What Mark Richt had to say at end-of-season news conference …

ATHENS — Mark Richt officially turned the page to 2011 at his end-of-season news conference Wednesday morning.

“Just want to start out by saying I’m glad 2011 is here,” Richt said. “I’m excited about that. Last season certainly was not anywhere close to what we expected or what we expect here, and it was certainly well below the standard of what Georgia football is all about. I understand that as much as anybody. I’m not happy with the way things went, but I do think in the process of going through what we went through, we’ll be better for it in 2011.”

Despite the team’s 6-7 record this past season, Richt said he has “a greater sense of excitement than I’ve had in a long time,” partly because of changes implemented in conjunction with new athletic director Greg McGarity that Richt said will free him from some administrative duties to spend more time focusing on football in 2011.

“In some ways, I feel like a first-year head coach,” Richt said. “Usually when you come in as the first-year head coach, the administration is coming to you and saying, ‘Coach, what do you need? What do you need to win?’ You wouldn’t think going into your 11th year you’d have that kind of feeling, but that’s what’s going on.

“Instead of me being the new guy, Mr. McGarity is the new guy. And as he has come in, we have had many conversations about what we need to get done to make this program the very best in the United States of America. That revives me; that rejuvenates me; that excites me in a big way.

“We’ve got some things that have been put in place and are being put in place that are going to make us better. And quite frankly things are being put in place that are going to help free me up to [spend] more time doing the things I love the most, which is study the game of football and … be on the cutting edge.”

Richt said director of player development John Eason, a former wide receivers coach, and administrative assistant Dave Van Halanger, a former director of strength and conditioning, will handle certain duties that previously fell on the head coach. Eason serves as the football program’s academic liaison, and Van Halanger heads a new mentoring program for the players.

Also, Richt said, “there are a lot of little things that crop up along the way that sometimes don’t get solved [or] sometimes take too long to solve in my opinion, but now the relationship that I have with Mr. McGarity is helping us expedite some of those things. . . . I am just spending less time messing around with things that Greg will be able to take off my plate from an administrative point of view.”

Richt, though, did not express any intention to take over as the Bulldogs’ play-caller.

“I’m not saying I’m taking over as the [offensive] coordinator or anything like that,” Richt said. “Mike Bobo is the coordinator; Mike Bobo is the quarterback coach, and Coach [Stacy] Searels is the running game coordinator. And they have done a great job . . .  so I have confidence in those guys.

“The point I’m making is, I’m going to have the ability to have the time it takes to truly study the game of football, the trends and what’s going on, so a higher percentage of my time is going to be able to be used for that, which is exciting to me.”

Overall, Richt spoke with a confident tone as McGarity and several of Georgia’s associate athletic directors watched and listened.

“We’re not looking to blow anything up,” Richt said. “In my opinion, we are very close. I mean, how many teams have what would be considered a down season one year and the next year they are right there?”

He also stressed the importance of the recruiting class Georgia will sign on Feb. 2.

“You’ve got to get a boost from your recruiting class, your freshman class,” Richt said. “I’ve never been on a championship team that didn’t have guys step up and make a difference.”

– Tim Tucker

727 comments Add your comment

Charliecole

January 5th, 2011
10:20 am

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 5th, 2011
10:27 am

WOW what a load .
go DAWGS

Joey

January 5th, 2011
10:27 am

And the definition of insanity is………?

Al

January 5th, 2011
10:30 am

I am underwhelmingly un-reassured

South Ga Dawg

January 5th, 2011
10:31 am

How bout figure out how to bring some heart and a mean streak to your team in the free time you have.

Duh

January 5th, 2011
10:32 am

blah blah blah blah blah……….another mediocre season coming up.

Athens Police

January 5th, 2011
10:33 am

We have added additional staff to handle the arrests of dawgs this year.

D-MAN

January 5th, 2011
10:33 am

Really this is what CMR had to say at his presser?? This man has got to go. I didn’t know giving him LESS to do is the answer, I would have thought giving him MORE of a role in the play calling and the day to day on the field would have been the answer. So he is confident in his OC BoBo and Coach Searels?? He thinks they are doing a GREAT job??? Yeah, OC Bobo had a month to prepare for the UCF team that he couldnt manage a TD on. And yeah, the running game has been a real winner this year. Whatever. And he wants to give MORE responsiblilty to Eason and Van Halanger, two men that have been shifted into new assignments already dur to their failures to accomplish their primary tasks. Geez, this guy doesn’t get it. UGA will stink again next year and once again we will be asking the question “Does CMR deserve another year?” I say he has proved by his actions this year and by his words at this presser that he is not the man to carry this UGA team to the elite. So the answer once again is NO.

CMR

January 5th, 2011
10:34 am

Can’t we all just get along?

RollDog

January 5th, 2011
10:34 am

Wow.
And somebody bought that line of sh…….

Touche’ Joey.

Disappointed Dawg

January 5th, 2011
10:35 am

Searels more than any other staff memember is the reason this team stinks… I was really hoping that he would be dismissed and Bobo, who is a great QB coach, would be demoted at the very least… Garner needs to go too. I would have thought that Richt would have had some staff turnover to get some fresh blood in here… Instead he is irgnoring, yet again, what this program needs… He will be fired next year.

Frank Lane

January 5th, 2011
10:35 am

Don’t underestimate the value of thinking time for a leader, in coaching or in any business endeavor.

[...] In his season-ending press conference Wednesday, via our Tim Tucker, Richt said that he’s going to have more time freed up in his schedule “to [spend] more time doing the things I love the most, which is study the game of football …” [...]

Vince Dooley

January 5th, 2011
10:36 am

Call me. I can help with planting flowers at the stadium.

Calhoundawg

January 5th, 2011
10:36 am

I can’t wait till all you morons have to eat your words. Of course, the guy that was going to coach at Pitt is now available again. I also hear Coach Fulmer’s looking to get back into coaching. WE LOVE YOU COACH RICHT!!!! You can stay as long as you damn well please. Go Dawgs !!!

last

January 5th, 2011
10:36 am

Enough said….. Mike NoMo did a great job. Wonder who our head coach will be in 2012

RollDog

January 5th, 2011
10:36 am

D-Man,
You are DA man!

Mike Smith

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

Well, this is not good. So why is he studying the game of football if not to have a bigger hand in play calling, etc. I’m pretty sure his last statements will be his demise. If he want to marry himself to Bobo and Searels, then there is no helping him. The offense over the last three seasons has been loaded with talent, yet completely underachieved. Who would have thought that Grantham’s D would overall outperform the offense this year?

Dawgs97

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

About the only thing that might wake up us Dawg fans would be AJ shocking us by returning AND landing all these various stud recruits like Crowell, Mitchell, Dickson, Rome, Drew et all that we’re finalists for. Only if those things happen will the depression subside for a bit.

D-MAN

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

Another thing…IF AJ Green and some of the juniors were even thinking of hanging around next year, I think the words of their coach has made the decision for them. I think they will be more resolved than ever to jump from this sinking ship and embrace the NFL – lockout or not.

gadawgs

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

They have done a GREAT job and you have CONFIDENCE in those guys? Really coach? Seriously? If you truly believe that then we are screwed. Lip service….Lip service…Lip service…Blah….Blah….Blah…..

RiffRaff

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

Bear Bryant could take average players and get the most out of them. Know a guy who played for the Bear and he said the Bear was one mean SOB. Richt gets 4 and 5 star recruits and ends up losing to the likes of Colorado and UCF.

Disappointed Dawg

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

Obviously the buck stops with Mark Richt, but Searels has continually under-achieved with what has been given… I still stand by Bobo the QB coach, but not the OC… Richt needs to call the plays again.

Al

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

I too am glad for 2010 to be behind us and I am looking forward to 2011 and the prospect of having a new HC in Athens 365 days from now. On the bright side,this at least gives McGarity an entire year to put out feelers and see who is interested and who can have a staff assembled and in place on Jan1, 2012.

Dawg_Mike

January 5th, 2011
10:37 am

I don’t think CMR is capable of reinventing himself to be the kind of leader necessary to get this ship righted. Very few can pull that type of transformation off. He is not wired that way.

Nevertheless, we all will see as the offseason starts and the clock starts ticking toward September.
First on the agenda- get those in state recruits !
Ssecond- NO arrests

These two things will tell us a lot about this “transformation” and how successful it will be.

O'Leary

January 5th, 2011
10:38 am

bwa bwa bwa bwa bwa…………UCF rules!

RollDog

January 5th, 2011
10:39 am

Calhoundawg, go back inside the double wide, take two cc’s less medicine this time, place the dentures in a cup a take a nap. It’ll be ok.

beachside bulldawg

January 5th, 2011
10:39 am

OK, so you’re not taking over the offense and you really don’t want to save your job. For heaven’s sake!!, take over something. Kick somebody’s but. Do you really think Mike Bobo would ever call a play like you called in Knoxville and “stepped on their face with a hobnail boot.” Mike is a great QB coach and was very gutty as a player, but you have the OC mentality. DO IT!

wayxdog

January 5th, 2011
10:40 am

I’m fired up now, makes me want to go garden!

sogadog

January 5th, 2011
10:40 am

I like CMR, I want him to stay at UGA and succeed. But dadgummit I dont think he gets it. Bobo and Searels did NOT do a great job this year. The offense lost as many of the games this year as the defense. The offense was a disaster in the bowl game even though they had a month to prepare. I dont want to hear “they did a great job” because they did’nt. I want to hear that Bobo and Searels are either gone or are working hard to fix the problem.

D-MAN

January 5th, 2011
10:42 am

It really doesn’t matter how much talent we get in this coming year. The players are not being coached up. Few are reaching their potential. The amont of acolades we get for our good recruiting is not translating to wins on the field. The problem is not recruiting. It is coaching. It’s like Steve Spurrier once said…”All that talent goes to UGA and I don’t know what happens to it.”

O'Leary

January 5th, 2011
10:42 am

Bwa bwa bwa bwa bwa

Rich Rod

January 5th, 2011
10:43 am

I’ll be available soon……call me

Bowden Boys

January 5th, 2011
10:44 am

We kin kome up thar with daddy and fix your program. Ya’ll got free shoes up there, don’t you?

Fire Me Up, not put me 2 sleep

January 5th, 2011
10:44 am

Are you kidding me, Coach Bobo and Coach Searels have done a good job? What a laugher.

We are so out of the top teams in the SEC and you give us this?

Without doing too much harm, all these possible recruits need to go somewhere else and then maybe the leadership at UGA will finally get it.

Folks we are the laughing stock of the league. The Vols had just as bad or worse offseason than us, changed coaches, barely hired a coach and finished with the same record as us. That should tell you something.

CMR , you have reached almost rock bottom as a coach, not as a good man or father, but this is big time football.

VADAWG

January 5th, 2011
10:45 am

What a load of redundant fertilizer! Totally unimpressed, the poor man has absolutely no clue. Stacy Searels doing a great job!!!! Coach Richt needs to go.

Wozzo the Wonder Dog

January 5th, 2011
10:45 am

Love Coach Richt but I’m not sure I can forgive the losses to Colorado & Central Florida. If we can (i) recruit really well in the next few weeks, (ii) run the ball well, and (iii) learn how to tackle / stop the run going forward then I think I’ll be happy. How many people think Bobo may cost Richt his job next year?

Al

January 5th, 2011
10:46 am

Makes me wonder if CMR was actually AT any of the games this year? Maybe he was so bored he slept through those “Football Saturdays”. I wonder if he even bothered watching any of the game films??????????

General Ledger

January 5th, 2011
10:46 am

As everyone else, I’m very disgusted with this past season and in particularly the bowl loss. I will however say that just a few ago everyone was whining and saying the same things about Richt’s play calling (predictable, sprint draw up the middle all the time….etc) that they’re now saying about Bobo’s play calling. Now everyone wants Richt to call plays again?? I don’t understand that.

Vain Jangling

January 5th, 2011
10:47 am

Three quick obsrvations:
1. How again will having fielded a mediocre team in 2010 make the Dawgs “better for it in 2011″?
2. Respectfully, Coach, you’re either on the “cutting edge,” or you’re not. Recent history supports the “not.”
3. If Bobo and Searles have indeed done a “great job,” then Georgia’s problems run far deeper than anyone could ever imagine.

study the game of football....

January 5th, 2011
10:47 am

hmm. so we are paying 4.5 million a year for someone to ’study the game of football?’
my wife would say that every fall, i am immensly qualified for that job. sign me up.

read between the lines people….this is news conference speak for the following..
“i have done a crappy job of managing this program and by sliding people around on the organizational charts, i can become a better manager.”

anyone who knows corporate america knows that McGarity’s “unlimited assistance” is also a politically correct way of saying, son….we’re gonna give you some rope…you can pull yourself out of the ditch, or you can use it to hang yourself.

we’ll see what field goal jesus does about it.

D-MAN

January 5th, 2011
10:48 am

Hey CMR, THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!!!

Buckshot

January 5th, 2011
10:48 am

Sounds like Urban before he finally bowed out. Why in the world would a head football coach at Georgia need to feel renwed and refreshed?????? Man, he has lost his fire and desire, and you never get that back! Look at Meyer. I have seen this in Richt for the past 3 seasons!

Al

January 5th, 2011
10:49 am

CMR = rose colored glasses

Good golly somebody please pass me the Prozac

Dawg

January 5th, 2011
10:49 am

I have to admire CMR! I think it is time for him to go, but I admire him for saying to everyone ” This is my ship and I am the captain, so I am going to sink or float with what I have!” Brave, but as we have seen in the past, Stupid! It is sad that he is nothing but a lame duck coach. Even if he wins 10 games next year, any year after that, when he only wins 7, he is gone. I for one would rather cut ties and go to another program and let both parties start over. But that is just me.

Toole

January 5th, 2011
10:49 am

Richt is a politician, not a football coach!

Michael G.

January 5th, 2011
10:50 am

it doesn’t matter if you guys get your way and coach Richt is fired. The first game the next guy loses, you same idiots will be here calling for that guy to get fired. you guys are truly pathetic.

Rich Rod's Agent

January 5th, 2011
10:51 am

Mr. Rich Rod is willing to come in a Off Coord in 2011 and be the “Coach in Waiting”

Too little and too late

January 5th, 2011
10:51 am

In 08 and 09, we knew the UGA program was slipping. The talent was down going into 09 and of course into 2010. The ugly two year record proves that. At the same time, the rest of the SEC has gotten better. UGA in no way resembles a quality SEC team and that simply cannot stand.

One more year …………. and UGA can dig out of this mess. UGA is stuck with CMR and his mega $$ contract and they figure “give him one more shot, cause we have to pay him anyway”. This alone is why Richt is still at UGA. Period.

Here are the hard facts about UGA football at this precise moment:

O line is sub standard. D line is weak and very inferior to the hard chargers now in the SEC. Our linebakers are not very good. Samuels and Jarvis Jones may help. Running backs are lousy for many reasons ON AND OFF of the field. Get rid of them now. Get three really good uns with this class.
D backs and safeties are simply not football smart. Period.

UGA lacks toughness …………. both pysical and mental. NO edge. No swagger beyond the late out of bounds hits by our safeties.

QB is overrrated too. Lose those Batman gloves to redeem yourself. QB’s bowl performance was a carbon copy of the G Day game. He is too emotional to win big. See the Florida game and others like UCF. The die is cast.

Intangibles:

Dr. Adams looks at football unlike his counterparts in the SEC, except for Vandy and Florida. Both Vandy and FL are fine, fine academic schools, as UGA is but Florida still insists on a quality athletic program, unlike Vandy. UGA? I am unsure as to how Adams views SEC football lately. He might be waiting to guage the 2011 recruiting class to get a true handle on Richt’s appeal.

TIme will tell. He has been mum. Odd.

UGA man, class of 71 & 73

JB

January 5th, 2011
10:52 am

Passing off his paper work to someone is his plan?……….5-7 next year