UGA notes: Richt might coach kickers; Tech, Georgia Southern return unsold tickets

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt suggested Tuesday that he might take on an added duty next season: direct responsibility for coaching the Bulldogs’ kicker and punter.

“One thing that I can do as head coach is at least spend time learning the kicking and punting fundamentals well enough to be their coach,” Richt said. “Right this minute I wouldn’t say I have enough expertise to do that, but I think this off-season it would be wise for me to do something like that because I am freed up enough to do that.

“And if that’s my contribution to special teams in the future, I think it’d be valuable.”

Richt’s comments came as Georgia continues to struggle on special teams and prepares to face a Florida team that excels in that area.

Georgia’s special-teams problems this season have included extra points (four misses, tied for most in the SEC), net punting (last in the SEC) and punt returns (eighth in the SEC). Florida leads the nation in punting and also ranks near the top of the SEC in several other special-teams categories.

Georgia’s coaching staff doesn’t have a designated special-teams coordinator, instead dividing the duties among various assistants. Florida has a special-teams coordinator, D.J. Durkin, who also coaches linebackers. Durkin has seven years of experience as a special-teams coordinator.

Richt didn’t indicate any plans to establish such a position, noting college staffs are limited to nine on-field assistants.

“You can assign somebody within your staff to do it, or if you don’t (and) there’s no attrition, you’re going to fire somebody to hire a special-teams coordinator,” Richt said. “So I don’t know if I’m interested in doing that.”

Richt said that across the country some teams have success with a special-teams coordinator and others have success without one. He also noted that some teams with a special-teams coordinator nevertheless divide the actual coaching duties over the various special-teams units among several assistants.

“We’ve had some pretty good punters and kickers over the years since I’ve been here,” Richt said. “We’re not doing anything any differently than we’ve done before, really. But they (Florida) have done a very good job on their special teams, there’s no doubt about that.”

Georgia has a freshman punter, Collin Barber, and a freshman kicker, Marshall Morgan.

Tech, Ga. Southern return tickets

Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech did not sell out their ticket allotments for their  games Nov. 17 and Nov. 24, respectively, against Georgia in Athens. Both schools returned the unsold tickets to UGA.

Tech and Georgia Southern had original allotments of 8,000 tickets apiece for their games at Georgia, according to UGA assistant athletic director of ticket operations Tim Cearley. He said Tech returned approximately 1,900 unsold tickets and Georgia Southern returned approximately 1,400.

UGA plans to put the returned tickets for both games on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Prices are $45 for the Georgia Southern game and $75 for the Tech game.


Georgia’s offense is ranked No. 4 in the nation and Florida’s defense No. 4, according to the weekly UPS Team Performance Index for all 120 major-college teams. The index ranks Georgia’s defense 50th and Florida’s offense 80th. … Richt remained optimistic about linebacker Jarvis Jones’ status for Saturday’s game: “We think he will be able to play.” Jones sat out last week’s game at Kentucky with a sprained ankle.

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October 23rd, 2012
6:41 pm

Tells you a lot about Tech “fans” not buying tickets for their biggest game of the year and the one they talk about winning all year. Time for another Tech beatdown!

Excuses Tech “fans” will use:
“We are going to win anyway!”
“Why would we want to visit that dump in Athens?”
“Well the Tech ticket office wasn’t offering free cokes and hotdogs for buying tickets.”

Mountain Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
6:59 pm

So Richt plans to help the kickers next year? Why not here and NOW? What the hell is this guy thinking?

Lowndes County

October 23rd, 2012
7:01 pm


October 23rd, 2012
7:05 pm

Really? We can’t make an extra point and he’s bringing this up now?
Blair Walsh missed a dozen crucial FG’s his last 2 years and it took the NFL about 10 minutes to fix him.
Another great example why we need a new head coach.


October 23rd, 2012
7:07 pm

How in the world can GT not sell out their allotment of tickets??? What an embarrassment their team is. We had that many fans or more go to Missouri.

Lets be honest

October 23rd, 2012
7:09 pm

Really Tech fans? Georgia Southern sold more tickets than your program??



October 23rd, 2012
7:12 pm

Maybe there are more uga fans at gsu than at gt?

Rick James

October 23rd, 2012
7:19 pm

@Lets be honest

Really Tech fans? Georgia Southern sold more tickets than your program??

They dont go to games at Bobby Dood why would we expect them to come to Athens?

Rick James

October 23rd, 2012
7:21 pm

Maybe Kevin Butler could work with Morgan.Extra points are getting scary.We may have a better chance going for two after touchdowns


October 23rd, 2012
7:28 pm

How many games have we lost due to special teams? Maybe we should look at hiring a st coach.

toe meets leather

October 23rd, 2012
7:30 pm

Jacket fans everywhere reunite for a whuppin’ of the puppies tween the twigs!YELLOW FEVER!!


October 23rd, 2012
7:33 pm

It wont matter coach. You wont be around after next year…glad you said “We’re not doing anything any differently than we’ve done before, really” Thats because our ST’s are so great. I am so glad you helped Blair Walsh last year and now you feel you can coach the ST’s. How about coaching the rest of the team not to quit, not to be soft. You should probably start with that.

Doctor Phil

October 23rd, 2012
7:33 pm

Well Steve, as a Tech fan, allow me to explain why I didn’t buy tickets to the Georgia game this year. I’ve attended at least one away game every year. Back in 2010, I went to the Georgia game. It was the worst experience I’ve had at an away game. I’ve been to Clemson, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, just to name a few. At every one of those stadiums, the fans were polite and friendly. At Clemson, fans even thanked me for coming to the game.
Not so at Georgia. As my wife and I walked from the hotel to the stadium, we were barked at, yelled at, called “nerds”, and other various insults. The “welcome” we received was anything but friendly. Needless to say, we agreed that if this was the way we would be treated, we would never return.
The worst thing about our treatment is that it was so out of line with my day-to-day experiences with Georgia fans. My employees are all Georgia fans, and they are the most friendly people I have the chance to work with. I respect them, and they respect me. There must be something about game day that causes them to change. It’s disappointing.
I wish you all the best, and I hope you all win when you play Florida this week. But I won’t ever return to Athens for a football game again.

I posted yesterday on the Tech blog about the returned tickets ...

October 23rd, 2012
7:39 pm

…these are two responses:

The reason is simple. People go to a sporting event to enjoy pregame festivities and the game. That’s hard for opposing fans in Athens. $75 is nothing compared to replacing property, repainting your vehicle, explaining to young children why some people say such things to them and the feeling that you may need to defend the lives of your family at any moment. That’s what you got in Athens on gameday. I don’t think it’s the UGA Alumni but the other people that call themselves fans of UGA football. That’s not just Tech fans going to Athens but any opponent going to Athens.

Examples: Vehicles keyed and tires punctured, tailgate equipment destroyed, being spit on, being threatened, children and women being called horrible names. Too much and over the top.

You guys buy those tickets and hopefully you’ll fill up the Stalinistic Megalith.

And then this:

@ Reformed Toady…..I can attest to that from personal experience. I was spit on once by a UGA fan after a Tech win in Athens. Fortunately, I saw him coming and was able to get in my car, so that his spit only hit my driver’s side window, but he DID spit at me.

Dawg Fan

October 23rd, 2012
7:45 pm

that random number of misses that you claim Blair Walsh had was way off, plus anyone that keeps up with our team knows that Blair had alot of personal problems his senior year. Stop trying to grasp at any reason to trash our coaches.
In a related story……GO DAWGS! Big win this weekend


October 23rd, 2012
7:51 pm

I’m sure Georgia has some nice fans, but I won’t go back either. Too many abusive, confrontational people to deal with. I would just like to go to the game, have fun and walk back to my car without all of the drama.


October 23rd, 2012
7:53 pm

Well guess what “Doctor Phil?” I was at the Tech/UGA game in Atlanta last year with my girlfriend. We were in our red but were not “talking trash” to anyone. For pretty much the entire game, the nerds around me constantly made comments to myself and girlfriend even though nothing was being said by us. Don’t act like that stuff only happens in Athens. We can’t help the jealousy Tech has over UGA.


October 23rd, 2012
7:59 pm

Yea, cuz Tech doesn’t have any obnoxious jackasses for fans. But, a pretty typical childish response from the jealous little yellow headed step children of the state.

Dawg Fan

October 23rd, 2012
8:20 pm

Doctor Phil,

I had the same experience multiple times at Ga Tech but it did not stop me from going to games. The first few years I went with my brother in law who is a tech fan. We had to hear all the insults about how could a tech fan sell their ticket to a UGA fan. Then every time I stood up I would be told to sit down or they would call security even though all the tech fans were standing. Then I started buying tickets from tech fans on ebay and a old guy poked me with his cane leaving the game and another time I took my whole family and after a UGA win was told by drunk tech students to get the F out of their house. As we walked by the frat houses beer bottles were thrown at us. So you experience at UGA seems very mild compared to my experience at tech. Go Dawgs!


October 23rd, 2012
8:23 pm

Steve and ATien, what is the solution?

Fair n Balanced

October 23rd, 2012
8:26 pm

I’m sorry, but how much coaching do you really do at this level to get a guy to kick an xpt? Good night!


October 23rd, 2012
8:32 pm

The best coach to help GA’s kickers is Rex Robinson. He coaches some of the best high school kickers in Georgia and he would be terrific both with Marshall and Barber. They need to find some way to pay him to come to Athens and get these kids’ heads straight, not to mention their mechanics.


October 23rd, 2012
8:34 pm

So Georgia Southern sold more tickets than Georgia Tech. That’s just pitiful for Tech.


October 23rd, 2012
8:34 pm

TVFan, just do away with Tech football. Tech never does anything or means anything except for maybe once every 20 years. Focus on your little basketball program.


October 23rd, 2012
8:39 pm

Sounds like a bunch of idiot fans at both schools. It’s bad it has come down to this.


October 23rd, 2012
8:49 pm

Has anyone else seen this?
This looks like some motivational material to me! Pretty moronic too


October 23rd, 2012
9:05 pm

EVERY school has some obnoxious fans. I cringe when I hear about Georgia fans treating others rudely because there’s no excuse for such behavior. I’ve been to many home games, though and have actually witnessed very little of that. I watch for it, too. Maybe it’s because we don’t tailgate or congregate around the drinkers on either side. Maybe it’s because I avoid night games. I have a feeling that a lot of the rudeness may be directly proportional to the amount of alcohol that has been consumed by the offender and you must know where I’m going with that. Having said that, the worst experience I’ve ever had at an opponent’s home field was at GT. Early game, to boot.


October 23rd, 2012
9:10 pm

I don’t hate Richt but him saying he’s going to teach himself up and coach the kickers is a sign he’s not up to the HC job. This is just silliness.


October 23rd, 2012
9:12 pm


What do you think he’s on? Good grief! And “The Unsportmanlike Gentleman”?? That’s pretty OXYmoronic. Pun intended.


October 23rd, 2012
9:18 pm

Richt would be better off just keeping his mouth shut most of the time. That way it would be much easier for him to hide the fact that he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what he is doing (for $3+ mil per year).

Moobs Johnson

October 23rd, 2012
9:28 pm

What a clueless coach. Hope Richt stays another 12 years in Athens.


October 23rd, 2012
9:31 pm

anyway they can use one of the best ever—Kevin


October 23rd, 2012
9:35 pm

“i’m freed up enough to do that”. Really? Come on really?


October 23rd, 2012
9:36 pm

So Richt is going to “spend time learning the kicking and punting fundamentals well enough to be their coach,”

Wow! That sounds promising.

I think that maybe he should first concentrate on putting together game plans to win games against the upper tier opponents.



October 23rd, 2012
9:41 pm

@DILLIGAF. Exactly!

Good grief

October 23rd, 2012
9:44 pm

Make one of the assistant coaches special teams coordinator like Florida is doing. He is praising them for their great special teams but wont follow the model.

The Grinch

October 23rd, 2012
10:26 pm

toe meets leather
October 23rd, 2012
7:30 pm

Yes, all 6100 of you. :cool:


October 23rd, 2012
10:28 pm

So Mark Richt will become a kicking coach in just one off season…well Mark it is not that simple, if so everyone would do it. You don’t become a golf coach overnight without playing a few rounds. You don’t become a pitching coach just because you can throw a ball. Georgia’s not so special teams are on the field for an avg of 1/6 of all plays and Mark Richt is stupid for not placing more emphasis on this aspect of the game. The games coaches play with special teams are costly. I have watched my local high school team, Stephens County, screw around with their kick offs this year and they are going to get burned. They have a kicker who can kick it into the end zone each time for a touch back but the coaches have had him kicking high and short to the sideline hoping to trap the receiving team inside the 10 yard line. They will get burnt sooner or later because of their sheer stupidity. Just like Georgia and it’s lack of focus on the kicking game, they have already been burnt i.e. SC. Richt a kicking coach…really?

James K Polk

October 23rd, 2012
11:06 pm

Someone needs to teach McGarity how to kick Mark Richt out the door. That’s the kick we need to make.


October 23rd, 2012
11:25 pm

Really. Did I just read that. Why not hire a coach with special teams expertise that also coaches rb’s, lb’s, TE’s, etc. do we really Need a 2-1 ratio on linebackers to lb coaches and no one on special teams. Many head coaches oversee special teams cause they have the staff in ace to handle all the other stuff. We haven’t returned a punt in years and have screwed upper on special teams than not. It’s a hold your breath every time special teams take the field!

I now am at the realization that Richt may be an honorable man, but maybe not a good coach as his past successes may just be great recruits winning games despite the coaching staffs preparation and player development.

jacket backer

October 24th, 2012
12:48 am

Attend a football game in Athens??….umh…..No Thanks! Even if I knew Tech would win, NO THANKS! NEVER!! I’m too old to have to put up with that abuse. It’s just a football game.

Old School

October 24th, 2012
12:55 am

INSANITY…doing the same thing over and over, year after year [insert CMR quote on ST coaching, “We’re not doing anything any differently than we’ve done before, really"] expecting different results.

Coach Richt, if ST coaches work so well at other elite programs as you say “But they (Florida) have done a very good job on their special teams, there’s no doubt about that” then why in name of common sense are you not considering finding an elite ST coach out there who can also coach other positions and stop giving away games games due to the lack of quality ST coaching.

The reason CMR will not hire a quality special teams coach in his own words…”you’re going to fire somebody to hire a special-teams coordinator,” Richt said. “So I don’t know if I’m interested in doing that.” REALLY, I MEAN REALLY…a position coach comes before the success of this slowly fading football program.

Tune in Saturday Bulldawg Nation and judge for yourself the play of our special teams. Things to watch…can we catch a punt without it rolling inside the 10, do 185 lb walk-ons and 2nd team players dominate the ST roster, do we continue to lead the nation in hitting the up rights for PATs, can we use our arms when we tackle etc, etc. With all this being said I do hope I’m eating crow pie Saturday afternoon but our lack of consistent play especially in BIG games [0-10 against ranked SEC opponents over the past few years] has me worried.

The Diesel

October 24th, 2012
2:37 am

Richt coaching special teams,about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.Watched the press conference today.Sometimes Richt needs to be quiet.Mcgarity needs to show him and the whole staff the door.Tired of the Richt Rhetoric.

ville dog

October 24th, 2012
5:10 am

That might be a good permanent job for CMR. Maybe we could find another head coach to instill the right mental attitude on this football team.


October 24th, 2012
7:03 am

I attend all of Tech’s home and away games and have for several years with the exception of Miami and UGA. Like another backer said, the one time I attended Tech/UGA in Athens it was also one of my worst experiences as a fan of any sport and we said “Never again”! I’ll continue to enjoy traveling to away games where fans are fans and not rude and disrespectful . So laugh all you want Georgia fans but until you get a life many Tech fans will gladly refuse the tickets.

c u later

October 24th, 2012
7:35 am

“We’ve had some pretty good punters and kickers over the years since I’ve been here,” Richt said. “We’re not doing anything any differently than we’ve done before, really.”

Special teams have been a disappointment for years. Just last year Walsh could not be counted on for accuracy and Butler’s kicking deteriorated every year at UGA. Both are doing well now with solid coaching in the NFL. Not doing anything different will not bring on different results. This is the classic defintion of insanity. Maybe CMR needs to have a mental checkup before unemployment looms.

BTW is it just my view or has Brandon Smith taken a hall pass on making plays this year. He has been a total phantom player except when he gets beat unmercifully on pass plays.

[...] Athens, special teams play hasn’t been a strength for Georgia, and Bulldogs coach Mark Richt says he’s considering making that his own responsibility … next season. As for the [...]

Lou "the toe" Groza

October 24th, 2012
7:54 am

I think CMR could learn a lot more about the kicking game from some of the outstanding prior GA kickers (Rex Robinson and Kevin Butler) that have experience and teaching abilities. Perhaps he could also open his eyes to understand that accuracy is more important than just distance. Most field goals are not 50+ yards (and there may be more PAT’s sometimes than FG), yet our current guy is missing the closer ones. Even talking to Rex this year would be helpful – he knows some of the other (current) kickers on the team and their strengths (accuracy and consistency), but you have to be willing to take advise and not just keep going with a “favorite” that is floundering.


October 24th, 2012
8:00 am

cant we be like every other DI school and HIRE a dadgum ST CORDINATOR???