Mark Richt: All Assistant Coaches Should Be Back Next Season

Mark Richt

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During his final weekly Sunday teleconference of the regular season, Georgia head coach Mark Richt issued the statement that all of his assistant coaches should be returning for next season, and that includes defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, whose unit has surrendered the most points per game in UGA history this season.

“Everybody should be back,” said Richt. “Everybody’s got to do what they’ve got to do as far as opportunities and all that. We’ve got some things we’ve got to get better at, but the continuity is a good thing for Georgia. We had a young bunch of guys (on defense) this season and the experience they got was positive but  everybody’s got to improve.”

On other topics today, Richt commented as follows:

That Georgia’s touchdown drive before the half Saturday night, which enabled the Bulldogs to trim Georgia Tech’s lead to 20-7, gave the team renewed confidence starting the second half. Richt said the Bulldogs knew they could fight back into the game if they stayed the course and then the field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter (after a Todd Gurley touchdown was nullified) boosted the comeback hopes even more. “Knowing we could move the ball again was a good feeling,” said Richt. whose team of course fought back from a 20-0 second quarter deficit to swat the Yellow Jackets in two overtimes, by 41-34.

That the main priority for the coaching staff after the finish of the regular season is to have the Georgia players finish strong academically. The staff will also be meeting Monday with the focus on recruiting, “to get everybody in the right spots before the dead period starts.” Then the coaches will begin a plan for bowl practice, as soon as Georgia learns next weekend which bowl it will participate in. The first bowl practice will likely be held the day of the Bulldogs’ annual Gala, which is set for Dec. 14. Then Georgia will practice every day beginning that following Monday, until they break for the Christmas holidays.

That everybody “came out clean” in the Tech game as far as any serious injuries go. “No one was hurt seriously,” said Richt, pointing out that special teamer Corey Campbell did sustain a concussion.

That he really admired the way the Georgia players persevered this season, in a year that had some thrilling victories but, also, some heartbreaking defeats. “There were some close games we lost, where one play here, one play there, we might could have won them. But there were also some close ones we certainly could have lost,” he added. “And we certainly learned a lot about ourselves, for the bowl game and for the future, with the players we have coming back.”

That the Bulldogs won’t know their bowl fate until after all the conference championship games are played this coming weekend. That even if no SEC team makes the BCS national championship game, he thinks the conference will still get two teams in BCS bowl games and the outcomes of Saturday’s title games will set off a chain of events to determine each bowl’s selections. “I’m sure there’s some big deals already going on but we’ll have to wait until after the SEC championship game to figure all that out,” Richt said.

22 comments
DallasDawg
DallasDawg

Our defense has regressed every year under Grantham. At what point in the season can you say was the turning point to warrant Grantham's retention?

RxDawg
RxDawg

I'm not that surprised by this. It might actually hurt us more then help us to throw a brand new coodinator D at the team next year with almost everyone returning. That said, a pay cut is certainly in order. If grantham makes more then bobo, that's a crime.

ZippyMorocco
ZippyMorocco

Can any of you say our secondary improved from the Clemson game to the NATS game? I didn't see any improvement. That is coaching.

JTUGA
JTUGA

It doesn't take a football genius to recognize that the 68th ranked pass defense and the 44th ranked run defense doesn't cut it in the SEC. Sorry but I have always disliked the arena argument. It's basically telling fans that they, in spite of the obvious data, they don't know what they are talking about and everything is going according to plan. But no matter how you spin it, the BSC era is coming to an end without UGA ever getting a BCS Championship; the only member of the Big 6 SEC teams who didn't get one.

Lakedawg
Lakedawg

His comment was, everyone should be back. Does not mean that some coach might make a decision to move on for whatever reason. What he should not tolerate is someone interviewing at every NFL opening that comes available.

Junkyardawg41
Junkyardawg41

Before everyone has a ow, let's really think about the situation. We let CWM go before the bowl game. We were unable to attract any of our top 7? Choices? If nothing else, the season is not overall and coach evaluations have not come in. The line I read is should. Does that mean it is not entirely up to CMR? Continuity is important if you don't have a legitimate coaching candidate already lined up? Who is available today or will be by January? I think CMR said the right things. In my opinion, CTG needs to go. But I am not sure today is the day for that decision.

coat89
coat89

Can't say I'm surprised but I have no faith that  Grantham can fix this.  I think it will be marginally better because of experience , we'll lose  2 or 3 games because of defense and be looking for a new coordinator after the year.  Or Richt will see marginal improvement and be ok with it.  Hope I'm wrong. 

JCDawg
JCDawg

Should we be taking this as the final say? I just don't see how we decide to keep Grantham around when his numbers are starting to get even worse than the abomination before him. Even if grantham doesn't go, Coach Lakatos has not been developing our secondary AT ALL.  Is this laziness on Richt's part? He needs to learn how to fire people in my opinion.

Okefenokee Dawg
Okefenokee Dawg

@RxDawg I agree 100%,  isn't it funny how there have been other SEC head coaches say stuff about our sorry defense over the years including Gary Pinkle after the Mizzou game, yet Grantham is one of the highest paid D-coordinators in the country. Richt should listen to the other coaches.

Red_white_and_bulldawg
Red_white_and_bulldawg

When you consider that Vad Lee had about 43 more passing yards against us than he did against Elon, no, you can't say there was much improvement.  We kept his completion percentage below 50% but we gave up several big plays. 

RxDawg
RxDawg

Probably a little bit of both. There could very well be uncontrollable circumstances going on that the fans never know about. But results are results.

JCDawg
JCDawg

@Junkyardawg41 It's more the principle of the matter than anything in my opinion. I hate that they are looking us in the face and asking for a pass on a 10th of 14 ranked defense. The fact that we had so many freshmen is offset in my mind by the fact that I saw ZERO improvement on the defense as a whole. I saw some individual improvement, but that's all. Couple that with the fact that all the new guys were Granthams' guys now. If we give them a pass for this year, that means that we'll owe them a pass to have a terrible defense every 3-4 years. 

Grantham loves to talk about how he loves CFB in the sense that he can recruit whoever he wants rather than wait his turn in the draft. He should have no right to talk about that perk of CFB if he is going to turn around and use graduation as an excuse for why his defense sucks. Both are aspects of CFB and he clearly only wants to own one part of it.

RedBlackDawg
RedBlackDawg

@GirdersRBending @ZippyMorocco really...? maybe he should have been more clear.. did our SECONDARY improve? Not a bit. We showed no improvement in my opinion. It was the worst secondary I have ever watched take the field at UGA. I'm not saying they won't be improved next year. Hopefully Tray can stay healthy and Wiggins will come thru as our playmaker back there (I'm big on Wiggins). Langley should go ahead and transfer. Dawson should be forever restricted to special teams. I really hope Wilkerson can ball, and we got some guys coming in that can play. The whole "we were young back there" thing doesn't work anymore. It's time to be held accountable and make some necessary changes. Lakatos? Grantham? 

Bulldawg Bob2
Bulldawg Bob2

@JCDawg @Junkyardawg41 Principle? Lol, how is what he said an affluence against principals? If so, then you are expecting way too much out of Mark Richt and the University of Georgia for that matter. While you and many fans may want and expect Richt to come out and say that he is not happy with Todd Grantham and he wants him gone, or he's firing him today. It won't happen that way. While you may expect him to come out and say that the reason we struggled this year is all on Grantham. It's his fault and he hasn't done a good job. He is not going to do that.  University of Georgia  Athletic Department wouldn't let it happen that way either. There is a process that is done at Georgia and coaching terminations and dismissals have been handled that way since Vince Dooley's days at Georgia.

The University of Georgia Athletic department has always handled coaching terminations in a professional manner. Richt is saying exactly what Vince Dooley, Nick Saban, and most good, smart coaches would say in this situation. 

I heard the same type of talk when as I was at school at Georgia in the early nineties when Ray Goff was head coach. Vince Dooley pretty much said the same thing the year Goff was terminated a week before he was terminated in 1995.

coat89
coat89

@JCDawg @Junkyardawg41 If he keeps Grantham and the defense is not good we have another wasted year. Hate to think of a wasted year with Gurley on the team. 

Red_white_and_bulldawg
Red_white_and_bulldawg

And it would be different if the 2012 defense had really impressed the way it should have with all that NFL talent, but it didn't.  Our lack of a run defense ultimately cost us the SEC Champ game.  So even if we return to a defense with the same amount of depth and talent as 2012, can we expect that it would be any better/different?

Bulldawg Bob2
Bulldawg Bob2

@JCDawg @Junkyardawg41 and auto correct got me. In that first sentence, it should read "affront" instead of "affluence."

and JCDAWG, I respect your opinion, and I do agree that Grantham needs to be terminated. I would like Richt to come out and say that; however, he isn't going to do so until the Athletic Department makes it an official and gives him the OK to make the announcement. Even then, the University might not word it that way. It may be worded that he is leaving Georgia to pursue his NFL career again or other opportunities elsewhere.