Daily Archives: January 25, 2009

Recipe for success

Here’s Mark Richt’s:

“I think there’s a lot of things that go into winning a championship,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “You could play a wide-open offense and score a lot of points, but also as you’re wide open, you may make a couple of more mistakes then you would if you’re a little more conservative. Not to say we’ll be a more conservative team. You win playing great defense and you win playing great on your special teams.

“You win because you’ve got great chemistry and you find a way to win the close games. … We can certainly do a whole lot better when it comes to penalties and things like that. There’s a lot of things that we can improve on as a football team that can give us an opportunity to win the (SEC) East.”

The smart ass response to this is that it sure would have been nice if the coaches and players had been paying more attention to this advice last season.  That being said, I do believe that many of last year’s problems came as a result of falling in love with the talent level and being unduly swayed by the preseason hype.  Last year’s team seemed to have lost a certain edge as a result, so if the losses of Stafford and Moreno bring back into focus the other factors that go into winning football, that’s a good trade off in my book.

Going forward towards next season, I suspect we’ll see more and more comparisons made between the ’05 Georgia squad and this year’s model.  The similarities between Cox and Shockley make that almost inevitable.  And in a way, that’s probably good; the staff has some confidence that it’s dealt successfully with that kind of adversity before.  But it’s only fair to note that the Florida of 2009 is much, much better than the Florida of 2005.  These Dawgs are going to have to step it up if they want to accomplish as much as Shockley’s team did.

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“In the case of Greg Reid, there are 10 more as good as he is waiting to take his spot.”

Let’s face it, Dawgnation:  we’re doomed.  The Gators have ten more kids lined up behind the Georgia high school football player of the year, all just as good, to pick from.  That’s why Urban Meyer seemed so nonchalant about Reid’s decision to open his recruitment back up.

Yeah, that’s it.

Personally, I welcome our new Gator overlords.  At least after I stop gagging.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

“It’s not me; it’s the marketplace…”

The AJ-C does a little compare and contrast with a coaching salary story today about Georgia’s situation.  It’s all about the rising salaries happening at places like Auburn and Tennessee versus the stability of places like Florida and Georgia.

Rodney Garner explains his dilemma.

“I’m staying for a man, not for money,” Garner said, referring to his close relationship with Richt. “But I turned down a significant amount of money to do so. My family and friends think I’m crazy. I’m serious, they think I’m nuts. At some point, it’s going to get to the point that I have to think about securing my future.”

Mark Richt and Damon Evans explain theirs.

“Well, I think it’s impacting everybody,” said Richt, who determines his assistants’ salaries with input from athletics director Damon Evans. “I don’t know where it’s going to end. But it’s happening right now, and everybody’s going to have to make life decisions on what they want to do about it.”

“Do I have concerns about where coaches’ salaries are headed? I would say each institution has to do what they feel is best,” Georgia’s Evans said. “As far as keeping up [with the competition], you’re talking about two or three institutions that have made some significant changes to their staff that have caused their salaries to go up. I think you’re going to see that more. When you see programs that may be down and they want to make a change, when they make that change, typically it costs you more money.”

Yes it do.  Especially with the tsunami of TV money crashing through the SEC now.

Here’s the stability side of the picture:

… Indeed, it’s the coaching staffs with the most stability —- and some might say the most success —- that seem to be benefiting the least from the escalation trend. Two-time BCS champion Florida, like Georgia, offers its assistants only one-year deals. Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is the Gators’ highest-paid assistant at $310,000. Including a supplement and longevity bonus, Martinez is the only Georgia assistant to make more than $300,000 ($320,300).

So far the Bulldogs have been able to avoid turnover, a cornerstone of Richt’s coaching philosophy.

“If you’ve got the right staff, which I think we do, I think staff stability is very important,” he said. “Prior to us getting here, I think Brian VanGorder was, like, the fifth defensive coordinator in five years. I think Neil Callaway was the fifth line coach in four years. Georgia was certainly talented prior to us coming in, but having that stability was valuable for having the success that we have had.”

Richt was asked if increased salaries and multiyear contracts were necessary to maintain that stability.

“Well, you’ve got to stay competitive, I do think that,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you need to blaze the trail.”

Charlie Strong at $310,000 a year has to be the bargain of the conference.

Note at the end of the article that the total gap between the Tennessee coaching salary pool for 2009 is a little more than $500K greater than Georgia’s for 2008.  When the new numbers for Richt and his staff come in, expect that number to shrink, even with Coach Eason’s salary being replaced with a lower one for Bryan McClendon.  That’s because stability has its own cost:  the position coaches at Georgia are for the most part better compensated than their Tennessee counterparts due to their longer tenure in one place.   The same is true for the head coach.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football