Tommy Lawhorne has no comment.

Richt gets a raise and a contract extension.  The amount looks to have been carefully calibrated.

Richt is now tied for fourth among SEC head coaches in annual salary. He has the same basic pay rate as new Arkansas head coach Bret Beilema [sic], and is behind the three current SEC coaches who have won national championships: Alabama’s Nick Saban ($5.3 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($3.75 million) and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier ($3.55 million).

Was it justified?  Jeff Schultz (hey, give credit where credit is due, I say) answers that question.

Richt deserved both.

There are still critics. There always will be critics. They will point to soft scheduling and the fact the Dogs haven’t won an SEC title since 2005.

But praise for Richt is justified. Amid recruiting mistakes, amid going 6-7 in 2010 and starting 0-2 in 2011, amid being 7-10 in SEC games over a two-year-plus span, Richt got players to follow him. He made changes in the program, maybe even in himself, and he galvanized everybody around him.

That’s not easy to accomplish anywhere in college football, let alone the SEC.

The job’s not finished, of course.  But as someone who had serious doubts after the 2009 season that Richt had the gumption to turn things around – to turn himself around, honestly – I have to admit he’s made an excellent start at rebooting the program.  And I’m glad.

To those who say he can’t take things any further, well, you may be right.  But I never thought he’d be able to fix as much as he has in the last two seasons.  As far as I’m concerned, he’s got the benefit of the doubt again.

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “Tommy Lawhorne has no comment.

  1. Rebar

    I agree and anyone who cannot see the improvement in our program just doesn’t want to see.

  2. Bevo

    Good post, Senator. I can’t differ with your arguments. I had my doubts as well, especially after Boise St in the Dome. I still do have some doubts about our ceiling. But I’m impressed by Richt’s comeback and I agree that he deserves the benefit of the doubt again.

  3. charlottedawg

    If you’d have told me after the Boise State game or even after the UCF crapper bowl that we were going to play for 2 SEC Championships and come up 5 yards short of playing for a NC, let alone not descend into a sustained period of mediocrity or rebuilding as a program, I’d have called you the most deluded bandwagon homer, ever. Needless to say, i’m happy with the turnaround. Now if only Richt could get us one of those crystal footballs….

  4. Gravidy

    After declaring that Richt deserves the raise, I guess we can all be on the lookout for Schultz to bash the shameful extravagance of collegiate athletic budgets in an upcoming column sometime soon.

  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    Take things any further than what? Michael Adams did not actually set the institutional agenda, you know…he just followed his bosses guidelines.

    Mark Richt is the best coach Georgia could hope to have, barring a contagious disease wafting through the Board of Regents.

  6. That Richt Dude just Whoops Up on Tech.

  7. mg4life0331

    I’m glad to have him. During those turbulent times, I really hoped he got it together so we could keep him. He represents the University very well, we will never have to worry about a scandal, and he puts us in the conversation for championships.

  8. Blinding Whiff

    What about CTG. Didn’t he just send us a message that we could lose him to a higher paying team?

  9. WFdawg

    I’m exactly where the Senator is on this, but I wonder if there isn’t a (sizeable?) portion of our fanbase with whom lost goodwill can never be recovered. I think that’s one of the biggest faultlines between categories of UGA fans–those who are willing to revise their estimations and those who will never be.

    • King Jericho

      Closed mindedness and stubbornness? I believe that affects all of America, if not the entire world.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Do you me that some people are pigheaded assholes and some people aren’t? I agree with you if that is your meaning.

  10. W Cobb Dawg

    I agree CMR has come a long way. Since the 6-7 season we’ve made big strides in s&c, OL coaching, numbers of recruits, and best of all – offensive production. Don’t know what the oddsmakers say, but I think we have a good chance of getting to the secc again this year.

  11. Cojones

    Cheap ignorant bastards. They hurt the recruiting program with this cheap shit since the higher paid coaches can claim UGA is still looking to pull a deal like they almost did with Petrino replacing Tubby. First raise since 2008? Oh ye of shitty faith! After 4 yrs they finally kick his low pay up 400k (do the math/yr) while Miles gets a “normal” raise of 550k for a year of less accomplishment.

    Bobo’s raise is really overdue and they better make it good for him and the asst coordinators. Fart around long enough and everyone will start wondering where our “mediocre” coaches have gone.

    Tommy, I’ll always remember your sacrifices (helmet-to-helmet with Miami’s Casey in the air at the goalline for one) along with Varnadoe; two So. Ga Dawgs whaling away side-by-side for Erk’s D. It is time for you to do some fishing in Worth Co for the largest ole pond/lake bass you will find. Your threat/query to Greg has been answered. Did the Regents leave the door open again? Don’t let it hit you in the butt until Bobo’s salary is settled.

  12. Dog in Fla

    “He has the same basic pay rate as new Arkansas head coach Bret Beilema [sic],”

    Upon hearing this news, Irvin Meyers asks, “Does Mark even have an agent?”

  13. Skeptic Dawg

    CMR has earned this raise. Good for him. If I made the decisions in Athens he would be long gone. But he turned things around. Yes, there is ample room to grow, but after Richt put the car in the ditch he was able to pull it out. GATA!

    • ugalestat1

      I’m happy to see your post on this Skeptic Dawg. I rarely post but read GTP daily and have seen a lot of negative posts from you. I have no problem when people voice complaints around the program when they recognize the positive as well.Having seen folks get on you about your posts before I figured I would praise you for one, not that you need my validation but just wanted you to know the positivity(if that is a word) is recognized! Senator I appreciate your efforts in our entertainment and education in all things Dawg!
      GATA!

  14. Jax

    I never had a problem with what Dr. Lawhorne said, just the forum in which he said it.

  15. Tommy, like many of us here, loves deeply and cares. The person who needed to turn things around – did the needful.

  16. Cosmic Dawg

    “To those who say he can’t take things any further, well, you may be right.”

    And while I’d like to win at least an SEC championship sometime in the near future, if we never got any farther than where we are right now, I’d feel pretty dadgum good about our program. We got it pretty darn good, even if we never progressed an inch.

    • We got it pretty darn good, even if we never progressed an inch.

      I imagine Tennessee fans would take our last twelve years over their last twelve years in a heartbeat.

  17. WarD Eagle

    If he never wins the SEC*, if he never wins an MNC, if he never goes undefeated…

    Mark Richt is a good coach and has run a good program and should forever be remembered as arguably the greatest UGA coach.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      THAT won’t happen until he wins a MNC and more than 6 SEC Championships.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Absolutely, Mayor….and if he does that, he’ll have a better record than….ah…oh….ah?????? Which would make him the greatest coach at Georgia since….ah????

        Oh….you mean Vince? I damn sure don’t have to explain to you that was a different time in a different galaxy….no Bear, no Saban, no Spurrier, no Les Miles, a cool academic program or two…before we ascended to the moral high ground.

        I don’t know, man, I am beginning to wonder if we used up all our luck in 1980. Richt came within, as you may be aware, five yards, or a tipped pass, or a short quarterback of at least playing for the MNC.

        Vince got close two or three times before the Miracle on Duvall Street.

        That’s how we get in the game, a good team and the miracles fall into place…odds are, if Mark Richt can stand the whining (yes, Dooley had to do that, too, we’ll have a shot again soon.

        I ain’t sure this is really pertinent to your post, but the only thing I am disappointed in is our luck….the coaching is damn sure good enough for me.

        • sUGArdaddy

          You hit it, scorp.

        • AusDawg85

          So true. And the positive for CMR’s luck getting better is Urban is gone, Spurrier is close to retirement, Miles already used-up his luck (one would think) and Saban…at some point…may lose his team’s focus and determination because complacency and entitlement will set-in. (This happened fast at Texas and USCw in my opinion). Richt must keep UGA hungry, and not get passed by some of the new SEC coaching talent at FLA, TAMU, etc.

        • Cojones

          “Snakebit” for want of a better word. Snakebite got Richt with the big flurry of injuries about 5-6 years ago and the downtrending began. Snakebite happened then and in many games since due to injury and player behavior snakebite, all of which Richt was unfairly blamed. Now everyone can see Richt’s abilities as well as his coordinator’s abilities.

          Vince did play the Bear ;- and beat him!

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            I know…I was there and all that….but that was the Bear on the way down the long slide.

            If you want to do some mental excercises to keep the joints lubed….think about Beah with Saban, Miles, Spurrier all in the conference at the same time.