Smart? Grantham? The beat goes on

Updated 10:05 p.m.

So tonight we find out who is college football’s national champion, and soon we should find out who is Georgia’s new defensive coordinator.

There’s always a possibility of a Mark Fox-type hire, meaning a hire who doesn’t get mentioned in the rumor mill until the deal is done.   But if that’s not the case, then the recent course of the process suggests that one or more of the remaining candidates have been sort of busy lately.

Kirby Smart has been busy preparing Alabama’s defense for tonight’s national championship game. Todd Grantham has been busy preparing the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive line for Saturday’s NFL playoff game against Philadelphia.

Smart has acknowledged talking with Mark Richt, although he said Tuesday they hadn’t talked “much” and that “he’s not offered me anything.”  If that’s the case -– and of course it might be semantics – you’d think they’d have a lot to talk about in the next couple of days.

There was a report this afternoon by a Dallas radio station — ESPN 103.3 FM –  that unnamed sources said Smart would interview for the vacant head-coaching job at Texas Tech soon after the national-championship game.  But shortly after the radio report, Texas Tech athletics director Gerald Myers told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: “That’s something that I’m not aware of.  I know he’s a good young coach and a good young prospective coach, but at this point we haven’t made any plans to contact him.’’

Grantham has been on Richt’s radar since the failed pursuit of Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster.  Not coincidentally, Grantham started his coaching career with the Hokies and is highly regarded by Foster, among others.  As you’ve heard, the word from Cowboys camp is that Grantham has been approached by Georgia.  The Cowboys are an interesting situation, with head coach Wade Phillips‘  job security not completely clear despite making the playoffs.

There’s a recruiting “dead” period for the national coaches’ convention next week, but when Georgia returns to the recruiting trail on Jan. 15 for the final sprint to signing day, Richt obviously needs to have his new DC in recruits’ homes. (Of course, if the hire were Grantham and the Cowboys were to go to the Super Bowl. . . . )

Still no word from Rennie Curran on whether he, like 17 other UGA underclassmen since 2001, will enter the NFL draft early.

Curran did attend a UGA team meeting on Wednesday,  an indication he hadn’t made a final decision to leave. He said last week that he’d like to talk to the new DC before deciding, and maybe he’ll have a chance to do so. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.

Two more notes:

– Georgia tight end Orson Charles today was named to the Football Writers Association’s Freshman All-America Team.

– And as expected, freshman offensive lineman Kolton Houston and JUCO-transfer safety Jakar Hamilton enrolled early and began classes at UGA today.

And please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and notes.

98 comments Add your comment

Jeff

January 7th, 2010
6:05 pm

Jeff

January 7th, 2010
6:08 pm

Doesn’t have to be Smart, but that would be sweet. Judging by how quiet things have been, it would seem like Richt probably has his man, but he is waiting for that man’s season to end. Either way, anything is an upgrade. I hope Curran stays, but I wouldn’t if I were him. Go ahead and make the $$$ while they are there.

Gravy Train

January 7th, 2010
6:11 pm

Don’t be surprised if Kirby isn’t coming over. There could be a reason for the minimal communication. Maybe Kirby isn’t really on CMR’s radar. I refer to the possibility of a fall-out after the 2005 season.

OLDDAWG72

January 7th, 2010
6:20 pm

With all eyes on Bama, its too quiet between the hedges, in the locker rooms and else where in the DawgNation. Gut tells me the the new DC has cut a deal with CMR and we will know after tonight if the DC comes from the college football ranks. If no announcement, then the DC will come from the Pro’s after the Superbowl.

I have great respect for CMR, but I hope he has learned that he needs to deal with a problem immediately and not let the problem go nuclear before he decides to act. The kids at UGA deserve the best DC in the USA. I only hope that CMR has made a good choice.

JimDawg

January 7th, 2010
6:33 pm

I still think Ellis Johnson is as good as anybody out there.

Tom

January 7th, 2010
6:35 pm

CMR better hire someone soon. Waiting on Kirby is completely putting his eggs in one basket, just go ahead and give him the job Mark. But you can’t.

Congrats Orson! Keep it up!

2007 was an illusion (Football & Basketball)

January 7th, 2010
6:39 pm

Any word on a DC for UGA ? Is CMR to be OUT SMARTED by Urban once again ?

Chipped Tires

January 7th, 2010
6:43 pm

I still believe UGA’s problem runs deeper than hiring a new DC. Stay Tuned !

BullDawgMike

January 7th, 2010
6:44 pm

Smart a good bet to get job at Texas Tech if he wants to move up to HC job now. My sources say Dallas will be looking for a new Def. line coach soon……..

BullDawgMike

January 7th, 2010
6:48 pm

Chipped, would be interested to hear what you think may be wrong.

dawgcrzy

January 7th, 2010
6:49 pm

no way they offer smart the hc job at tt

Chipped Tires

January 7th, 2010
6:54 pm

Sorry but my thoughts on deeper problems are reserved but please stay tuned!

01HAWK

January 7th, 2010
6:55 pm

Looks like Kirby Smart maybe the next head coach at Texas Tech per reports from Mobile Press Register. See below.

Report: Texas Tech to meet with Tide assistant Kirby Smart
By Gentry Estes, Mobile Press-Register
January 07, 2010, 3:48PM

Kirby Smart has been the Tide’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons (Photo by Bill Starling/Press-Register).ESPN Dallas is reporting this afternoon that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will interview for the vacant head coaching position at Texas Tech soon after tonight’s BCS national championship game.

Smart won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant and has received interest this from schools like Florida State and Georgia for defensive coordinator positions, with the Bulldogs expected to make another push for Smart after tonight’s game.

He said earlier this week that he was looking forward to being back at Alabama next season, but a chance for Smart to potentially be a head coach at a Big 12 school is an opportunity in which the 34-year old would surely have interest.

The Red Raiders fired Mike Leach amid controversy last week and have reportedly spoken with interim head coach Ruffin McNeill and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville.

Other candidates being mentioned with the search are former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden and Houston coach Kevin Sumlin.

Lou Holtz spits

January 7th, 2010
6:55 pm

lou picks texas, what an idiot !

BullDawgMike

January 7th, 2010
6:56 pm

Kirby only hottest co-ordinator in country now, as far as name recognition goes. If Alabama’s defense does what it normally does tonight, his stock goes thru the roof. Yea, no way T.T. considers him for their vacancy.

Worm

January 7th, 2010
6:57 pm

Kirby will be offered “Coach in waiting” status at Bama!..Dawgs may STILL bring him home!..Either way, Kirby is a CLASS act!

Big Time!

January 7th, 2010
7:11 pm

Hey Mutt fans be sure to watch 2 real BIG Time Football teams tonight fot hte NC. CMR doesnt even compare to the two coaches on stage tonight and that also goes for UGA’s overall football program. Dream on doggies!

11Dawg

January 7th, 2010
7:14 pm

I’ve been trying to stop myself from believing Rennie’s gonna stay, but he sure is making it tough.

Mike (original formula)

January 7th, 2010
7:23 pm

So… I’m assuming “Big Time!” is a tech fan. Pathetic, but I digress. Smart would be looking at interviewing against Tubs for the TTU job. That would be an interesting decision. Hope we get the right man for the job.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2010
7:35 pm

Old Dawg, what problem did Richt not decide to act on until it was the appropriate time?

680 fan

January 7th, 2010
7:35 pm

Sports talk radio live from L.A. :
http://www.570klac.com/main.html

Petros & Money, via KLAC ya’ll.

kd4uga

January 7th, 2010
7:39 pm

Let’s suppose Smart comes to UGA. How long will he stay anyway? He’s already a hot HC candidate. I just don’t see it happenning no matter how much we wish for it.

I think we can expect an NFL position coach coming our way shortly…

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2010
8:06 pm

I agree that Smart would be a great hire but isnt going to be a DC anywhere mush longer. However, there are 2, maybe 3, position coach spots to be hired and I would bet the DC after this one is going to be one of those guys. I’d hire a willy ol veteran for one spot and then go get the next unheard of up and comer (ala. kirby 3 years ago) at the other.

To me, those position coaches are going to be just as interesting to see, as this DC.

GSP Dawg

January 7th, 2010
8:13 pm

While Kirby would be a great hire, Richt is wasting his time. Even if Kirby agrees to come back home, Richt will be searching for a new DC next year, Get Grantham and be done with it! His resume is pretty stout!

DawgStyle

January 7th, 2010
8:23 pm

Maybe Todd Grantham could bring Reggie Herring(Cowboys Linebackers Coach) with him to coach linebackers. Herring could also be the next DC if Grantham moves on.

Rod

January 7th, 2010
8:54 pm

We all want to see who the DC is going to be, but what about the awful play calling on the offensive side.

Stinger

January 7th, 2010
9:10 pm

Lou Holtz is right. Longhorns route Tide. Good night Irene, the night is over, even without McCoy, Longhorns route Tide. SEC sucks.

BigDawg

January 7th, 2010
9:19 pm

Come back home Kirby! You can hand pick your staff and you get to work for nice guy Richt instead of hot head Satan who probably second guesses your DC calls anyway.

BleedRedandBlack

January 7th, 2010
9:38 pm

Alt,

Think its pretty obvious that CMR waited MUCH too long to make the changes in the defensive coaches. Even he pretty much admitted that it was a problem not just from this year. If he had done it a year ago we would have been and now would be much better off.

Agree totallywith your assessment of the other assistants, but would think a big name DC will insist he gets to make those calls.

Go Dawgs!

Bo Williams

January 7th, 2010
9:52 pm

what difference does it make? UGa is in the same situation in fb as it is in bb. They are far behind at least Ky in bb, and at least Bama in fb. It is truly discouraging for dawg fans.

Bremen Dawg

January 7th, 2010
10:25 pm

I was one of the ones who said Smart was coming to Athens. I don’t think so anymore. The reason why is because Mark Richt has been talking to and offering other guys. Lets get someone in place soon before we lose Curran and some of these recruits.

Bremen Dawg

January 7th, 2010
10:28 pm

The more I read about Grantham the more I am impressed. He has had immediate success everywhere he has been. His D lines are stout and are aggressive.

Wil Walton

January 7th, 2010
10:40 pm

Not so fast my friend… just announced during the BCS title game – TT AD is at the game to interview Smart tomorrow.

what is the deal

January 7th, 2010
10:46 pm

i am so sick of all the rumors he is he isn’t for the love of all that is holy can we just get a straight answer for once

rabiddawg

January 7th, 2010
10:46 pm

I also have said numerous times that Smart would return to Athens. After time it looks more and more that it will be nearly impossible to pry him from Bama. What they have going on now is leaps and bounds above what we are doing right now. Having said that, I still think we will end up with an A+ coach that will improve our D. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!

what is the deal

January 7th, 2010
10:54 pm

whomever we get i just hope it happens in the next few days with turmoil in Florida and the like it would be nice to get someone in who ignites our base and our recruits as well, hell i would like to see a few guys jump ship from other schools if we get a great DC

New Name

January 7th, 2010
11:02 pm

How come the Iowa DC hasn’t been named in the mix? Surely UGA is a better gig than Iowa and they have a pretty stout D?

Mel on a car phone

January 7th, 2010
11:21 pm

Iowa’s DC is Norm Parker. Parker is pushing 70 years of age. He’s been at Iowa since 1999. He’s going to retire at Iowa. End of discussion.

Wil Walton

January 7th, 2010
11:24 pm

New Name – Norm Parker (Iowa DC) is in his 60s. I think UGA is going after someone younger…

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2010
11:28 pm

Sorry if this is a partial repost.

Its not obvious to me that he waited MUCH too late to fire his defensive staff. When exactly would have been so MUCH time back to do that? 2 seasons ago after finishing #2 in the country and the entire world thinking you had one of the best teams (which presumable your staff is a part of)? I wouldnt think so. Wouldnt you agree that’s not really something any coach would have done?

Last year after finishing 10-3? Can you name a team/staff in the history of the game to finish better than that with the amount of injuries they had. My goodness, they ran most of the year with barely enough front 7 players to even practise, which he himself cut back to a walk through midway through the year. As a HC are you seriously telling me you would have fired 3 defensive coaches last year? Fired the staff for one season that just didnt meet the hype? And a 10 win season at that? Not to mention that offense was at least half the problem in 2008.

I believe you would have done exactly what he did, try to work through the problems (that really existed on all sides of the ball) this past year. and when it was obvious that there had to be some new energy, make a move in the area that he needs the most help, and take more of a hands on to help when he can (offense next year).

One of the reasons he is going to be able to hire really good coaches now, is that he doesnt have to answer questions about why he would fire coaches who won 10 games, but the fans werent happy able it.

I dont really remember what he “basically admitted’ or said but I would expect that he said firing half his staff wasn’t a quick or kneejerk reactions, and based on the bigger picture, and not just this season, but that doesn’t have anything to do with would have or should have done it MUCH farther back. The timing was handled exactly right down to the day, and the hour.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2010
11:32 pm

and on the assistants, I would think and hope that the new DC is going to want to drive who gets hired on the support staff. Especially if its a DC thats planning on being here. I’m just saying it is possible to hire a big bang, and package it with his replacement right up front if thats a direction he takes. It might be that Richt is basically trying to hire 2 at once right now. Just a theory, probably reaching with this one.

mgdawg

January 7th, 2010
11:43 pm

No offense to smart, and I would love to see him at UGA as the DC, but I don’t think he has proved he is big time head coaching material yet. As I have repeatedly said, who really knows if he is running that defense or saban? I think if he stays there then he’s going to get offers from smaller conference schools, sorry I don’t believe the texas tech thing. If he can leave and go somewhere where he is in complete control of the defense, then he will prove he should be a candidate for a head coaching job at a major conference school.

I’m glad jakar is at UGA already. He needs to add a little bit of weight and it will be good for him to learn from whomever the new DC will be for afew more months.

mgdawg

January 7th, 2010
11:45 pm

oh yeah, by the way, if I was texas tech I would go after muschamp. Talk with him about the fact that no one knows how long mack brown will stay.

Paul's Johnson

January 8th, 2010
12:23 am

Bad news on two fronts, Mutts. Smart may be getting a head job, and your Gators just hired a good ‘un. Enjoy.

http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20100107/ARTICLES/100109652/1136?Title=Sources-Dolphins-Edwards-is-UF-s-defensive-coordinator

PHIL

January 8th, 2010
12:48 am

Johnson Head, Yep, according to that sage of sages, Channing Crowder the new UF DC is the best assistant coach in the NFL. No word on why if that’s true he only coached inside LB’s or why Miami sucked this year. But according to the future brain surgeon Crowder, he’s the best! oooooooo… Raise you’re hand if that hire sounds scary.

D&D fan

January 8th, 2010
12:51 am

Johnson, your an idiot and nerd herd loser, the new DC at UF really did a good job at washington as SS DC, NOT!

Draggin' Fly

January 8th, 2010
12:54 am

I like the Norm Parker idea. He and Monte Kiffin could fight it out with canes at the 50 yard line.

Richt has Natl Champ Year 7 Times

January 8th, 2010
1:08 am

Richt helped FSU get to the Natl Champ 5 times, and has had 2 Natl Champ type of years at Georgia, so far: 2002 & 2007.

7 Natl Champ type of seasons. 90 SEC wins in 9 seasons. Nobody does it better.

king ealey

January 8th, 2010
1:15 am

I see an embarrassing beat down at the hands of Iowa isn’t keeping the Tech nerds off of these UGA boards. Go inflate your girlfriends.

sir elton john

January 8th, 2010
1:24 am

yall are all idiots, KS isn’t interviewing at TT. I digress, he’s coming to athens. GO DAWGS!