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.