“UGA you just got one hell of a coach in Kirk Olivadotti.”

Now this is service:  a day after my mock call for action on the hiring front, it looks like Georgia has its man.

Georgia is expected to name Washington Redskins assistant coach Kirk Olivadotti to its defensive coaching staff by the end of the week.

And at least one former Bulldog says that is very good news.

“UGA you just got one hell of a coach in Kirk Olivadotti,” former Georgia and current Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels posted on Twitter.  “The defense just got a whole lot better. One of the smartest coaches I have ever known. Enjoy success with him on board. Congrats K.O.”

Georgia hasn’t announced the hire, but the Washington Post reported that Olivadotti is leaving the Redskins to accept the position. Assistant-coaching hires at Georgia often are delayed for a day or longer while pre-employment background checks are completed.

Makes me wonder what I could accomplish if I wasn’t kidding.

Joking aside, there’s a lot to like about this hire.

  1. The process. No muss, no bother.  The lack of drama around this (and Friend’s hire) speaks volumes about what seems to be a new sense of control and order around the football program.  It’s early and I don’t want to read too much into it, I continue to be impressed with the absence of false steps lately.  I’ve said it before, but sometimes a losing season does have the benefit of focusing the mind.
  2. Delegation. Friend’s hire was an indication to me that Richt was giving his coordinators more responsibility to fashion the staff.  Olivadotti’s hire cements that.  I don’t think there’s any doubt this is Grantham’s guy.  It’s another sign that Richt has been willing to adjust his management style.
  3. The résumé. Olivadotti’s experience is tailor-made for what Georgia was looking for in Belin’s replacement:  11 years in the NFL working with top-notch coordinators, with experience in quality control, position coaching at all three levels of the defense and special teams coaching experience to boot.  In fact, it’s so in tune with Georgia’s needs I almost wonder what the catch is.

The question we should be asking today is how a program with a head coach on everybody’s hot seat managed to make itself attractive enough to draw an established NFL coach of Olivadotti’s caliber.  The pessimist in me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop, but in the meantime, I have to acknowledge that Mark Richt is still on a roll.  He needed a big offseason and so far he’s got one.


Filed under Georgia Football

76 responses to ““UGA you just got one hell of a coach in Kirk Olivadotti.”

  1. Beelzebubba

    I heard a report lastr night that said Olivadotti’s father invented the 3-4 defense. Anyone else heard that?

  2. TennesseeDawg

    What I read into it is that Richt has a serious vote of long term confidence from McGarity and the only people who think he’s on the hot seat are some fans and pundits, not anyone associated with UGA athletics.

    • JBJ

      It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario that does not have CMR on the hot seat. I am assuming you take the two hires and great recruiting class as an indicator he has a vote of confidence.

      There is a counter argument that would say we lost two very good coaches that did not give him a vote of confidence. They got their resumes in order and jumped ship.

      Friendly may be looking at this as his big chance to get to a big school even if it is for one year. I have no idea about KO’s job performance, but the way Dan Snyder fires and hires head coaches his job was probably not long for this world with them anyway.

      The recruiting class was a result of kids looking at their chances to come right in and play rather than CMR’s job stability.

      Bottom line is that I wouldn’t read anything into CMRs job stability from any of this offseason activity. The litmus test will come next Fall. If he puts it together and the team plays well, everyone will forget these last couple of years.

      • I have no idea about KO’s job performance, but the way Dan Snyder fires and hires head coaches his job was probably not long for this world with them anyway.

        Actually, I think it’s the other way around. He’s survived three head coaching changes over his eleven years. Somebody in Washington must think highly of the guy.

        • The Senator`s right. Everything I’ve read on Coach Oliviadotti is the longest tenured Coach on the RedSkins Staff.

          • Joe

            And that meme that the other “jumped ship” is absurd. Belin was too good to hold long and Searels was not working out and was bumped IMO. A month ago when no assistants went elsewhere it was said CMR had bad assistants and thus would be on the hot seat. He can’t win with some people I guess??

            • W Cobb Dawg

              Include me as an unapologetic “some people”. I’m very pleased with the addition of KO – he’s well qualified and has respect of peers. This is the kind of guy a top program should be looking for and hiring. Match that against the qualifications of RB coach McClendon. It looks as if CMR has learned a valuable lesson about hiring qualified assistants, and it’s one of the best things that could happen to the program.

            • mdr

              Searels got an enormous raise to go to Texas and Belin moved up to the League. Neither of those scenarios sound like “jumping ship”.

        • As a Redskins fan for going on 30 years now — and one who can be described as “suffering” for probably the last 10 of those years — believe me when I say that Dan Snyder is basically Al Davis without the eccentric charm (or any knowledge whatsoever of football). So if even Snyder hasn’t been able to find an excuse to fire the guy in the past 10 years, Olivadotti must know what he’s doing.

      • Puffdawg

        “It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario that does not have CMR on the hot seat.”

        Let’s just say we have another 6-7 year. And Richt does not get fired. Wouldn’t that mean he was never on the hot seat to begin with (much like this past season). Unless you are Greg McGarity, you have no idea whether Richt is “on the hot seat.” Anything else is pointless internet specualtion, which inevitably impairs public specualtion as to the long term stability of the program. AJC has to sell newspapers. What’s your excuse?

        • Puffdawg


          “public specualtion” should have read “public (recruits, potential coaches) perception”

        • Toom

          He’s on the hotseat. It might be a two year seat, especially given the recruiting year he’s had, but he’s on it. Might survive another crappy year, though, I get your point.

          • Puffdawg

            If he “survives another crappy year,” then what the hell is the hot seat and how is he on it? I can’t say I’ve ever heard of somebody being on a hot seat for three years. Wouldn’t that apply to, you know, EVERY college coach in America?

            • Toom

              Point taken. And I kinda thought a change should’ve already been made. I’m just suggesting that with all the “changes”, there could be the sense that a fresh start is being made and therefore another year is bought. Kinda like if your boss outlines some improvements you need to make. If you do those things, even if it doesn’t produce results right away, you may buy yourself some extra time.

              • Puffdawg

                A change to head coach should have been made? Oy. Well, I respectfully disagree, but you are entitled to your opinion. I think one thing people fail to accept is that change does not happen overnight. Richt’s biggest mistake to date is being too loyal to CWM. But when he realized a change was needed, he made the change, but we must give the change time to develop, especialy one as drastic as we had going from 4-3 to 3-4.

            • Jim

              I think we’ll have a good sense for whether his seat is heating or cooling by the end of week 2. The regulars around here know my stance so i wont sidetrack things. Carry on.

        • JBJ

          I was just giving a counter argument. I wasn’t stating it as fact. Nobody on here has any clue what is going on behind the scenes. My point was that.

          Coaches leaving and coaches coming can be taken as positive or negative. A great recruiting class does not prove or disprove anything related to the stability of CMRs job.

          The mentality on this blog is ridiculous.

          • Puffdawg

            A completely baselss and worthless counterargument that was discrdited almost immediately by several comments? Why do you feel the need to try to give a negative spin (or a counter argument, in your words) to what appears to be a positve move for the football team? Where I’m from, we call that undermining.

            You might get your feelings hurt because people on this blog don’t approve of the constant debasement of Richt, but the bottom line is the program needs positive support right now, whether you believe in Richt or not. When you make disparaging comments (or “counterargument” I guess), all it does is provide fodder for (a) the AJC et al (b) recruits making pros and cons lists for prospecive colleges and (c) negative recruiters. Other than that, there’s really no productive reason to write stuff like that. Unless of course you want to be “right” about something that, frankly, cannot really be proven either way.

            Just my 2 cents.

        • JBJ

          And you don’t know if he is on or off either. Just my assumption from the product on the field. Could be totally wrong. I agree.

          I think going 6-7 and losing to UCF in a bowl game impairs public perception much more than anything you or I could ever do. I’m not saying that to be negative.

          • Puffdawg

            Here’s the rub for me:
            You think he’s on the hot seat, which I presume means you think the AD has set an exact standard which CMR must meet this season or he will be fired (i.e. total wins, win in Jax, win SEC East, whatever). The obvious downside to this is a lack of long term stability.

            I don’t have a problem with your opinion on that. You are certainly entitled to it. What I do have a problem with is your projecting of that opinion into a public forum in attempting to take away from the positive momentum built up by Richt and co over the last few months.

            You took what seems to be YET ANOTHER positive development this offseason and tried to write it off as “ho hum just another coach that Daniel Snyder was probably going to fire anyway” without any context or knowledge or inside information. Let’s say a 2012 5-star DE recruit follows this blog (I’d guess it’s probably in the top five “followed” out there, with maybe Dawg Sports, AJC, ABH). Do you think he’ll be more encouraged or less encouraged about going to UGA after reading your “counterargument?” I’m just saying to write off the good things that have happened in the past month would be irresponsible at the least and deterimental at worst. In any case, it sure as heck doesn’t have a positive effect on a program you suppose to support and love.

      • Mark Bradley

        At least I know somebody’s been reading my stuff and taking it to heart. Welcome to my flock, JBJ.

      • I’m glad you hang out here occasionally. Good place to be … and it just might cure some of that negativity.
        Good luck!

    • Brandon

      I’m with you all the way TD. Seems like the powers that be at UGA are a little more level headed and less short sighted than AJC reporters and blog commenters. If that’s true I applaud them for showing some fortitude and not having their wetted fingers to the wind.

  3. Gatriguy

    The catch is that he’ll probably hate working with Garner like every other decent defensive coach we have/had and leave.

  4. GreenDawg

    I would bet that Grantham promised Kirk he would take him along to wherever Grantham’s next job is if Richt gets fired. I have no doubt Grantham would be hired fairly quickly.

    Another possibility would be that Grantham could be held over even with a new HC. Unlikely, but if a new HC liked him I don’t see why not. The problem with that is that it limits our hiring opportunities at HC to either and offensive guy or a 3-4 defensive guy.

  5. Tommy

    My only concern (and it’s a minor one) is, can the guy teach? He’s going from 11 years in the NFL, working with veterans, to working with kids who are a year or two removed from high school.

    Hard to imagine any LB starting for the Redskins needed pointers with his technique. In college, it’s a different story.

    • Toom

      That was my thought, T. Do we need a tactical / philosophy guy when we already have a coordinator or do we need a fundamental teacher?

      • Actually, this might not be such a minor issue. It’s not like our problems tackling in 2009 just vanished into the ether in 2010.

        The other thing — can this guy recruit? Belin sure could.

        • H-Town Dawg

          Really? You don’t think that a coach with Olivadotti’s NFL credentials can create enthusiasm among the top recruits and their families? Get real. You don’t think that a kid would love the opportunity to play for a guy who can help them reach the next level because he’s been there and knows what it takes? Any other fake argument you want to trot out in order to take a dump on this hire?

  6. Bad M

    He coached a veteran and a rookie to their first pro-bowls in 2009. Seems like he can get his teach on…with different types of players.

  7. Quentin

    No, McGarity doesn’t see any long term potential in Richt. He has Richt on a short 3 year leash. No contract extension. Remember, according to Forbes, McGarity invests less money back into the program than any of the SEC teams Georgia lost to last season. A new coach won’t fix Richt’s slide, from 10 wins in 07′, to 9 in 08′, to 7 in 09′ to 6 wins in 2010. Richt hired 3 new coaches last year and declined from 7 wins to 6 wins.

    • RedCrake

      From the Forbes article:
      “It’s also important to note that this data is from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, so we’re talking about the 2009 football season.”

      McGarity wasn’t the AD.

    • simpl_matter

      I don’t think you can call that McGarity’s budget (at least the overwhelming majority of it), that’s Evan’s budget he inherited. Even calling it Evan’s budget might not be fair, I’m sure the AD has to run his budget request up the flag pole annually for approval, you’d have to blame the lack of spending on the whole administration. Suffice to say, I don’t think any (lack of) spending can be equated to Richt’s job security.

      • simpl_matter

        Ok, RedCrake’s info sheds the most light on the numbers. A year from now we’ll probably start seeing what kind of spender McGarity is…

    • Hackerdog

      Richt brought in Grantham and saw immediate improvement in our defense. And that includes switching to a 3-4 with players recruited to play in the 4-3. That’s impressive. It’s entirely believable, even probable, that the defense will improve again this year. If so, it will be one of the better defenses in the SEC. That should equate to more wins.

      Just ranting about wins with no thought as to what kinds of improvements will result in more wins is a fool’s game.


  9. Every Ritch hater here seem to forget that we have Grantham, who can be a good Head Coach, what with his fiery personality. He sure will stay for couple of millions. So relax, there will be some continuity in the program.

  10. DawgByte

    Wow, we have a lot of crystal ballers on this board trying to figure out what the hiring of a LB means to the future of the program.

    Let’s put a little common sense behind this…

    1. This is a position coach hire – nothing more – nothing less.
    2. Is the guy a good coach? Well Phillip Daniels thinks so. Grantham would like to extend his tenure at UGA, so my guess is he also thinks KO is a good coach.
    3. Is Richt on, or off the hot seat? This is a question for fans and media to banter about, but to me it’s irrelevant. Richt’s had one losing season in 10 and produced two SEC Championships for UGA. My guess is McGarity is giving him the benefit of the doubt. When you look at any coach who’s been at a school as long, or longer than Richt chances are high the record is going to have peaks and valleys. That’s the nature of college football and sports in general.

    • DavetheDawg

      Right now, the SEC has an image problem. You’ve got coaches oversigning players left and right, an ex-coach blasting the ones left behind, dying trees, active investigations, etc, etc… Richt is looking better and better every day. Is this enough? No, but I think he’s got 2 years to get this train a’ rolling. After that, then we’ll see.

  11. H-Town Dawg

    The Olivadotti hire is a real coup, actually. There’s no point in trying to convince people who insist on being negative for the hell of it but this is a big deal. Forget the father-son duo of Monte and Lane Kiffin…give me Tom and Kirk Olivadotti any day of the week.

  12. Turd Ferguson

    There is nothing not to like about this hire, but that doesn’t seem to stop people from pulling reasons out of thin air. I can be a pessimist too, but some “fans” seem to have taken their pessimism to the point of fully expecting — and perhaps even hoping for — Richt’s demise. Crazy.

    • JBJ

      What gets me is that we can’t have a sincere discussion on this board if it says ANYTHING negative about CMR. It is almost like talking about religion or politics.

      • No one is trying to stifle you . We’ve just had so much negative…. some folks are just worn out!


      • Puffdawg

        The problem is you are now manufacturing negativity to prove some counter argument that is completely speculative which in turn creates apprehension among recruits along with ammo for journalists and negative recruiters. Let’s just say you “win” the argument and convince us all that Mark Richt IS in fact on the hot seat. What exactly do you get out of that, other than the personal satisfaction of somehow being “right.” In the mean time, your just adding to the perceived uncertainty “surrounding” the program.

      • Turd Ferguson

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying negative things about Richt. In fact, I’ve done a good bit of that myself. Even here at GTP. But I wonder, why not err on the side of cautious optimism? Why intentionally read negativity into things that don’t warrant it?

        If 2011 turns out to be awful and Richt gets fired, I’m seriously going to be bummed. On top of not being able to stomach another stinker of a season, I’ll hate for this program to lose such a good man. But I imagine you’ll be visiting message board after message board, proudly declaring, “I told you so!” And that suggests to me that your priorities are out of whack.

      • S.E. Dawg

        JBJ, you do your best work over at Dawgrant where all the other Richt haters reside. Go Back.

        • Macallanlover

          +1 Regardless of how negative a person you are, if you are this miserable being a UGA fan please go somewhere you can be happy. Who wants to listen to someone constantly undermine the program? This isn’t being “real”, in the “real” world an organization would fire an employee with an attitude like his. Rotten apple in the barrel and all that.

    • Know One Knows You're a Dawg

      I don’t think it is crazy for a fan to decide he no longer trusts Richt’s judgment given his leadership mistakes over the last few years, especially since some of these mistakes continue to affect the program and others are still being made.

      • Turd Ferguson

        That’s not what I said.

        If you genuinely want Richt to turn things around, and are truly hoping for the best, then I wasn’t talking about you.

        On the other hand, if you really do not want Richt to turn things around, and would feel some strange sense of satisfaction were we to have a terrible 2011 season, then I can confidently say that there’s something wrong with you.

    • Well said TF. We’re so negative about everything we should be known as the “Dawg Negation”. We all know the program is trying to come out of one of its all-time lows, but it is our program. We all should get on board and expect 2011 to be a bust out year for The Dawgs, as well as CMR. I’m glad I don’t get second guessed like this for my hires and decisions in the “real world”. I’m fine with both new hires, and as for the hot seat, every coach in America is only one losing season away from that. Go figure…

  13. A very good hire that shows confidence in Richt & in Grantham.
    Until Grantham’s 3 year contract is up there will not be any major coaching changes at UGA.
    I still believe that Richt, Grantham, & co. will turn it around in that 2 year period (2011 & 12). McGarity will give them that amount of time but no more. It is produce or get out time. I believe that it will be positive production time for the Dawgs.

  14. Cojones

    Some of you take the cake. I’m suspicious that some bloggers ain’t Dawgs. Talking about looking a gift horse in the asshole…….Cheeeze!

  15. Normaltown Mike

    This was a terrible hire.

    -No flight tracker updates?

    -No reporters staking out airports?

    -No jubilant fans swarming a new hire a Ben Epps Airfield

    What’s the fun in being a myopic mouth breathing SEC fan if you can’t get the extra curriculars?

  16. Shane#1

    Man, and I thought this was going to be a slow news day! This looks like a good hire to me.

  17. Its a great hire and momentum continues to grow in the right direction–if I catch one of you negative fellers out on the town and you are actually a dog fan i will pop you in the nose