You can’t always get what you want.

I have to confess that of all the things I might expect to stir up a shitstorm, reshuffling the S&C staff would rank pretty low on my list.  Shows what I know about Dawgnation.  Maybe they should introduce the entire staff before the G-Day game to give disgruntled fans a chance to vent their frustration.

A lot of this seems to be drawn from the same anger that fuels calls for Richt to be replaced with the likes of Muschamp or Smart, writ small.  Very little of the criticism that I’ve read here or elsewhere deals with specific flaws in the strength and conditioning program which need to be addressed and why this coach would fail or why that one would succeed at remedying those.  And before you go there, bitching about the symptoms (“I’m tired of seeing our offensive line/defensive line get pushed around!”) isn’t the same thing as identifying the disease and finding the cure.

I get that in the wake of a disappointing 6-6 season change for change’s sake is a tempting state of mind to occupy.  But it’s all going to come out in the wash after next season anyway, isn’t it?  If Coach Tereshinski and whatever assistants are brought in (and the latter are the real keys on how successful this move turns out to be) have an impact, then this all blows over in time.  And if Richt had gone outside the program for a new head of S&C, who’s to say how much would change in a year’s time?  (Ironic that many of those critical of Richt’s recent hiring decision to go outside the program for Grantham seem to think that this one would automatically go better.)

For those of you who think this was at best a path-of-least-resistance kind of decision and at worst an incredibly stupid move on the part of the head coach, remember that Richt and Van Halanger are about as close as it gets (even closer than Richt and Martinez were).  So, for Van Halanger to say this

“My goal is to be a strength coach,” Van Halanger said. “I’m a good strength coach. I want to be a strength coach again sometime. I will work tremendously hard at whatever I need to do. I love working with kids. I love working with the kids at Georgia.”

The news comes five days after Georgia finished a 6-6 regular season.

Van Halanger said he still needs to talk to Richt about whether he will continue as strength coach through the bowl game.

“I understand him and he understands that I’m going to do everything I can to help,” Van Halanger said. “Mark wanted to make a change. I’m going to be assigned to other duties and I’m going to work very hard at it.”

… tells me that a change was something Richt was contemplating for a while and that at some point he had become as dissatisfied with the results he was getting on the S&C front as most of the rest of us are.  And that Van Halanger was resisting it.  None of which is to say that Tereshinski is a lock to succeed.  But it doesn’t sound like there was anything easy or thoughtless about the decision to remove Van Halanger.

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76 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

76 responses to “You can’t always get what you want.

  1. HVL Dawg

    Thank you.

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Wasn’t John Kasay, Sr. the place kicking coach under Dooley? Pretty impressive body of work, whoever it was.

    • Normaltown Mike

      I always thought it was Bill Hartman, Sr., or was he only punters?

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Nope, Hartman coached all the kickers for most of the time Dooley was the head coach. (I can’t remember if the younger Kasay played for Dooley, but if he did, Hartman coached him.)

        • Normaltown Mike

          I heard it was Goof that ran off the legendary Hartman.

          Many moons ago while curling Coors, a walk-on told me how RG enjoyed singling out kickers as worthless sissies and that he referred to one of our players as “killer” b/c of an unfortunate car accident.

          Awesome!

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Actually it was the NCAA that ran off Hartman, changed the rules about volunteer coaches or something. Hartman then enrolled in graduate school to counter the ruling and made a comeback as a graduate assistant.

          • 69Dawg

            Yea Ray was the genuis that let the Georgia kid go to Hawaii and become one of the best kickers in NCAA history. Sorry I’m old and can’t remember his name. He kicked in the pros for Denver for years then at last for the Falcons.

  3. jferg

    I don’t know “who” is qualified or accessible to hand us both the diagnosis and cure—but I’d love to hear it. I’m tired of guessing and I’m tired of reading posters guesses.

    • BCDawg97

      +100000000 even down to whether Richt, Bobo, Garner, Searels, Grantham need to go. I just want the answers that = winning.

  4. The Realist

    Ah… I’ve found the problem. Van Halanger was also responsible for conditioning… not just strength. He must have missed that memo.

    In all seriousness, I don’t know if this is the right move. I’m not paid to know. Richt is. If this is a bad move, it will be proven with the results on the field, and Richt will lose his job over it. If this is a good move, it will be proven with the results on the field, and everyone will be happy.

    Outside of those actually in the program and experienced S&C guys, who the hell knows what needs to be improved in the S&C program? Pollack was a hardcore workout guy and he says Joe T was a good hire. Since I have nothing else to plead but ignorance, I’ll take that as a solid recommendation and see what happens.

    Btw, I’ll bet a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts that the news next offseason will be how hard the conditioning program was and how the leaders on the team really kept everybody motivated and yada yada yada. Any takers?

    • AthensHomerDawg

      “Btw, I’ll bet a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts that the news next offseason will be how hard the conditioning program was and how the leaders on the team really kept everybody motivated and yada yada yada. Any takers?”

      Pass. I already have that T-shirt.

    • Btw, I’ll bet a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts that the news next offseason will be how hard the conditioning program was and how the leaders on the team really kept everybody motivated and yada yada yada. Any takers?

      There’s your hint about what some of the real problems were, folks. And that has nothing to do with the latest in technique.

    • D.N. Nation

      Btw, I’ll bet a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts that the news next offseason will be how hard the conditioning program was and how the leaders on the team really kept everybody motivated and yada yada yada. Any takers?

      You stole my idea. Was wanting to make that post since yesterday.

    • HamDawg11

      “Btw, I’ll bet a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts that the news next offseason will be how hard the conditioning program was and how the leaders on the team really kept everybody motivated and yada yada yada. Any takers?”

      CMR – “This has by far been the most intense session of mat drills we have had since we’ve been here………”

  5. heyberto

    Great post SB. We had loads of success under Van Halanger for a number of years, so whether health related or not, something had declined. I go back to David Pollack’s statement on Twitter yesterday that Coach T will be a great choice to head this group up. Pollack doesn’t pull many punches, so if he’s handing out praise, I’m of the mind that he’s not just being a homer because he loves this group of coaches.

    Also, Richt seems to be providing continuity with any changes he’s making this year to avoid the upheaval and subsequent learning curve that would occur, and under his leadership, that seems to work best for him. Although, I think there’s a big difference in learning a new workout routine and learning a new defense. Perhaps that’s an oversimplification from a guy like me who really doesn’t know what a S&C program is really like.

    One last thought – I wonder how much influence McGarity might have had over this decision? Was this one of his ideas that Richt became open to? I get the sense that while Richt and McGarity may be developing a strong relationship, the new AD is being a little more forthright about what he thinks Richt should do with the program. I think that’s a good thing.

    • Will (the other one)

      If you’re trying to improve anything w/r/t working out, the last thing you want to do is get “used to” the routine.

      I may not be in the arena for football, but I know there’s a pretty broad consensus among folks who exercise a lot about muscle confusion and not getting too routine in your workout regimen.

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    Senator your plea for calm rings clear. Bear in mind though that your biggest segment of commenters are guys in their 20’s whose passion has not been tempered by age. And they may have been fired from a job or two and survived so they don’t think it’s a big decision. Anyway even as you plea for calm you want those guys to keep venting; they have points of view, they attract hits, and they make this place fun.

    Thanks for allowing me a lecture. Your seciond biggest segment of commenters is guys in their 50’s with too much time on their hands. ;-)

  7. Section Z alum

    At his core, Coach Van is a very, very good man. Sad to see him leave.

  8. D.N. Nation

    Pollack likes the hire, and there’s (still) a contingency on the DawgVent that wants him as friggin DC (or HC!), so.

  9. William

    To clarify Pollack’s comments, he said Coach Van was a great man and a great MOTIVATOR of kids. Coach Van was not let go, but put in a plcae where Coahc Richt believes he will still be beneficial. Coach T, on the other hand, sounds like a fire and brimstone kind of guy. Old school to the core, who doesn’t play around with loafing on drills or otherwise. I likin this to parenting to some degree. It’s hard to be your child’s best friend when you also have to be the disciplinarian. Coahc Van, while a great man, might have lost perspective of what these guys are supposed to do day in and out. Building confidence is one thing, but building muscle is another. To get stronger you have to fight through pain and dissappointment. You need some one who is uncomprimising and tough as nails IMO. Take it for what it’s worth. BTW, I’m one of those 20 years olds mentioned above, but I’d like to think I understand to full scope of this move.

    • heyberto

      I was coming here to post about the same thing.. Seth Emerson’s article in the Macon paper today really give some great perspective from Pollack, and if what he says about Coach T. is true… then I’ve gone from trusting of Richt’s decision, to very happy with Coach T’s selection to head this group up. Also, if Coach Kasey is coming back, it sounds like that could be Coach T’s decision. He obviously knows the guy from way back.

    • Sparrow

      So Coach Van will be our version Trooper Taylor…

      Will he have a towel?

  10. Otto

    I hate to see anyone let go and hope the Coach T hire works. The S&C coach likely spend more time around the kids than anyone so a fire and brimstone coach may payoff in the bars after practice.

    Also I do not want Muschamp or Smart, I do not want any coach that has never been a HC in the event CMR is replaced. UGA is not a starter job.

  11. JBJ

    A lot of assistant coaches are getting the ax around UGA. You can say Coach Van wasn’t fired, he has been “reassigned”. It’s difficult to ever determine the proper time to let someone go. Never easy but you need a leader that can make the hard decisions quickly and move on. A leader that can evaluate a program and separate business from friendship. Do we have such a man in CMR?

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    Just curious, how will we know if the S&C moves do any good? Eight wins? Nine wins? Ten?

    If we win say nine, will anybody be able to say…”Wow, if Richt had made this change a year ago, think of where we could be.”

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      We’ll know it when the O-line actually can block people and the D-line can actually stop a running play up the middle for no gain.

    • Ben

      One way I think you’ll know is when you see the results of second half scoring. I know it’s a whole game, but second half performance is always key.

      Just ask the folks on the Plains.

      • BuzMan

        And those pesky Ducks from the NorthWest.

        • Ben

          Ugh. Looking at them and looking at us, we might have avoided a major tar and feathering by canceling that series.

          • Will (the other one)

            Hope Coach T has someone look into their conditioning / what they eat up there though.
            Their O-Line is in scary shape to play at that pace and still have the strength to get great blocks.

    • 69Dawg

      That ones simple. If when we play SCU we actually move their DL off the line of scrimmage it will be a great improvement. We got cold stone killed by every line of every good team we played. We were weak weak weak. The rumors have been around for a few years and in fact were in print that the rest of the SEC felt UGA was no longer a tough team. Starting with Bama in 08 we hust got kicked in the teeth and rolled over.

  13. Dog in Fla

    “This role for Dave will allow us to tap into many of his strengths…great benefit to Georgia, to me, …to our student-athletes…. He will be outstanding in working with and motivating our young people…will bring strong guidance to them in their daily lives,” Richt said…

  14. The Rodfather

    “Fire & Brimstone” huh? I can’t help but wonder if this is going to translate into less green jerseys present at offseason practices.

  15. Tommy

    Well, from what Pollack and a few others have said, it sounds like a good hire. We shall see. As for the negative Georgia fans, well they’ve already turned on this whole staff, so nothing will make them happy….unless Richt get’s it turned around. If that happens, I’ll be really happy about the success, but just slightly less I’ll be happy to hear those dumb arses have to eat crow, or at least shut the hell up.

  16. William

    I don’t know that I’m looking for more wins to come out of this move. I am merely hoping to see a renewed vigor in the 4th quarter and the strength to carry out Grantham’s mantra of physical play at all times. I don’t want to use the lines about our OL being shoved around, but I think that is a concern to be addressed. I don’t know what is lacking from that group (aside from trust issues), but they don’t seem to know how to knock people off the ball. Or rather, when they try it usually doesn’t work. Say what you will about that complaint, but properly idenitfying where they trult lack the strength to do so would go a long way in helping. Maybe they don’t develop the right areas, so they compensate and end up too high when they block. It could be technique, or it could be they don’t have the strength or stamina to carry out the technique and so get sloppy too often. Thoughts Senator?

    • I’ll put it this way: I’m tired of hearing how committed the players were over the summer and finding out how little that meant when fall rolled around.

      • H-Town Dawg

        That’s the beauty of putting Coach T in charge of S&C… he won’t put up with the nonsense. It’s drill sergeant time.

        • DawgPhan

          Wasn’t Coach T the s&c assistant? So for the last couple of years he has been sitting around watching players loaf without tossing out the fire and brimstone mantras? and now all of a sudden he gets the head gig and he is going to be bringing it out?

          • Dawgfan Will

            I’ve worked the same job for many years now, and I used to be “fire and brimstone” about that job: get your work done, or suffer the consequences. When I got a new boss, I was required to become more nurturing and less demanding. All I’m saying is, sometimes assistants will act differently or change things when they become the boss.

  17. thewhiteshark

    I guess we’ll see. CVH is a good man– hope this doesn’t fracture his friendship with CMR. Maybe a change needed to be made although I’ve never bought much into the S&C argument. It always appeared to me that much of our inability to get a push was more due to scheme and predictability. Five guys can’t block eight no matter how you cut it. Coach T and Kasay are both intense. Maybe what is needed is more than physical toughness but mental toughness. if Coach T can help with that I’m all for it.

    • Bulldog Bry

      Ditto. I always thought the “defense was gassed in the 4th quarter” because we couldn’t get off the field. That and we didn’t seem to have much depth in key areas.

      Offense never looked gassed to me.

  18. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Sure am going to miss this:

    Soft-spoken Vance Cuff set the standard with a 4.24-second 40-yard dash time last spring.

    The time came as a surprise to many of his teammates

    Timed by NFL scouts, several players set Georgia
    records for the 40-yard dash. Cornerback Bryan Evans ran a 4.27,
    breaking the record set moments earlier when Remarcus Brown ran a
    4.28. At least three other players broke 4.4, including wide
    receivers A.J. Bryant and Mikey Henderson and safety Reshad Jones.
    But the most impressive time was recorded by a defensive lineman.
    Brandon Wood, who has been moved inside to tackle from defensive
    end, clocked a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash, a UGA record for a down
    lineman. “This is a guy that squats almost 700 pounds,” Coach Van
    said. “It was unbelievable

    • The Original Cynical in Athens

      I hereby declare that Bolt would run a 4.22 at the combine.

      Chris Johnson ran a 4.24 at this year’s combine. Does that make my Bolt estimate seem too high? Or does it mean that the timing at the combine is inexact or inconsistent or just plain generous? Could be either one — or both — but I’m not totally sure the two figures are incompatible. It was around the halfway point that Bolt really blew everyone else away; I don’t even think he was leading at 40 yards. So it’s not clear to me that Chris Johnson couldn’t hang close to him for 40 yards.

      http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=582

  19. Bright Idea

    For you 20-29 age group bloggers. Kasay lived with the football players in McWhorter Hall and was Dooley’s disciplinarian. Many old Dogs named their children after him. They only figured out they loved him as older guys. He ended up in the S & C program but like DVH was catching hell under Goff. He was thought to be behind the times during the early 90s. That is not my opinion but what the fans thought, just like now with DVH. I do know Kasay is hellfire and brimstone. How players of today will respond to him is the question, plus he has been away from it for a number of years. Has his hiring been officially announced? I see this as a McGarity idea to have some eyes within the football program for the next year. Bill Hartman was a volunteer under Dooley and Goff that supervised kickers and punters during practice. He had to enroll in grad school when the NCAA outlawed volunteers. JoeT is trueblue Georgia Bulldog to the core and wants UGA to win more than he wants to breathe. He will get out of the players the max of what they are willing to give.

    • Julie

      You are correct about Kasay. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, he was the enforcer, and you did not want to see a note on your locker that you had a meeting with him. Better to commit suicide with a really, really dull pocket knife.

  20. Ben

    If this is a change that’s been in the works and Coach Van resisted it, it lines up with Fabris openly questioning the head coach last year.

    I respect Richt’s honoring a coach’s job for the duration of the regular season, but I’m not sure many of us would get away with publicly questioning a superior or philosophically disagreeing with an approach. That’s the kind of attitude that fractures teams, and if coaches aren’t on the same page, players will see through that BS.

  21. Jeff Sanchez

    My problem with this is not necessarily that T is the new coach – it’s just symptomatic of more of the same from CMR – slow to identify and address problems that most people outside the arena can see

    And when they do finally get addressed it’s in a fashion that seems to indicate he’s learned nothing from his mistakes over the years (moving Janeck from terrible position coach to co-defensive coordinater when he had a job offer comes to mind.

  22. Macallanlover

    Sad to see our fanbase be so publicly negative about EVERY decision made. It doesn’t matter if it is coaching changes, recruiting decisions, play calls, music played, uniforms worn, punishments imposed, etc., etc.

    It isn’t that folks don’t have a right to their opinion, it is the staggering negativity, and lack of solidarity on every single thing going on with UGA football and it started long before the last two seasons. Most are total shots in the dark lacking the credibility of access, but it doesn’t matter, they will be stated as absolute facts. It certainly does make a difference in how we are perceived by recruits and outsiders. A single issue may not matter much but the cumulative impact has to hurt us.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      +100 Mac, although I think it is a minority of the fan base, when you are 6-6 you are an easy target, which is what most of the whiners prefer. With some of us no decision is right, all decisions are wrong. I am just glad I don’t have to live with some of these folks. Every fan base has them, check out some of the Bama boards, but that does not lessen the negative impact these people have.

      There is no solution, many of them were bitching when we were winning big.

      And will continue to bitch when we win big again.

    • thewhiteshark

      As a big fan of CMR (who has disagreed with some decisions) I have to agree. I don’t have a problem with legitimate discussion, but there is a definite segment of haters who criticize pretty much everything Richt does. A couple of bloggers jumped on the timeouts from the second half of the Tech game. Murray called one and Richt called the other to change the play — probably resulting in a touchdown instead of getting stuffed on 4th down. I know I’m in danger of appearing to be a suck up but that’s one reason I read GTP. The senator does a good job of focusing on real issues instead of trying to manufacture crap.

    • The Original Cynical in Athens

      It’s not just football.

      The Jay Clark hire.

      Keeping Andy Landers around.

      Allowing Dennis Felton to blow in the wind for two years after it was clear that he was incapable of leading a big-time program, only to see him pull a rabbit out of his ass in Atlanta.

      Allowing David Perno to run amok and fire a successful guy like Roger Williams and act like a spoiled child with the baseball program as his own, personal empire.

      The continued allowance of track and field mediocrity.

      Unfortunately, the hiring of the pair of “Damn Good Dawgs” reeks of the miserly decisions that the athletic department has continued to make through the years.

      Looks like a bunch of alums and old boys keep getting jobs because they will take them at a home-town discount.

      Sometimes, it seems, that the University sees its fans and alums as easy marks, and we are the guy playing 3-card monte.

      • D.N. Nation

        Allowing Dennis Felton to blow in the wind for two years after it was clear that he was incapable of leading a big-time program, only to see him pull a rabbit out of his ass in Atlanta.

        Yeah, not quite. Felton had the program on an upswing from the bottoming out in 04-05 (which wasn’t his fault). Program was .500-ish in 05-06 and was on the NCAA bubble throughout 06-07. Seemed clear that the NCAAs were around the corner…and only *then* did the sh*t hit the fan, with Mercer and TK kicked off the team and the injuries piling up.

        They, of course, made the NCAAs anyway with the miracle run in Atlanta. Now, instead of giving Felton a monster contract off of that, Damon Evans gave him another year. Enough to see if the run wasn’t entirely a fluke, enough to give him enough rope with which to hang himself. The team sucked, he couldn’t land Derrick Favors, and so Evans ended up pulling the trigger anyway.

        Where in there was there a huge mistake? I had issue with Felton’s get-kids-you’ll-end-up-severely-punishing recruiting mentality, and thought it could lead to his demise, but didn’t think it was worth canning him then and there. The program was on the rise, took a hit because of academics/injuries, then won the SEC anyway. That at least to me screams “wait and see.” You couldn’t fire Felton immediately after DOUBLING the basketball program’s SEC tournament championship trophy collection.

        • D.N. Nation

          And before I’m accused of “not wanting a winner” or whatever, I supported the firing when it happened.

  23. Bright Idea

    Great point Macallanlover. Much of this comes from AJC.com in IMO. They can’t wait to criticize everything Richt does for the sake of getting hits. Meanwhile Alabama papers are in bed with A & A. Lots of difference there.

    • Furman Bisher

      The Atlanta Journal and Constitution would never run a story of dubious merit based on hearsay and half truths in an effort to move copy and bring down a football legend.

      Now let me get back to my Ham Radio, Richt’s about to call his momma.

  24. Bill Goldberg

    I’ll show you how its done…

  25. Jim

    Everyone relax. Remember the new hc will bring in his own staff in 2012 anyway. I fully expect 11 to be richts last year as coach no matter who the strength coach is

  26. “Very little of the criticism that I’ve read here or elsewhere deals with specific flaws in the strength and conditioning program”

    How about the zillions of tweets we have all read where our players seem to have a daily meal plan at Burger King.

    • Macallanlover

      Works for me, I think their Double Cheeseburger is the best tasting, and best value, burger in the fast food market. And……I made it through the absolutley grueling two hour flight back from Colorado and was ready to go by Monday.

  27. W Cobb Dawg

    I truly hope this works out – ’cause loosing sucks. And I hope this doesn’t turn out to be another example of CMR filling a position by taking whomever is nearby at the time. Perhaps, just perhaps, if he put more effort into identifying the absolute best assistants he could hire, he wouldn’t experience problems later on. One has to wonder how many highly qualified people were considered or interviewed for the position. Is there a plan or just an ad hoc process accompanied by a prayer that this work.

  28. Irishdawg

    Whoever the new S&C coach is, facilities won’t be an excuse. The new weight room at Butts Mehre is supposed to be a beaut. If it’s as nice as the improvements to Stegeman look, I can’t wait to see it. And the boys better be in their busting their asses.

  29. We Drink This State

    I raise my glass to the latest symbolic move by the coach! He let go his defensive staff last season to satisfy the blood-lust of his clientele, and this season he threw them the head of his S & C coach after another unexpectedly poor season! When are the dummies at UGA gonna figure out it AIN’T the d-coaches or the s & c coaches, etc. Its the total package. It’s your head coach, people. Enough about this “body of work” nonsense. Chizik’s “body of work” was unimpressive to say the least, and he’s a game away from accomplishing something we’ll never see at UGA under their H/C. Since Richt arrived at UGA, Saban’s done it twice at two schools, the alleged dufus at LSU did it once and now Chizik is right there. If the Georgia coach were going to get it done, he would have done so by now. Who wants Richt to stay at UGA more than anybody? His main SEC rivals, that’s who.

  30. 69Dawg

    I was not happy with the S&C move. Van needed to go but Coach T and Coach K are way too old to identify with the kids. They both have kids older than the kids they will be coaching. If you are trying for surrogate fathers then it’s a great hire, if you are trying for a kick butt take no prisoner S&C program it sucks. Coach Van was a lot more interested in saving souls than in building tough football players. He was after all the S&C coach at FSU when they had the best athletes in college football, it would be next to impossible to screw up the FSU players.