New LB coach ‘looking forward to’ competing ‘for SEC and national championships’

Warren Belin

Warren Belin

The Georgia football team’s defensive coaching staff is whole again.

The final opening on the staff was filled this afternoon, when UGA coach Mark Richt hired Warren Belin from Vanderbilt as a linebackers coach.

The addition of Belin, following last month’s hires of Todd Grantham from the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator and Scott Lakatos from Connecticut as defensive-backs coach, completed the makeover of a defensive staff that was decimated by Richt’s Dec. 2 firing of three assistants.

Belin is a 20-year coaching veteran who spent the past eight seasons as Vanderbilt’s linebackers coach. He also was Vandy’s recruiting coordinator the past two years and special-teams coordinator in 2006-07.

“I’m looking forward to the next step in my career with Coach Richt and the opportunity to compete for SEC and national championships,” Belin said in a statement late this afternoon.

A former Wake Forest football player (1987-90), Belin coached at SMU, William & Mary, Cornell and East Tennessee State before going to Vanderbilt, where his work drew Richt’s attention.

“Warren has had some of the best linebackers and tacklers in the league for years,” Richt said in a statement.

Richt added that when he and Grantham interviewed Belin, “we were very impressed with his knowledge of the game, schemes and fundamentals.  He’s going to be a perfect mentor for our players as well.”

Belin will share the linebacker-coaching duties with Grantham, who plans to convert Georgia’s defensive alignment from a 4-3 to a 3-4, meaning three linemen and four linebackers rather than vice versa.

Grantham said last month that he will coach either the inside or outside linebackers with the final hire –- Belin -– coaching the other. Georgia didn’t announce their specific assignments today.

The linebacker position added a player earlier this week when Richt confirmed that Richard Samuel will move there in spring practice. Samuel was Georgia’s starting taiback at the start of last season but had fallen well behind Caleb King and Washaun Ealey at the position by season’s end.

Grantham, Lakatos and Belin join the only holdover on Georgia’s defensive staff, Rodney Garner, who will coach the linemen. Garner also is  the recruiting coordinator.

“I look forward to working with Coach Grantham, Coach Garner and Coach Lakatos in installing the new defensive package,” Belin said. “My wife and family are excited about the opportunity to become part of the Athens community, Bulldog Nation and the great tradition at UGA.”

Belin and his wife, Yolanda, have three daughters: 7-year-old Camryn and 4-year-old twins Morgan and MacKenzi.

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503 comments Add your comment

USMCDAWG

February 5th, 2010
5:12 pm

The staff is full now it’s time to get to work!

Edman

February 5th, 2010
5:12 pm

Law Dawg

February 5th, 2010
5:13 pm

Don’t desire to be first like those other deadbeats everyday, but I am relieved that the coaching situation is complete at UGA. Go Dawgs!

JRW7

February 5th, 2010
5:14 pm

GREAT HIRE, Now who is going to be RC at uga? !!!!!GO DOGS!!!!!!!

Cuddles

February 5th, 2010
5:16 pm

Edman, Vandy is the most over achieving defensive squad in the country. Why not “Vandy”

Blindog

February 5th, 2010
5:18 pm

Peyton Manning is the only player on the Colts that was rated a 5 star recruit in high-school,there are 37, 3 star or lower players on the Colts…nuff said!!

Brian

February 5th, 2010
5:19 pm

Great hire!! Vandy has had some of the best linebackers in the league over the last few years. Not household names, but solid performers on a defense that most of the time wasn’t that bad. If Vandy’s offense had been equal to it’s defense, they would have won a lot more games.

Brian

February 5th, 2010
5:19 pm

Enter your comments here

no deadbeats

February 5th, 2010
5:20 pm

I’m begging one and all to not bring up Andy McCollum’s name to coach DL at GT. I do not see UGA hirin him

1970 Dawg

February 5th, 2010
5:21 pm

Cuddles, You’re right. They truly do more with less because of
academic limitations on acceptance. I’m sure this move was well
thought.

Goldtimer

February 5th, 2010
5:25 pm

Is it getting that bad that Georgia has to take coaches from UConn and Vandy? Way to shoot for the stars with those hires mutts.

stw

February 5th, 2010
5:25 pm

EDMAN: Pray tell, what is your coaching background ??

Edman

February 5th, 2010
5:27 pm

Point taken.

Stop making excuses

February 5th, 2010
5:30 pm

UGA fans need to stop pretending that they didn’t have a second rate recruiting class. Regardless of how many stars players get, UGA lost out on numerous players they were after to schools like Florida and USC.

memphisdawg

February 5th, 2010
5:31 pm

BLIND DOG: One point to make; without Peyton Manning, The Colts aren’t playing in the superbowl, i would venture to say they would be near the bottom of the league.

WestOfAthens

February 5th, 2010
5:32 pm

WOW, i admire the effort. Results still need to be displayed on the field though. Amusing, yet impressive.

WestOfAthens

February 5th, 2010
5:32 pm

Vanderbilt? Hmmmm

2BT

February 5th, 2010
5:34 pm

Cool!!! He saw GT’s offense up close and personal last year in Nashville….. That’s gotta help, right!?!?!?!? ROFLMAO!!!!

WestOfAthens

February 5th, 2010
5:35 pm

WTH does Peyton Manning have to do with this announcement?
The exact reason i rarely invest my two cents amongst these “blogs”
C’mon folks, put the j down and focus…..

memphisdawg

February 5th, 2010
5:35 pm

All in all the class was not that bad, however losing Rogers and missing out on C. Green, Boone hurt. Other than that, a good class. Had we got one of the three recievers, we would all be satisfied with the class, As it is, expectations were not met and I don’t think many Dawg fans are “happy” with this class b/c we didn’t land a WR

memphisdawg

February 5th, 2010
5:37 pm

ROFLMAO? really; what a loser.

memphisdawg

February 5th, 2010
5:39 pm

No one cares about the affect Belin’s hire will have on Tech. Except for Techies of course.

NuffSaid

February 5th, 2010
5:40 pm

I say we stay positive until we give the new coaches and players a chance. Once they have the spring, summer and some games behind them then we can make some comments based on real actions. Unless of course you knowologist have a crystal ball. And if you do why not use it on winning the lottery instead of downing the players and coaches!

Dawg Tired

February 5th, 2010
5:40 pm

GOLDTIMER – I respectfully submit that both UCONN and Vandy did more coaching up than UGA coaches the last few years, I remember Vandy beating UGA fairly recently with much less talent (and but for a last minute fumble would have beaten us twice in the last 4 years). UCONN defensive backs have performed better than UGA’s the last 4 seasons. So, it seems pretty smart to actually hire coaches who have shown an ability to coach young players up to a level of performance that actually exceeds their recruiting “star rating.” It’s fairly obvious to anyone who has been paying attention that our recruits have not lived up to the hype.

Hooter Girl

February 5th, 2010
5:43 pm

And just how many recruits did Georgia get that were recruited by the other top programs?

Jeff

February 5th, 2010
5:47 pm

Hey Goldtimer… yeah, way to criticize UGA’s coaching hires. That would be like Ga. Tech hiring a tired, old retread from someplace like Virginia to coach its under-achieving defense…. ooops.

Keep running your mouths, Tech fans… you’ll never have the upper hand in the series against Georgia, you will never be considered one of college football’s “elite” programs, and you’ll never win a bowl game with your gimmicky offense, since teams will have 6 weeks to prepare. LSU last year, Iowa this year… I rest my case.

Now, stay off the Georgia blogs. I don’t go on there and pi** on your comments and program news, so you have some respect and stay out of here.

Not all Tech fans are as classless as you, Goldtimer… but you make the decent ones look bad.

Personally, from those in the know (obviously not Goldtimer), all these guys are HIGHLY respected defensive coaches. I think they will do very well and Georgia will be on the rise in the coming years. Go Dawgs!

And Goldtimer, just to remind you: 30-24. Go sit on that.

Old Dawg

February 5th, 2010
5:48 pm

Goldtimer: always remember, Paul Johnson came from that football powerhouse … the Naval Academy. If you knew anything about football, you’d recognize that some of the best coaches come from smaller D-1, 1-AA and D-2 schools. Pat Dye coached at East Carolina and Wyoming before going to Auburn. Brian Van Gorder at a lower level D-1 school.

And Vince Dooley was the freshman team coach at Auburn before he became the head coach at Georgia. Urban Meyer started at a smaller schools before going to Florida.

Don’t assume to know a lot about football, or you’ll make a sticking assumption about yourself.

JRW7

February 5th, 2010
5:51 pm

Our recruiting needs to be more intense! Some of these 4* from GA says UGA recruiters did not even recruit them all.

dagnabit

February 5th, 2010
5:52 pm

Hooters Girl; All of them.

GA Tech Insider

February 5th, 2010
5:52 pm

Great hire for the dogs. I think he’ll do well.

Mark Richt

February 5th, 2010
5:53 pm

Look’s like Richt will continue a trend. Two years ago it was injuries as an excuse (guess he never heard about depth). Last year it was inexperience (depth again!). This year he is preparing to blame talent level (depth again!) and looks to be preparing for Garner’s exit or firing by hiring the Vandy recruiting coordinator.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

February 5th, 2010
5:54 pm

Hooter Girl, all of them but one. He was a fill in the class WR project that won’t enroll this year. There are two sides to every coin and most jealous Techmites and other haters only see the down side to anything Ga related. Now on topic, this is a good hire. Between the UCONN coach and Belin, Ga has gotten a couple of hard nosed, fundamental teaching guys. This is a big upgrade over the last few years. And they can both recruit well

Terd Buster

February 5th, 2010
5:56 pm

stop making excuses
UGA fans need to stop pretending that they didn’t have a second rate recruiting class. Regardless of how many stars players get, UGA lost out on numerous players they were after to schools like Florida and USC.

Don’t know why you enjoy wearing the ass hat but at least you wear
it well.

gadawg

February 5th, 2010
5:57 pm

All you so called experts that are grumbling and bitching about the new coaches and this years recruiting class go support some other team. It is my opinion that the majority of UGA’s fans are tired of your negative bitching.

GaGator

February 5th, 2010
5:59 pm

It’s going to take more than these new defensive coaches (although they look good on paper) to save Richt’s job. It’s going to take wins over South Carolina, Tenn, Florida, and Auburn. Actually he better not over look Arkansas or Miss State. Vandy and UK should be wins (but UK should have been 1 last year)

All you have to do is look at Richt’s record to see the decline. His 1st 4 years he was 42-10 or 80.8% and 24-8 in the SEC 75%.

His last 5 years 2005-09 he has gone 48-17 73.8% and 26-14 in the SEC 65%.

He can’t afford to go 4-4 or even 5-3 in he SEC next year or he will be in big trouble. Sorry, but the numbers just don’t lie.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

February 5th, 2010
6:01 pm

Techs to do list circa 2009 #1 Beat Ga (no can do) #2 Win the crappiest football conference in America (check) #3 Win a bowl game for the first time this decade (damn) #4 obtain fans that are either not delusional or classless (never going to happen) Batting .250, well, that’s above average for the nerd herd THWGT

Diamond Dawg's Parole Officer

February 5th, 2010
6:06 pm

Thanks Old Dawg… for today’s life lesson. Maybe, just maybe, Goldtimer was referring to most of the UGA fans who belittle small conference hires? Anyone who wants to be at UGA should be revered. But anyone who chooses not to go to school or coach in Athens should be tarred and feathered. Even those who have actually played athletics for UGA. (Like Kirby) But I’m sure that the majority on this board have done more for UGA then anyone we’ve ever read or heard about.

But then again, who am I to make assumptions for others? (Or yourself)

Sweet Home Alabama

February 5th, 2010
6:07 pm

Vandy,you have got to be kidding me.This coach is from the worst team in america.

Man i wish the Tide could get a piece of yall next year.Scheule us you chickens.
I WILL guarantee a 50 spot and then we will play the fourth quarter.

Roll Tide Roll………………………..

UGASlobberknocker

February 5th, 2010
6:12 pm

Sweet Home Alabama…Richt is 3-1 vs. Bama..and as far as the bana schedule next yr..good luck with that Georgia State epic matchup

VolsRule

February 5th, 2010
6:13 pm

Two teams the VOLS have been kicking to the curb – usually in BLOW OUTS!!!!!! – VANDY and GEORGIA!!!!!

This is priceless!!!! Vandy coach to UGA – ha! haha! hahaha!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha!!!!

Vandy has outplayed UGA recently

February 5th, 2010
6:13 pm

I like this hire. Vandy for all but maybe one recent game with UGA ( 2009?) has outplayed UGA from the get go and yes, they do have fine D players and their HC is a fine coach. At any SEC school, he would do much much better. In 2005 or 2006 they handled M Stafford and he threw about 5 picsand we LOST. I must say, however, that i was NEVER a fan of MS and his pics and his no titles support me.

This guy will communicate and will coach and recruit and that is far superior to the three clowns that we’ve used for years at UGA. We ought to be much improved on D and I for one, am excited about 2010.

Go Dogs.

Burbank Dawg

February 5th, 2010
6:14 pm

Looks like this is the beginning of the end for Coach Gardner, what with this new guy having Recruiting Coordinator experience…

dan

February 5th, 2010
6:17 pm

Sweet Home Alabama,

Congrats on the National Title but lets live in the real world. You defense is what won you your National Tile. McElroy is a game manager at best and who have been exposed without Ingram this season. I don’t think they have the capability to hang 50 on anyone. Not talking crap, just pointing out a fact.

Burbank Dawg

February 5th, 2010
6:18 pm

oops, I meant Coach GARNER, no “D”, as in, how the Dawgs have been playing with Coach Willie at the helm.

superDawg

February 5th, 2010
6:18 pm

Hey sweetie bama boy you may get your chance in Dec.when our 3 stars fall on your bama a$$.

Bremen Dawg

February 5th, 2010
6:18 pm

Sounds like we got another good coach.

collegeballfan

February 5th, 2010
6:18 pm

Yeah, this is a good hire. The Tech players spoke well of the Vandy defense.

1eyedJack

February 5th, 2010
6:20 pm

Haven’t seen anybody comment on him being Vandy’s special teams coordinator. We could use some of that kind of coordinating.

Lakedawg

February 5th, 2010
6:25 pm

VolsRule?!? Y’all have ruled NOTHING for a decade. And if I’d
just hired a coach from LOUISIANA TECH (one with a losing record,
at that) and even that was your 7th choice, I don’t think I’d be criticizing
anybody else’s coach hiring. Glad y’all finally found somebody who
WANTS to coach your pathetic team. Win an SEC championship
sometime in the next ten years (that would make 1 in 20 years)
before running your mouth on here.

Clay

February 5th, 2010
6:26 pm

VolsRule – Really going to make fun? Wow go ahead, just remember your past 2 hires: a young loud mouthed cheater who could not keep a job for more than a year – his only experience was his daddy is a good coah and the coach at La Tech. I wish Dooley well and he will most certainly be an upgrade. He moved up to coach UT, same as the guy from Vandy is doing to go to UGA – so I don’t really understand the joke.

Also, Urban Meyer who owns pretty much everyone in the SEC came from Utah by way of Bowling Green – are you making fun of Folorida for hiring him?

Ignorance is bliss I guess.