Lakatos: “There’s no story here.”

I suspect most of you have heard by now that there’s a staff opening.

Scott Lakatos, Georgia’s defensive backfield coach since 2010, has resigned his position on the Bulldogs’ football staff.

Lakatos, 49, would say only that he is leaving for “personal reasons.”

“Let’s leave it at that — personal reasons,” Lakatos, 49, said in a short telephone interview Thursday night.

The timing is a bit curious, as signing day approaches and Georgia is still in the hunt for a defensive back signee or two.  The reason given is a bit curious as well, since, as Weiszer reports, Lakatos hopes to coach elsewhere next season.

Richt doesn’t strike me as the scapegoating type and Lakatos stated that the choice to leave was at his option.  Does that indicate that perhaps accountability came into play?  I doubt we’ll ever know.

It’s all a little strange.  Lakatos came to Athens with a reputation from his prior job as being very good at coaching up talent.  He’s put a few kids in the NFL over the years.  But there was little evidence this past season of improvement in the secondary.

In any event, it is what it is.  Now comes the interesting part – whom Richt brings in as Lakatos’ replacement.  And when.

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UPDATE:  Michael Carvell talks to one of Georgia’s verbal commitments, JUCO DB Shattle Fenteng, about Lakatos’ departure and gets this:

… Fenteng was contacted before the news went public on Thursday by UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

“Coach Grantham let me know what was going on,” Fenteng said. “It made me feel good that he called, and it helped me understand the situation. I feel like Coach Lakatos is leaving for the right reasons. He has some family issues that he needed to take care of.

“I really don’t know yet how I feel about (the change). I don’t know how I’m going to react. But, so far, I don’t see a difference.

“Coach Grantham said he is going to try to hire someone within the next week. He’s waiting for some NFL guys to call him back. He said he wants to get a good coach so he can develop me to go to the NFL.”

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UPDATE #2:  Emerson has some more info here.

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56 Comments

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56 responses to “Lakatos: “There’s no story here.”

  1. It’s odd that he wants to coach next year but one of the rumors is that it’s health related. Maybe he needs a little R&R (give it a couple of weeks, then you may insert Urban Meyer jokes here). I wish him well, but I’m not sorry to see him go.

    In 2010 you may or may not recall a rash of bad secondary tackling that centered on a repeated attempts to shoulder tackle/thud people. It was said at the time this was Lakatos’ instruction at work. Things improved the next year (our illusory good defensive season in 2011) on that front, but the secondary was never a strength. And this year was what it was.

    • I remember that “shoulder tackle/thud people” was in effect against the Nerds in 2008. Cost us a game then too.

    • Brownesman

      Well you must be miss remembering because Lakatos’s secondary was ranked in the top 10 twice and in the top 15 every year before this year, which just contributes to the weird fluky year that 2013 was

      • Dawgfan Will

        This is what I thought as well. I am by no means pleased by the lack of improvement in our secondary as the season progressed, but there is a lot of revisionist history going on in the comments of many blogs.

        • Dawgfan Will

          “Revisionist history” may have been a little strong. As Brownesman said, it’s more likely misremembering.

  2. I Wanna Red Cup

    No doubt there were strange things going on this year. Langley starts the first game and plays a lot the first 4 games and then NONE. Shaq plays almost none the first 4 games and then all the rest all the time. Swann does good at star but nowhere else for most of the year. I played HS FB but not college so have no idea who decides who plays- position coach or DC. I suspect there were differences of opinion as to who would do better and with the youth and injuries Latakos thought he was getting the blame perhaps for something not all his fault. We will never know. I hope we get someone who can recruit and coach like the devil.

    • CreswellKing

      “a business development officer”

      He’s not actually working there. They’re paying him for his rolodex.

  3. Ben

    When I told my wife this news, she straight-up took her pants off. I think she approves of this decision.

  4. Skeptic Dawg

    I am excited about the change. The secondary was the anchor around the neck of the 2013 defense. There was zero improvement throughout the season, and as I Wanna Red Cup pointed out, there were tons of odd personnel moves to boot. The week few weeks just got more interesting.

  5. per CoachingSearch.com: A couple of names that could emerge are long-time Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina and former Texas and Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz..

    I say bring on Diaz. He did a great job at Miss St. and I think he is still a good coach his Texas troubles notwithstanding.

    • Plus Diaz is a helluva recruiter. And was said to be a candidate when Lakatos originally got the job.

      • AusDawg85

        Ughhh…their troops performed so badly at UT, not sure about either one. Very soft on D, bump tackling tactics, etc. Greg Robinson fixed the D’s attitude within a couple of weeks. I’d say look elsewhere.

        Grantham is going to look back to his Cleveland Brown connections in the pros I’m sure.

  6. Normaltown Mike

    I don’t see CMR scapegoating and brow beating an Assistant, but I can imagine Grantham would.

    Just a thought.

    On a personal level, a very nice guy with a nice family.

  7. South FL Dawg

    I say bring on the guy from Texas. He was a casualty of Mack Brown. Diaz would be looking to leave as soon as he can get another DC gig.

  8. Bright Idea

    Lakatos was Grantham’s choice. I think Richt was waiting on his meeting with McG to let him know about the “personal issue.” The timing has to be more than a coincidence. I hope it sends a message to the staff and players.

  9. CreswellKing

    What’s Willie doing these days?

  10. Russ

    Well, best of luck to him. I think the secondary really held us back this year. DL and linebackers were pretty good. Hopefully the change will not hinder any progress and the players improve at a quicker pace. We’re going to need a serviceable defense next season.

  11. Merk

    Please get someone who will play press coverage…god I hate DBs lining up 10yards back every play

  12. uglydawg

    I wish him the best. He has shown, in past situations, that he can coach. Who knows what is going on in his life? Hope he gets it all fixed and goes on to good things.

    • uglydawg

      BTW..when I say “Who knows…..”, it’s a purely rhetorical question. I don’t expect an answer.

  13. Connor

    Lakatos’ departure means the entire defensive staff has turned over since 2010, except Grantham. No idea if that signifies, but it is interesting.

    • Joe Schmoe

      I don’t think you would find that to be horribly uncommon. Position coaches often work on 1-year deals and are looking to move into DC positions.

      • Connor

        Besides the o-line, have we had offensive coaching changes in the last 4 years? Seems that Ball, McClendon and Lilly have been in their roles for a while now.

        • Will (the other one)

          I for one hope no one goes after Ball. Was skeptical at first (he was VT RBs coach I believe) but the horrid drops/bad hands that popped up at some of the worst times early under Richt have disappeared under Ball. We lost Mitchell, JSW, and Conley and still expected to move the ball partly because of how well prepared the next man up was in 2012.

    • IveyLeaguer

      Yeah, it is.
      ~~~

  14. heyberto

    I was glad to hear this news. Maybe he was a good coach, but not seeing improvement on the field concerned me… But personally, I hate it for the guy. I hope things are OK with him personally and he lands somewhere good. Just never seemed like a good fit.

  15. Irishdawg

    Where is Chuck Heater at these days? His Florida secondaries were ferocious.

  16. DawgPhan

    Seems like this was the red meat that the Dawg nation was looking for…I hope it drags out a couple of days/weeks just so everyone can day dream about getting some awesome coach….not even sure who that is, but someone good at secondary and Special teams would be super.

    • UGAdawgsr#1

      ” …someone good at secondary and special teams …”
      Talk about wishing for the obvious. No joke, Sherlock.

  17. uglydawg

    HInes Ward should know a little bit about secondarys. He shredded them for a living and he’s a DGD…but can he coach?

    • Highly unlikely route we would go but man that’s a really, really interesting idea. Not unusual for guys to end up coaching on the other side of the ball from where they played. I mean, wasn’t Grantham an OL in his playing days?

      I can only imagine how Ward would kill it on the recruiting scene. But turning over this secondary in its current condition to an inexperienced coach………that would takes some guts.

  18. Joe Schmoe

    I must say that I have mixed emotions about this. Lakatos came with a great reputation and fielded some fairly effective units in the past several years. You really need to remember that pass defense was the strength of the defense the past several seasons and the issue was getting shredded in the run game. I was willing to give him another year to see if this year was really about the youth and lack of depth. You have to keep in mind that we were green as grass and then had injuries (Matthews / JHC) and suspensions to deal with to boot.

    Now, if the announcement had been that Will Friend was leaving…

  19. stoopnagle

    Kirby Smart can coach DBs right?