Bryan McClendon Breaks Down Bowl Coaching Assignments

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Bryan McClendon Breaks Down Bowl Coaching Assignments

Bryan McClendon Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated

Bryan McClendon
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated


Bryan McClendon held his first press conference yesterday as head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. McClendon took media questions on a number of topics including coaching assignments for the Taxslayer Bowl.


On the coaching staff for the bowl game…

“Todd Hartley, who was special teams coordinator at Marshall who came here and we were lucky to get him here in any capacity, he’s going to handle the special teams. He’s going to do all of the special teams, all of our kicking units. Coach (John) Lilly is going to handle the offense. Coach (Kevin) Sherrer is going to handle and call the defense. Guys who we promoted to put on the field were Sam Pettito, a guy who’s very familiar with the defensive backfield. He’s a coach who did a lot. He was a coach who we were trying to get over here in any capacity, and he’s been very good. He’s very familiar with that, he can teach that, and he’ll do a very good job with that. Courtney Coard is going to have some of the responsibility as far as the outside backers. The outside backers are going to get kind of rolled up a little bit with the defensive line, and Coach (Tracy) Rocker is going to head that up. Kevin Sherrer, he’s going to handle the interior backers, the inside backers. Sam is going to help him out as far as that goes. On-the-field GA’s will be there, working with the same groups they’ve been working with. Olten Downs is another guys who we’re going to put on the field. Coach Downs is just a tremendous coach, and we’re lucky to have him. He’ll be on the field as well. He’s going to help out with my group — the receivers. He’s been helping with those guys all year in a capacity where he wasn’t a guy who was able to do stuff on the field outside of charting and things like that. As my role changed a little bit, he’s going to have a new role to take in, a bunch of the team aspects and things like that. (Steve) Shimko (will handle the quarterbacks). “Shimmy,” he’s been there every step of the way with those QB’s. He’s going to take on full responsibility with those guys.”


On having staff turnover in prior bowl games…

“Even last year, to a certain extent, helps with Mike (Bobo) having to take a job and having to do things a little bit different. Guys had to adjust to that a little bit. All of that stuff helps. To be honest with you, I think the guys just being in constant communication with the team, getting in front of those guys every single day, those guys have been great. They’ve been great. They’ve been kind of ‘Hey coach, you tell us what to do and we’ll do it.’ Those guys have been great.”


On his future at UGA…

“It’s kind of all about the kids. It’s been about the kids. That stuff will take care of itself a little later on, but right now everything is just geared toward this bowl game, getting the team ready for the bowl game so we can go out there and have a good showing.”


On managing the change with the coaching staff…
“The preparation part of it, not a whole lot. Just the game planning and things like that, that’s a little bit different. The actual preparation part of it is not going to change a whole lot.”


Here is our recording of the entire interview:

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.