Cleaning out the notebook . . .
Georgia’s strength and conditioning program was in the news again on Tuesday when it was announced that former Bulldog Tony Gilbert was hired as assistant director. Gilbert became the sixth football letterman to join the strength staff in some capacity since the end of last season. He joins director Joe Tereshinki Jr. (1974-76), full-time assistants John Kasay Sr. (1965-66) and Thomas Brown (2004-07), and Kendrell Bell (1999-2000) and Verron Haynes (2000-01) , NFL veterans who are helping out while they’re taking classes at UGA. (Keith Gray and Rex Bradberry, assistants under former director Dave Van Halanger, also remain on the staff.)
I constantly am being asked how Tereshinski and his staff may be training the Bulldogs differently than before. Tereshinski has declined interviews since spring practice began back in March and recently told me to give him “until sometime after the 4th of July” to answer my questions as the team is in the midst of summer workouts. But from what I can gather the training now is more condition-based at this point and will likely involve less Olympic-style weight-lifting in the future.
“We’re training for football,” Tereshinki told me without elaboration. “We’re training to win the fourth quarter.”
While the strength staff has expanded slightly under Tereshinski, it’s not as dramatic as it might appear. Gilbert’s position was actually created by combining two graduate assistant positions UGA had before, according to Athletic Director Greg McGarity.
And although he does help out some in the weightroom, Bradberry, a longtime assistant under Van Halanger, is actually considered a nutritionist in the restructure. Bradberry will be joined by two more full-time nutritionists — including a director — early next month. Also, Kasay’s position is part-time. He doesn’t have an office and is only on site when the players are running and lifting.
Obviously, Tereshinski is appealing to school pride as every hire he has made so far has brought in an alum. Gilbert, a former linebacker who played NFL ball for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons, was defensive captain for the Bulldogs’ 2002 SEC championship team.
He is, of course, a former All-SEC lineman from the 1970s who was a strength assistant under Kasay in the 1980s before taking over the Bulldogs’ video operations in the 1990s. All told he has been at UGA 37 years. Hopefully we’ll hear a little more from him later.
Leslie, Thompkins await NBA calls
Tomorrow night’s NBA draft promises to offer some high drama for Georgia basketball players Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. Both opted to enter the NBA draft after their junior seasons with the Bulldogs but neither appears to be a sure-fire, first-round selection. Columnist Mark Bradley reviewed all the pre-draft projections for Leslie and Thompkins (as well as Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert) and they’re both expected to go from the late first round to mid-second round.
I was able to interview Thompkins for a draft story that will run in Thursday’s paper — he said he was “a nervous train wreck” — but never was able to catch up with Leslie, who’s still traveling and working out for teams (I remain hopeful I’ll hear from him). In the meantime, I wasn’t able to fit in everything Thompkins told me, so here’s more of his thoughts:
Dooley joins ‘Extreme Makeover’ project
It looks like the ABC-TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is coming back to Georgia. A pep rally to raise volunteers to help Ty Pennington and his cast build a home in one week for an as-yet-unnamed family has been scheduled for June 30 at Morgan County High School in Madison.
What does that have to do with UGA? Well, legendary football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley has agreed to emcee the pep rally and lend his name and reputation to the project. According to a news release from Jackson-Spalding public relations firm, more than 1,000 volunteers are needed to help pull off the build, which will be executed by Pilot Builders and Smart Properties.
“I was excited to see ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ was interested in working in our community,” Dooley said in the release. “I hope that everyone will come to the pep rally and find a way to give back and help a deserving family in the area.”
Several Northeast Georgia families were finalists for the project but the actual recipient is being kept secret by ABC at this point. The build is scheduled to begin on July 10.
ETC. . . .
Hope you’ve been reading Steve Hummer’s “Postcards from Honduras” and checking out the photo galleries therein. In the meantime, Georgia coach Mark Richt wrote his own blog about the mission trip that is posted on the school website, georgiadogs.com. . . .
Georgia distance runner Bridget Lyons has been chosen as a 2011 recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Lyons will receive a $7,500 Postgraduate Scholarship from the NCAA, which awards 87 to women and 87 to men annually. Overall, Georgia has 66 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients. Lyons, who’s from Evans, graduated with a 3.88 GPA with degrees in Biology and Spanish. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and the Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical honor society as well as being a Presidential Scholar at Georgia. Lyons was also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Delta Epsilon Iota academic honor society.