Van Halanger out, Tereshinski in, as Dogs’ strength coach

Dave Van Halanger, who has been the Georgia football program’s director of strength and conditioning for the past decade, was reassigned Thursday.

Van Halanger was shifted to a new position as administrative assistant to coach Mark Richt, who named Joe Tereshinski, a former Georgia player and long-time staffer, to succeed Van Halanger as strength and conditioning director.

Van Halanger –- one of the first people Richt hired upon arriving at Georgia in January 2001 — has more than three decades experience as a strength coach and is well known for his grueling off-season “mat drills.” But Georgia’s strength training, like many other aspects of the program, has drawn criticism as the Bulldogs have posted back-to-back disappointing seasons.

The reassignment of Van Halanger, 57, came exactly one year after Richt’s last staff shakeup. On Dec. 2, 2009, following a 7-5 regular season, Richt fired three assistant coaches, including defensive coordinator Willie Martinez.

Georgia completed a 6-6 regular season last week.

For Van Halanger’s replacement, Richt turned to a man with deep ties to the Georgia program.

Tereshinski, 57, has been an assistant strength coach at Georgia since 1982. He also has doubled in other roles through the years: offensive line and special teams coach (1982-84), administrative assistant to coach Vince Dooley (1985-86) and video coordinator (since 1987).

“Joe has had a hand in Georgia’s strength and conditioning program for nearly 30 years,” Richt said in a statement Thursday. “I’m excited about what he can bring to our program in this capacity and the direction he’ll set as we move forward.”

In addition to being a former Georgia player — the starting center in 1975 and ‘76 — Tereshinski is the son, brother and father of former Bulldogs. His father, Joe Tereshinski Sr., lettered in the 1940s; his brother, Wally Tereshinski, in the 1970s; and his son, Joe Tereskinski III, in 2004-06.

According to UGA, Van Halanger’s new role will include involvement in areas such as players’ character education, mentoring and community-service initiatives.

“Dave has made immeasurable contributions to our football program and been a major factor in our 96 victories over the last 10 years,” Richt said. “This role for Dave will allow us to tap into many of his strengths that will be of great benefit to Georgia, to me, and most of all to our student-athletes in a very unique way.

“He will be outstanding in working with and motivating our young people in these many areas that will bring strong guidance to them in their daily lives.”

Van Halanger, who followed Richt to Georgia from Florida State, was the Seminoles’ strength and conditioning coach for 18 years (1983-2000). Before that, he was the strength coach at West Virginia, his alma mater, for five years. His teams have reached bowls for 30 consecutive seasons.

He was inducted into the Strength and Conditioning Hall of Fame in 2003.

Van Halanger and Tereshinski will assume their new duties on Jan. 1, UGA said.

351 comments Add your comment

observer

December 2nd, 2010
4:29 pm

Is this an permanent hire or just an interim hire? There have been some “in the know” saying this was just an interim hire.

If this is the actual final hire, then this is a completely underwhelming and lazy hire by Richt that just amounts to simply rearranging the chairs. However, it would be consistent with his M.O that is evidenced by his past decisions to promote Bobo and Willie from within instead of doing an exhaustive and intensive national search for the best possible candidates.

Bryan G.

December 2nd, 2010
4:31 pm

Worst. Move. Ever.

You’re telling me Joe T was the BEST available person for this job? Hell, what’s Bill Goldberg doing?

superDawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:33 pm

marcus Aaron Murray is ranked #9 in the country.Damn good for a freshman.

Vance Duly

December 2nd, 2010
4:33 pm

If Joe T is willing to adopt new techniques and advancements in conditioning and nutrition, like our rivals are doing, it might be OK. If he isn’t, this will be a bad move. Coach DVL did NOT keep up with latest advancements, according to members of the training profession who DID participate within the profession, etc. So, someone needs to interview Joe T to find out how willing he is to modernize our program!!! What will he change??!

merbertmoover

December 2nd, 2010
4:33 pm

finally! man, the dawgs be all lookin like they eatin too many jelly rolls baby! hopefully the new coach can get these guys looking fresh and strong, not like they just came out of a week in a cabbage patch, you know what im sayin?

Valdosta Dawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:34 pm

Observer that is a good point! I say we go hire some crazy Marine drill instructor to drill some meaness into our Dawgs! I am sick of seeing them get whipped at the line, on both sides! I want to see our Linebackers rip someones head off! What is Bill Romanowski doing these days? Now thats a mean SOB!!!

GW

December 2nd, 2010
4:35 pm

This sounds temporary and a McGarity touch. Kasay also returning. He caught hell under Goff like Van does now. This may change again by July.

Frank Lane

December 2nd, 2010
4:35 pm

I love the idea of Goldberg.

KeepDreaming

December 2nd, 2010
4:35 pm

Hahahaha, nice Bryan G. I second your motion for Goldberg…

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 2nd, 2010
4:36 pm

i love Van Halanger’s new role. please no more dumb arrests

"Whatchagot Loran?"

December 2nd, 2010
4:37 pm

Tim, I am being told this is an interim position. Any truth to this?

04Dawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:37 pm

Ahhhh!!! Stop doing this! Go get some fresh blood, a younger guy that knows the new methodologies in strength and conditioning. Both of these guys are still studying Arnold while those guys at Bama are pumping some real diesel. Did anyone see that piece on ESPN from the Bama S&C guy? I almost punched out the TV it got me so amped. There’s no way a 50 year old man is going to get these young guys that amped up.

SugarHillDawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:37 pm

It’s temporary. The full time guy will be named soon!!!!!!!!

In the Know...

December 2nd, 2010
4:37 pm

Y’all relax. This is a temporary hire. I know it’s not rational to trust an internet poster/source, but you need to go with me on this one. There are actually some incredibly positive things that are going to take place within the UGA football program that should help get everything in order.

In other news (and something for you all to chew on): Rodney Garner’s days as an employee of UGA are limited.

There….have fun with that.

George Roberts

December 2nd, 2010
4:37 pm

This makes Richt look bad. They need someone who can leap tall buildings and light fires under peoples’ asses.

TheItalianDawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:38 pm

observer,
I do agree with you, I think if this is a final hire its not only lazy but plain stupid. inbreed never good.

gbal

December 2nd, 2010
4:39 pm

Bryan G.

December 2nd, 2010
4:39 pm

In the Know and SugarHill…

So you’re saying there’s a chance for Goldberg??

Good Call Bradley

December 2nd, 2010
4:39 pm

Nice call on the strength coach needing to go. Great call Coach Richt on creating this new job title to help keep the kids in line. Coach Richt is one man, with 100+ diapers to take care of. Hopefully this new role keeps the team focused on the goals next year and will help teach responsibility to the few idiots who act up. Mark Richt needs one more change though, his attitude. GATA all year.

GoForTwo

December 2nd, 2010
4:39 pm

I quess the Strength and Conditioning position is a non-staff job since Coach Richt just said there would be no staff changes.

Ric Flair for strength coach

December 2nd, 2010
4:40 pm

Can anybody tell me the role of an “administrative assistant” to the head coach? I know what it means in Corporate America but not here. I assume he is not answering the phone and making copies.

Dawgdad (The Original)

December 2nd, 2010
4:40 pm

I love the Goldberg idea as well.

jarvis

December 2nd, 2010
4:40 pm

I heard Troy Sadowski was interested.

MURPHY

December 2nd, 2010
4:41 pm

I see this move by Richt as putting a person in charge of keeping these players in line on a 24/7 basis.Character education? If this is so,im glad we are taking steps to hopefully clean up our image and keep these players focused on football and staying clear of trouble. Been around Coach T on many occassions and he means business.He can sure get wound up with energy at times.Glad to see we are making some changes.

BG

December 2nd, 2010
4:41 pm

This is a temporary hire. The new S&C will be from the NFL. The season is not over for the NFl so the new hire will not happen until then.

Cowper

December 2nd, 2010
4:42 pm

I used to watch Joe T., Sr. play for UGA in the 40’s and then as an assistant coach at Athens High School. Grandfather, son, and grandson are 100 percent UGA! Best wishes for the new position as strength coach!

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 2nd, 2010
4:43 pm

Pilates is a must

THE ORIGINAL UGA

December 2nd, 2010
4:44 pm

I guess Sam Mrvos was not available (may he rest in peace).

You sure this is a temp hire?

December 2nd, 2010
4:44 pm

Hey, I hope you are right, but aer we sure this is an interim hire? I mean, usually it states that the person is taking the position on an interim basis. I hate to question anyones “in the loop” knowledge, because I have none, but is it really a good idea to replace Gardner in the middle of the busiest recruiting time of the year?

WDE

December 2nd, 2010
4:44 pm

Not the splash you needed to make.

First of all: holding onto the old guy in another role just shows you he sucks and can’t get a job doing anything else.

Secondly: You’re gonna get a guy who was the old guy’s understudy? Georgia was dreadful late in the games, you needed a complete transformation of the strength & conditioning program.

Why must everything your football does be so boring?

Joey

December 2nd, 2010
4:45 pm

How is this a change?

LagDawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:45 pm

How is this an improvement? This is pathetic and we need some new blood in the program that actually knows what they are doing. This is why the program has been on the decline. Just because they went to UGA, doesn’t make them the right person of the job. If he was the assistant, that means that he was part of the problem. This is not the way to improve the program and this really sucks. When you make changes on the staff it should be for the best. If this is permanent, this is a very sorry hire and we will continue to get pushed all over the field. Every time that CMR makes a change on the program, it needs to be someone with an outstanding resume’.

Rick S

December 2nd, 2010
4:46 pm

ARE YOU CRAZY? Is this the BEST The new AD can do?

Chuck

December 2nd, 2010
4:47 pm

I sure hope CMR did his homework on this hire. As an alumnus, I can tell you the days of our 4 and 5 star recruits being overpowered on the lines better be over. If not, CMR will wish he had taken the Miami job and left gracefully.
I’m fine with UGA finding a spot for Van Halanger. That’s what smart organizations do with a loyal employee once they can no longer perform in their current position. Van Halanger just couldn’t realize that his National Championship ring that he thought was the answer to anyone that questioned his lack of productivity was a LONG time ago.

I know Joe T and went to UGA with him

December 2nd, 2010
4:47 pm

Joe’s uncle was my dentist in Buckhead for years and years. He ( Joe T ) comes from a family that is tough and tough minded and Joe T will improve the drills in the weight room. He and his brother were tough, hard nosed old time UGA football players like David Pollack. His QB son should have played D end like his uncle and dad but oh well. His dad ( Joe T ) and uncle were hitters and played it hard nosed, my friends.

Joe T is a very solid and a very dedicated UGA man. He loves UGA and that should matter. I want a coach that wants to do his job and one that wants to be in Athens. I am telling you all …………… that he will be excellent. Toughness is what he is all about.

Sam Mrvos ( SMU ) was one of the weight trainers at UGA when I was at UGA and when Joe was there and Mrvos did extract a tough attitude out of anyone in the weight room. I weighed 160 and was 5′10 and he had me doing reps with 220. Cortisone today from time to time helps ease the recollections of SMU. Joe T comes from that hard assed background.

Joe T is as good as it can get, short of hiring Arnold Swartznagger or Steve Reeves. He WILL find out why the men are missing their scheudled lifting and excercises my friends. They will be held accountable. Joe T IS the man to improve this area.

Go Dogs.

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 2nd, 2010
4:48 pm

All of a sudden everyone is an expert on D-1 strength and conditioning. Calm down fellas.

Wozzo the Wonder Dog

December 2nd, 2010
4:48 pm

People said “Fire Willie Martinez” and it was done. People said “Do something with the strength and conditioning program” and it was done. People said “Fire Mike Bobo” …

Dawgnation

December 2nd, 2010
4:49 pm

Would love to get Ryan Goldin to be our guy. He trained Rennie Curren and a ton of other NFL guys. The man knows what he’s doing.

Vance Duly

December 2nd, 2010
4:49 pm

Hmmm…. it was just reported that there might be an ADDITIONAL hire in the S&C area, to assist Tereshinski…. Wonder who?? Would David Pollack, a guy whose motor never seemed to give out, be a good assistant?? We might know who it is later today…….

TONE

December 2nd, 2010
4:49 pm

WHO’S NEXT at the little debbie buffet is what this hire sounds like.

9 and 1

December 2nd, 2010
4:49 pm

How about Herschel and Goldberg as S&C coaches!!!!

LCDawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:50 pm

Dear God…..are you effing kidding me? he had a chance to hire some new , young, hard ass and instead he promotes Joe T? Oh brother….these players need to get their asses kicked the entire off season. Joe T better be the man for this or Richt will lose his own job next year.

9 and 1

December 2nd, 2010
4:51 pm

I was on another blog and most were saying that this was temporary, but after reading this it sounded pretty permanent to me? What is everyone else hearing?

jarvis

December 2nd, 2010
4:51 pm

I’m hearing reports that this is only a temproray deal until after the bowl.

Jack Lalanne will be named S and C program head in January. Free carrot juice for all.

Whopper Dawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:51 pm

If that is a permanent hire, I am incredibly disappointed. But if it is, it is exactly Richt’s MO. Unfortunately. If a head (coach, GM, AD, president) is unhappy with the direction of a program or an aspect of it, a sure way not to change anything materially is to hire a guy that has been working in the program for a length of time, much less 30 years. Can’t believe the AD approved this.

tampaBIGdawg

December 2nd, 2010
4:51 pm

This has to be an interim selection. JoeT is a great guy but we need fire. I am a former Marine with a an exercise science master’s and a football background. 29 yrs old, heck I will do it. I’ll run the speedsters and make the big ugly’s truly BIG SOLID uglies. I can’t promise no one will get hurt though. (JOKE)
On a real note. We have got to get a young raspy guy that can SHOW these guys not just tell them what to do to improve. IF Bobo becomes consistent, the S&C fix could solve a lot of problems. Even our running backs look like they got softer over time. I know genetics has plenty to do with but look at how solid Trent Richardson looks. I mean come on man. Some of those guys could probably do better on their own. I hope we get a better option. Herschel wouldn’t work. He was a freak of nature that relied solely on calisthenics. We need to pull the guy from OKS. Them cowboys are always in shape.

9 and 1

December 2nd, 2010
4:52 pm

Jack Lalanne will be named S and C program head in January. Free carrot juice for all.
_____________________________________________

D’OH!

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 2nd, 2010
4:52 pm

16 oz curls are a great way to get in shape

TONE

December 2nd, 2010
4:52 pm

everybody hoping for Goldberg and we get Jim Ross sad just sad

Pope UGA XXIII

December 2nd, 2010
4:52 pm

I know Joe T casually and will guarantee you that players’ work
assignments will be completed.
On the other hand, the GOLDBERG suggestion really rocks,
if for no other reason, coming out of the tunnel with sparks flying.