Georgia’s worst defensive coordinator in the last 15 years

… isn’t Willie Martinez.  Not even close.

I was looking over Georgia’s defense of 1999 and checkout these standouts:

Orantes Grant, Tyrone Robertson, Jamie Henderson, Kendrell Bell, Marcus Stroud, Demetric Evans, Richard Seymour, Tim Wansley, Terreal Bierria, Josh Mallard, Charles Grant, Will Witherspoon, and Boss Bailey – all major contributors that season and all would eventually play in the NFL.

Yet, this group of defenders, statistically, is one of the worst in Georgia football history.  In 1999, the Bulldogs ranked last in the SEC in total defense (382.6) and pass defense (278.1) and next-to-last in scoring defense (25.9).

Many blame the Bulldogs’ defensive woes of ’99 on Kevin Ramsey.  Remember him?  He was Tennessee’s much-acclaimed secondary coach, who left the Vols following their national championship season of 1998 to become Georgia’s defensive coordinator.  Ramsey’s hire by Coach Jim Donnan demoted former-DC Joe Kines (the best bowl coaching clip of all time) to “Assistant Head Coach.”

After the defense’s performance in 1999, it was Ramsey who Donnan tried to demote to secondary coach.  And as you’re likely aware, legend has it Donnan’s decision would eventually cost the head coach a punch in the face during a confrontation with Ramsey.  Needless to say, the 2000 Outback Bowl was Ramsey’s final game as a Bulldog, and as of this season, his last game as a defensive coordinator in college football.


Filed under Georgia Football

37 responses to “Georgia’s worst defensive coordinator in the last 15 years

  1. X-Dawg

    I had finally blocked out Ramsey’s name from my memory. Now it will take another decade to do that again.

  2. gatriguy

    Fuck Kevin Ramsey. I think Auburn just scored again. That Auburn 1999 game was the only time I’ve ever been embarrassed to be in Sanford Stadium.

  3. Doug

    Yeah. I came all the way down from Lynchburg, Virginia, to see that game (after having bragged all week about how we were going to stomp the Tigers). It was as close to a waking nightmare as I’ve ever experienced in real life.

    I still maintain Ramsey was a sleeper agent sent by Fulmer to wreck Georgia’s program.

  4. Tronan

    Ah, back in the days when UGA was over-rated as consistently as any Big Ten team. We had top ten talent but never did turn the corner. Quincy Carter’s million dollar arm (Dr. Evil) and ten cent head, rotating (and not particularly good) defensive coordinators, and Jim Donnan’s Switzer without the charm coaching style made those very frustrating years. Still, that was a hell of a comeback against Purdue.

  5. 69Dawg

    I wept openly for years as I saw all those Dawgs playing and excelling in the Pro’s. What a waste of big time talent.

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Bringing Gary Gibbs in as DC the following season was probably the best hire Donnan made his entire career.

    • The AJC

      That, and turning the defense over to Joe Kines to shut down Drew Brees in the second half of the Outback Bowl.

  7. Irishdawg

    Thank God I was stationed overseas during that season and couldn’t see the games. I don’t know what type of ultra-violence I would have resorted to had I witnessed that abortion.

  8. wnc dawg

    I love the fact that when I saw the title of this post in my reader the first thought was “If this isn’t about Kevin Ramsey our good Senator from Delta House has lost his mind.” I don’t know why, but I was always infuriated by the sunglasses he wore in the booth. I have no reason for this, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still get a little agitated picturing him in those black glasses gritting his teeth sitting over a play sheet.

  9. RandallPinkFloyd

    That’s the same year that we lost to Tech 51-48, correct? Talk about a shootout. I still remember after Sanks had been down and they picked up the ball when one of our OLs grabbed him and starting to sling him around until officials called the play dead….even though the play should’ve been dead when Jasper was down. That was blown on so many levels.

    • Rocketdawg

      If I ever decide to start one of these web-blog things about UGA football the title is going to be “Jasper Was Down!”

    • Bulldog Joe

      It took Kevin Ramsey, 17 ineligible Georgia Tech players, and two incorrect Al Ford calls to give Georgia Tech its only home “win” against Georgia since the 1980s.

      Another Jacket point of pride.

      • Beer Money

        This is an iron clad fact. Still, giving up 51 points to Tech in any game is utterly embarrasing. What awful defense that day. Would have loved to see what Grantham could do with that roster. Wow.

        • Go Dawgs!

          National Champions. I don’t know if Stroud or Seymour fit the bill at nose tackle in the 3-4, but I’m convinced that’s what he would have done with that roster. That’s what Van Gorder would have done with them, too.

  10. AthensHomerDawg

    “Your dream is out there…. go get it… we will protect it.” Kevin is moving on up!

  11. re: Auburn ’99

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Kines had to take over in that game because Ramsey had a nervous breakdown in the box?

  12. ClassicCityDawg

    Is there any truth to the rumor that the defensive play calling during the 2nd half of the 2000 Outback Bowl was handled by grad assistants? For years, I’ve been hearing that Donnan told Ramsey to give up the reigns after the Dawgs got down by 25.

  13. SCDawg

    I have never gotten as drunk watching a college football game as I did that day in Tampa.

  14. Go Dawgs!

    I just allowed myself to imagine what Kevin Ramsey would have looked like trying to stop the triple option. I damn near threw up.

    Seriously, ’99 was my sophomore year at UGA and I am convinced that I won’t live to see my 60’s because of Kevin Ramsey. The amount of bourbon that I consumed during that loss to Auburn just to be able to make it out of the stadium without committing murder… well, I’m pretty sure I’m still drunk. I remember reading up on the guy when Donnan hired him and wondering why it was such a big deal that we got a guy who had never been more than a position coach, but deciding to just trust that the head coach knew what he was doing. The Florida game that year… watching them get dismantled in Knoxville… Georgia should have pulled the plug on Donnan after that 1999 season. Allowing Kevin Ramsey to keep calling the shots all year long should have been the last straw. I don’t know if Mark Richt would have come in 2000 or if we would have ended up with someone else, but I sure would have liked to see that 2000 defense in the hands of someone besides Gary Gibbs. With the talent that the defenses in 1999 and 2000 had, it is criminal that Georgia didn’t win the division. Criminal.

    • Beer Money

      Quincy and the dope heads on O played a major role in 2000 being sub-par. Gibbs wasn’t too bad, but we defintiely needed an overhaul by that point.

      • Go Dawgs!

        I remember thinking that Gibbs did a decent job with the defense, but that was looking at it with post-Ramsey shell shock. That defense in 2000 underachieved based on the talent that they had.

    • gatriguy

      The D actually played pretty well against Florida in 99. Jasper legitimately fumbled and completely turned the game around.

  15. Ben

    My wife (who I was not dating at the time) tells the story of falling asleep in her dorm room and waking up to see the Dawgs were down 28-0 and thinking she was still asleep. I hated that game, and I never sat in the endzone for a game again.

    Also, legend says that the Dawgs won the toss, and Quincy said, “Let’s see what Mr. Leard can do with the ball.” Well, QC, he beat your ass with it.

  16. Bright Idea

    A coach still on the UGA staff said Ramsey spent that Tech game in the booth eating fried chicken and picking his teeth like he was at a picnic.

  17. shane#1

    Well, if he really punched Donnan in the face I can forgive him. Jeeze! I am glad I wasn’t able to watch much football back then. Thanks for the memories guys. A DC that makes CWM look like Buddy Ryan, a coke head QB, and a head coach that only made up for losses to UT, UF, AU, and Tech with his pleasant personality. No wonder Larry was such a pessimist.

  18. Cojones

    Don’t forget what shitty fans we were to fire Donnan after that. Just ask ESPN who had him on staff for years before he Bozoed everyone out of their life savings.

    Thanks for the film memories, Senator. Most of all, I appreciated the Redcoat Band playing “Ode to Joy” after the game.

    • Peteydawg

      Haha, those years growing up were horrible for the dawgs. What seemed to be enormous talent and .500 seasons. Thanks for the trip down memory lane; I’ve only recently shed my pessimism. Hence why I would hold onto richt like grim death.

  19. 12th Man Dawg Fan

    Ramsey is now the Head Ball Coach at Texas Southern. TSU compiled a stellar 4-7 record this year. They were 9-3 prior year before the old Head Coach got canned for cheating.