

“It’s just a really crummy time of year to be trying to do what we’re doing here,” Richt said, “but that’s just part of it right now.”

He did say Georgia’s three staff openings are generating a lot of interest.

“I know I’ve got a stack of stuff [from] an awful lot of people,” he said. “It’s more than just the D-coordinator job too -– there are lot of position coaches looking –- but we’ve got to get the D-coordinator thing squared away before we move forward to anything else.”

296 comments Add your comment

NC Dawg

December 18th, 2009
12:54 pm

SadDawg

December 18th, 2009
12:56 pm

Thanks Tim (rolling my eyes)!!!!!

Los

December 18th, 2009
12:57 pm

Valdosta Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:01 pm

I’m telling you people that Kirby is coming to us!!!!! I dont believe for one second that Koeerning was ever offered our job. Did Richt say that we offered him and he turned it down? I didnt see where he said any such thing. All of you columnists are no different than the rest of us. You all think you should know who we are hiring before anyone else. And all of the tight-lippedness is killing you people. Richt has said that if anyone in the athletic dept is caught leaking info, they will be fired. No one is talking and everything else is speculation on everybody’s part. INCLUDING these dumbass columnists. Write this down…..Kirby IS COMING BACK TO ATHENS as our DC. AND GOODBYE GARNER!!!!!

Bremen Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:02 pm

Come on Richt, shed some light.

Valdosta Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:02 pm

OH, and have a nice day and a Merry Christmas!!!

Bremen Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:05 pm

I heard that too Valdosta about the leaking info thing. I think that the announcement will come after the NC game. Hint, first week in January exactly as Richt said.

DOG FAN

December 18th, 2009
1:05 pm

MUSCHAMP OR SMART THATS WHY CMR IS NOT TELLING YOU IDOTS NOTHING BUT YOU JUST DONT GET IT. SO LEAVE IT ALONE UNTIL JAN 8TH

NWDawg

December 18th, 2009
1:05 pm

I say we trade Richt and Bobo for Saban and Smart………. anybody with me?????

couchdawg

December 18th, 2009
1:05 pm

I misread Richt’s quote there, and thought for a moment that it said he’d received a stack of resumes from a lot of awful people. Here’s hoping we hire a good one. Defense wins championships. Points don’t hurt either.

couchdawg

December 18th, 2009
1:05 pm

what’s an idot?

DOG FAN

December 18th, 2009
1:07 pm

OH YEA ONE MORE BUMPAS

Parkland Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:08 pm

I hope you are right, Valdosta Dawg. I think that Kirby is the answer. I will support whoever we end up with, but Kirby is the one who will make our defense the Junk Yard Dawgs again!

Bremen Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:09 pm

Richt said it could be on into the first week of January. There is your hint right there that it could be Muschamp or Smart.

DOG FAN

December 18th, 2009
1:10 pm

IAM NOT A GOOD TYPER COUCHDAWG AND I WAS REFERRING TO THE SPORTS WRITERS

ButlerDawg

December 18th, 2009
1:10 pm

Was this your required piece for the day, Tim? Lame. Go home and start Christmas early!

Valdosta Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:11 pm

Bremen,
Yeah, i mean everybody always seems to “know somebody” who has talked to a coach, trainer, etc. Do they really think that this kinda info is going to be leaked to them before its actually announced??? Come on!!! Its just like last week that AL offered Kirby 900k and he’s staying there. That is not on record anywhere. Thts not to say that that very thing wont happen, but all this speculation was killing me. Not anymore, we got rid of those morons and thats good enuff for me. I do feel like Richt knows he cant screw up with this thing. He better turn us around in a hurry if he wants to stay here. He’ll find us a good one. Kirby or not, i think we will all be pleased with the hire. Richt cant afford another Fup.

Bremen Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:13 pm

Your not going to here anything until then, right that down until Smart is offered the job after the NC game. Richt is not going to do anything to distract Bama while they are preparing for a NC. Too classy of a guy, because he wouldn’t want that to happen to him.

DOG FAN

December 18th, 2009
1:14 pm

IAM A DAWG FAN THAT WORKS ON GM CARS ALL DAY

Spike

December 18th, 2009
1:14 pm

Yawn. Sorry, yawn.

11Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:14 pm

If we did get Smart, do you think that could get Rennie and Reshad to stay?

ButlerDawg

December 18th, 2009
1:14 pm

“I spoke to Coach Richt today! He didn’t tell me anything, but I spoke to Coach Richt!” -Tim Tucker

Valdosta Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:15 pm

and we also need to hire someone who will fire up the fan base too. i.e an ex dawg perhaps. I’d say it will be Kirby before Muschamp just for the simple reason of that big contract MC has in Texas. Although Brown just signed an extension, WC will be around 40 when that is done. And he’ll be right there for one of the premiere programs in the country. I”ll be surprised if WC ever leaves Texas.

DirtyDawg

December 18th, 2009
1:17 pm

Hey couchdawg…don’t you know anything? The idot is the latest techno gadget for making…periods.

Valdosta Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:17 pm

Bremen, It did happen to Richt when we hired him. He stayed and coached the Orange Bowl and didnt do worth a damn. I think he learned from that experience. So, there ya go. You guys take care!

JB

December 18th, 2009
1:17 pm

I still find it QUITE interesting that KS has not gotten the “raise to stay”, yet. Nor has he or Bama come out and publically said he’s not going anywhere. See Bud Foster. Doing that would end a big distraction.

That said, CMR did say this would go until after the BCS games. Another interesting comment AND one that leads me to believe that VC was never involved.

HBTD!!!

AugDawg

December 18th, 2009
1:18 pm

ive gotta say thos cuz some folks are just foolish. why would bud foster have have been offered the job if richt “had his man already”. and yes we do know that he was offerwd bc he has been quoted on it virginia papers. use that thing between your ears thats why God gave it to u

DOG FAN

December 18th, 2009
1:18 pm

I KNOW SOME TECHS IN ATHENS AND MUST HAVE TEIR VEHICLES WORKED ON ALSO AND ONE WAS ASKED IF OUR NEXT DC WAS CHOACHING IN A BCS GAME AND THEY JUST SMILED

cajdawg

December 18th, 2009
1:19 pm

DOG FAN

December 18th, 2009
1:20 pm

SUPPOSED TO BE CHOACHES MUST HAVE VEHICLES WORKED ON TO

Valdosta Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:22 pm

Also, i do know this as far as Muschamp…..Richt, Muschamp, Bobo, and Willie are all represented by the same agent. There’s some more fat to chew on!!! Now, that doesnt mean a damn thing but thats just the way it is. Hey Mark Bradley…betcha didnt know that one!!! Doosch bag!!

coach smith

December 18th, 2009
1:24 pm

The reason it is going to be after the bowls is because it is going to be

KIRBY SMART

on the chance it is not how about this “different” name…KEN NORTON JR?

Valdosta Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:28 pm

Coach Smith,,,,,i like that one!!!! I really do. a buddy of mine mentioned that one back after the Tennessee debacle. He might not be a bad one either

common sense

December 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

AugDawg,
If you were actually paying attention you would have noticed that CMR made his quote “that it could take take till the first week of JAN.” after the attempt to hire Bud Foster. What ya know that thing between my ears works!!!!

Mark PRicht

December 18th, 2009
1:35 pm

It is so good to see that UGA finally has something newsworthy like the Dooley’s house falling in…now we dont have to talk about Shreveport…lmao 7 and 5

bob dylan

December 18th, 2009
1:36 pm

Georgia’s answer= KEVIN GREENE. LB coach at Green Bay. Loves the game and i mean come on, he cant be any worse than Will-Mart. Its worth a shot. I’d rather have him than somebody that would actually consider Illinois over Georgia. Inless UGA canpull Kirby Smart, which I doubt I think Kevin Greene should atleast get an interview.

Deep South Dawg

December 18th, 2009
1:38 pm

Mark my words….It’s going to be Will Muschamp thats hired after the National Championship game. He is going to be willing to listen because of the Mac Brown extension. Also, don’t be suprised if you see Mr. Willie Martinez named the secondary coach by Muschamp, not Richt.

couchdawg

December 18th, 2009
1:39 pm

Dog fan–re your 1:10 post–my comment was just smart-alleck, but good natured ribbing among fellow dawgs. no offense intended.

Mark PRicht

December 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

can we talk about my 6 NCAA violations…..lmao 7 and 5

Dawg Foot

December 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

Who is next in line to shut down that high school offense? LOL at you all NERDS.

exNFLplayer

December 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

I’m almost sold that there’s a guy in a bowl game on board already. That could very well be all about the bonus money for coaching in a BCS bowl. Richt is just too calm about the whole thing. For a guy that places such value on being at peace, he sure looks at peace.

Keith

December 18th, 2009
1:46 pm

Deep South Dawg – No, I won’t be surprised, I’ll be flabberghasted. We need to go outside Incest UGA and FSU ties. Think out of the box.

exNFLplayer

December 18th, 2009
1:47 pm

Valdosta Dawg, having the same agent would certainly provide one hell of a back channel. Perfect for flying so low under the radar. Thanks for that nugget.

Taco

December 18th, 2009
1:48 pm

You folks amaze me with the insanity. Are you sure Vince Lombardi and Knute Rockne are not driving Kirby to the press conf? Dawg fans are clearly the dumbest fantasyland morons in the world!

AltamahaDawg

December 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

Valdosta, I still think its going to be an up and comer, literally yet to TBD.

My problems with the idea that its a done deal, and everyone is just playing along to keep it secret is:

1. He doesnt have that authority to hush everyone at the AD deptment. Or the control. Not in this day and age.

2. He damn sure doesnt have that Authority at the Alabama AD. If Saban is going to without a DC, somebody over there knows, and has been putting our feelers of thier own. They arent going to start looking in Late Jan for a DC. Lying to recruits and everyone else this whole time.

3. What purpose is served for either school to delay the announcment?

4. He’s putting himself in a horrible situation, to “hope” that whomever it is keeps thier word, and his old boss just drops it,because that blowing up in your face 3 weeks before signing day is not a good thing. I suppose it’s possible a contractual agreement could have been made involving all 3 parties.

5.He is either stringing every other candidate along, which I doubt, or it’s not a “done deal”. (although we really don’t know if he is actually seriously talking to other candidates, or if the lack of an announcement is just driving specualtion which he really can’t stop)

Mark PRicht

December 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

i lied to Willie about letting him go right up until I fired him so why not lie about Smart….or my 6 violations….that funny 6 is right between 7 and 5

SCDawg

December 18th, 2009
1:51 pm

As little as it worth, here is my candidate list according to preference:

1.Bill Withers (UNC DC) lots of experience and good character.
2.Sal Suneri (Ala Linebacker Coach) UGA linebackers have been a weakness for years. We need to get back to the basics. In college football, linebackers control the field and win games. Plus experience and a chance to DC at a top SEC program could pull him in.
3.Travis Jones (Saints Linebacker Coach) repeat from above. Connects to the south. Proven SEC recruiter. NFL experience.
4.T. Nix (Ole Miss DC) good solid coach. Proven in the SEC. Does a great job with and understands the role of linebackers in coach football. But has never taken his teams all the way.
5.Ellis Johnson (SC DC) again solid coach. Not completely sold on him.
6.Bob Sanders (Bill D-line coach) great experience. Good solid coach. Not a DC. Not coming back to college field.
7.Kirby Smart (Ala DC) hot commodity. Young with very little experience. Still learning from Satan. I think he can see how great it would be to return to UGA but honestly he is still learning. 10 years when CMR retires lets go after him then.
8.CRG (recruiting God) lets keep him recruiting. Has never been offered the DC job before for a reason. Good character to keep at UGA.
9.Kevin Steele (Clemson DC) he is a better coach than most UGA fans give him credit for. Would do a solid job but so would a lot of other people. He is not going to get us to the next level.
10.Manny Diaz (MTSU DC) young exciting but no record to go off of. He would have to really sell himself to CMR. Just because his dad is a mayor does not make him a recruiter. I have never heard a recruit meeting or even knowing who the mayor of Miami is. Does not mean much.
11.Dick Bumpas, Will Muschamp and Vic Koening (TCU DC, UT DC & KSU DC) I put all of these DC’s in the same group because they all are proven DC’s but have to much baggage. I don’t want the DC here going for their last farewell. But would not cry if any of them came.
12.BVG (Falcons) screw him. Don’t want him. Don’t need him well we might need him but definitely don’t want him.

Until we get a better defense, we will not return to the SECCG. We have had good defenses and have had good offenses but rarely in the same year. Believe in CMR. He has respect for all programs and is not going to barge into any program and speak to a coach during the season. He has mentioned in the past how difficult it was for him to coach in the bowl game when he was thinking about the UGA job. He will do his best not to put somebody else in that situation. I truly believe if Dawg nation was not crying for the firing like we did it would not have happened until after our Bowl game. Lastly for all of you who think UGA is not one of the top programs in college football. You obviously have never left the state you residence in currently. Good luck coach. Keep the faith.

MR

December 18th, 2009
1:52 pm

Hey Dawgs;
If it is Kirby Smart they should change his last name to dumb. If he stays at Ala. he will be a head coach in 2011. Coming to UGA would insure he stay a DC for the next 6 years. You guys think way to much of your program if you believe someone would give up the chance to be a HC in Div 1 to stay a DC at UGA. Think with your head and not your cold hard heart.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

December 18th, 2009
1:55 pm

Mark P, LMMFAO we are 1-0 against you.

Tired of BS

December 18th, 2009
1:56 pm

Come on guys! Time to get a life. Wgy not Charlie Weis.