High standards and green grass

Interesting story about Rick Jones, Tulane’s baseball coach, who’s retiring after 21 years at the same school:

After that first College World Series season, Jones interviewed in Athens for the University of Georgia head coaching job. As he toured Athens during the trip looking at housing options with Vince and Barbara Dooley, Jones pointed out a house that he thought was nice. Barbara Dooley noted it was the house of former UGA head football coach Jim Donnan.  Jones asked what happened to Donnan. Once it became clear that Donnan was fired after four straight Top 20 seasons, Jones knew right away that the grass isn’t always greener and decided to remain at Tulane for the long haul.

Probably just a bad sales job by the Dooleys, right?

Again, I mention this not as an argument against dismissing a head coach who isn’t performing.  But as a cautionary tale about how skillfully Butts-Mehre would handle a post-Richt job market, it bears keeping in mind.


Filed under Georgia Football

49 responses to “High standards and green grass

  1. AthensHomerDawg

    When they tried to replace Dooley things got a little rough.

  2. sniffer

    The history of coaching hires is there for all to see and its checkered, to state the obvious. I would only say that the hiring of CMR has been better than most, IMO.

    I’m gonna call it. Bobo leaves when he see’s the handwriting on the wall, Pruitt is still around and is heir apparent, AMurray has paid his dues as position coach and is ready to take the OC position…in five years.

    • Derek

      I think bobo is the next head coach at georgia. You can’t put too high a value on bringing in top qbs to the program on a consistent basis. Can’t win without them today.

    • Cojones

      Bobo is our Coach when Richt decides to retire. Then Aaron may or may not become the O coor. Pruitt’s here for the short term as a Head-Coach-in-waiting elsewhere in CFB.

    • Mayor

      You and Cojones assume that AM is going to be out of football soon. I, on the other hand, think AM is a right handed version of Steve Young and will be in the NFL for 15-20 years. So, no, AM won’t be OC at Georgia any time soon.

  3. Cojones

    Wait a minute. The Donnan firing was hounded on tv by ESPN who told the world what sorry fans we were. No one reported and let the facts slip by that he couldn’t beat any of our considered rivals. His victories were over Idaho, UNM and NMS,etc. Do you mean to tell me that he was ignorant of Donnan’s shortcomings and didn’t listen to ESPN who reported each week about the spoiled UGA alums/fans? If he had just heard of Donnan’s foibles, that coach was ignorant and tone deaf.

    Barbara and Vince were responsible for his weak-knees when it came to committing? He didn’t have much faith in his abilities if you ask me. And he must have been listening to WWL lambasting our University and fans. Some people have never gotten over the fact that Vince played for Auburn and blame him for everything and that includes a former U President that , until now, I thought was on our shit list for how he treated Vince.

    Until I know better, the crappy shots at Vince shouldn’t be coming from us.

    • Why? There were plenty of shots, not of the crappy sort, being fired at him from a disaffected fan base in the mid-90s.

      Dooley bears a lot of blame for the way the hiring process for his replacement went. Far from a great athletic director.

      • Cojones

        So he went through a few nonproducers. So what? Donnan was hyped as the greatest thing since peanut butter when he came out of Marshall. He didn’t win any big ones and the continuing losses to Auburn, Tenn, Tech and FU were unpleasant for several years. Donnan didn’t get mistreated, but if the baseball coach got his info from WWL that would account for his cold feet and not some comment by Vince or Barbara.
        Yep, Vince wasn’t perfect (my chagrin is mostly expressed thru coaching reasoning he used in several SC games), but we don’t have to use rumor or negative innuendo to load up on him. Or Barb.

        Many things Vince did through the years made UGA look good in our University communities. I guess the homage we made toward him with the garden was just us being good guys to a big bumbling ahole, eh?

        • … but if the baseball coach got his info from WWL that would account for his cold feet and not some comment by Vince or Barbara.

          This is something you’re pulling straight out of your ass… but tell me this: if he did get cold feet from watching TV, what was he doing in Athens checking out houses in the first place?

          • Cojones

            obviously because he was selected as the baseball coach, but the reason for him getting cold feet because the Dooleys told him that was Donnan’s house sounds like it was pulled from your ass and I disagree with your take on it. I haven’t heard where the conversation went beyond house identity and that was the basis of your conjecture. You hatched the scenario of negative influence as coming from Vince. How could that be if the baseball coach already had heard about Donnan and didn’t need to be filled in by Dooley as you imply? The only source of measurable negativity toward UGA concerning the Donnan firing was trumpeted each day publically by ESPN.

            If you are disagreeing about the ESPN diatribe that I heard every time I listened to any UGA pregame and weekday conversation during that time you may, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who got sickened by their repetitiveness. I didn’t get my comments from innuendo; I heard them.

            • “Jones asked what happened to Donnan.”

              Maybe he didn’t have cable TV.

              • Cojones

                Maybe, but rumor often seems to presage facts anyway. Innuendo even moreso. And if he waited a year after to get cable, he still would see Donnan on it most every day.

                Jones: “What happened to Donnan?”
                Vince: “Oh, he died and went to ESPN.”

      • Derek

        Why does Dooley take blame for the goff hiring? My understanding is that he made a recommendation to the committee: Erk. And that was it.

        Now to the extent he may have been responsible for how much power he lost over kemp and but for that he could have dictated his replacement… I suppose I can see that. I’ve always laid that fiasco at chuck knapps feet who didn’t want to be the second most powerful guy on campus if Erk got the job. Have I been wrong to hate chuck this many years?

        • The whole thing was a fiasco because Dooley left to consider a campaign for the US Senate and hadn’t groomed a replacement. That led to the committee that screwed everything up.

          Erk wasn’t Dooley’s choice. NC State’s Dick Sheridan was. The committee screwed both choices up. This came next. Dooley then came back and the rest was history.

          BTW, it wasn’t that Knapp was jealous of Erk’s popularity. He was simply out of his element handling major athletics decisions.

          • Mayor

            Both of you are talking through your collective asses about this. What happened was when Sheridan turned the job down leaving Georgia flat-footed, Goff “seen his opportunity and he took it.” Goff’s wife, who was/is an absolute doll and was a very popular person when she was on campus, started a “telegram tree” where she contacted all her sorority sisters and friends, who in turn contacted all their friends and husbands’ friends, and they all sent telegrams to B-M asking that Ray Goff be named the next HC at Georgia. The B-M idiots including Dooley misinterpreted this as a groundswell of support from fans and decided to hire Goff. True story.

            • Mayor, since when did Vince Dooley care about a groundswell of support from anyone who wasn’t writing checks to the athletic department?

              Goff did get significant support from somebody who mattered. But it wasn’t from a telegraph tree of sorority sisters. Unless one of them had a sex change in the intervening years.

              • Mayor

                Supposedly 10,000 letters and telegrams arrived in one day. More showed up later. And it wasn’t Dooley–it was the committee that was impressed. By then Dooley just wanted the search to end. Ergo, he supported “the people’s choice” Ray Goff.

                • After the committee screwed the pooch with the first two choices and Dooley came back, they were more than happy to dump the hiring call back on him. They weren’t in the loop at the end. And they weren’t to whom Goff made his pitch.

                • Mayor

                  And who do you think Dooley was talking about when he said, “the Georgia people liked him…”, plus what was Goff meaning when he said. “I’m pretty sure why I got the job?”

                  • Mayor, I can’t get into it without violating a couple of confidences. Suffice to say Dooley’s definition of “the Georgia people” is different than yours.

                    • Mayor

                      Your answer reminds me of the blind man who felt an elephant on the rear end. When asked to describe the animal he said it had no eyes or mouth and a long skinny nose with hair on the end. I am sure you believe what you heard from whatever source you choose not to disclose. The litany I described above is true whether you know it or not and whether your unnamed source is willing to admit it or not.

                    • Well, you are the expert on all things Georgia… at least you’re conceding I had some basis for my comment.

                    • Cojones

                      I stated,”…..until I know better.” and it sounds as if you both have info that forms your opinion that’s only known in the “Good Ole Boys” gossip circle. Would you both crank out some cobbled info you didn’t swear to keep secret to enhance the clues you both have given thus far?

                      If you want serious readership you should find a way to inform us as well, Senator. Otherwise we may begin to feel as if we have strayed into Georgia’s Gentleman’s Club without fancy cigars.

                    • Exactly how would you suggest I go about doing that when I’m told something in confidence that I promise not to disclose? Also, I think Mayor was a bit more forthcoming about his source than I was, so I’m not sure it’s fair to tar both of us with the same brush.

                      In any event, this topic has nothing to do with what we discussed earlier in the thread. With you, I’m just going off what he had to say in the story. Which, you know, has nothing about ESPN in it.

          • Bright Idea

            Bob Bishop on the committee told Erk the job was his and Knapp reneged saying that only he could offer the job. Goff was a quick hire the next day after the Gator Bowl to save face plus they thought Goff was a great recruiter. He did own Ga. high school coaches at the time. Lots of fans blamed Dooley for Goff’s struggles saying that his status and watching practice out of his office window intimidated Goff. I still think any discussion of who UGA’s next head coach will be is purely out of boredom.

            • I heard that story with a little twist. Knapp didn’t pull a power play, but Erk was told he would have to apply for the position just like any other candidate. Erk quite rightly thought that was BS and decided to stay in Statesboro.

              Again, the story was offered not to speculate on replacing Richt, but to remind everyone that B-M doesn’t exactly have a great track record handling major hiring decisions and that canning someone perceived as a successful coach can have repercussions.

  4. AthensHomerDawg

    “OH, I beg to differ sir.”

    No one reported and let the facts slip by that he couldn’t beat any of our considered rivals.
    October 7, 2000: Georgia beats Tennessee in a stunning upset 21-10, and for the first time since 1988. This is the first, and last time, the goal posts have been torn down in **Sanford Stadium as the students section rushed the field.

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Edwards Scores 4 as Georgia Stuns Florida
    Published: November 2, 1997
    Georgia 37, Florida 17
    The party’s over for Florida.
    Georgia ended seven years of frustration yesterday against its biggest rival, getting four touchdown runs from Robert Edwards in a 37-17 victory in Jacksonville, Fla., that knocked the Gators out of the Southeastern Conference race.

    Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry
    In 1996, the two teams played in the first Southeastern Conference football game to go into overtime. First-year head coach Jim Donnan’s team, which finished 5-6, was down 28-7 at halftime, before rallying to tie it at 28-28 on a 30-yard touchdown as time expired from Mike Bobo to Cory Allen, and Georgia went on to win 56-49 in four overtimes. This game, known to Georgia fans as the “Miracle on the Plains,” was also famous for the incident in which Uga V lunged at Auburn wide receiver Robert Baker after a first-quarter touchdown.

    • Donnan didn’t get that under the table bonus from Adams for nothing.

      • Bright Idea

        Donnan’s arrogance, attitude and disdain for the fans cost him the job more than his record. He talked to callers on the radio like they were trash is just one example. Tech was gaining momentum and the big shots were obviously on Adams’ case about it.

        • Making end runs around established rules – the aforementioned bonus and ignoring Georgia’s nepotism policy being two prominent examples – didn’t sit well with certain influential folks, either.

    • Dawg in Beaumont

      Sure he had some wins vs. our rivals, but he was dreadful overall against Florida, Tech, Auburn and Tennessee (6-14 overall). For comparison’s sake, Richt is 34-18 against that group.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        He had some huge wins against those rivals. But yeah… I am seriously happy that CMR is at the helm. I think I’ve been pretty consistent with that point of view here at GTP and elsewhere.

    • Cojones

      And? Are you agreeing with ESPN that we are a spoiled bunch because we weren’t patient with Donnan’s failed abilities in the SEC? Ability to beat our SEC rivals more than once in 4 years is a standard we all hold up for all our coaches.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Slow down Cojones. You’re switching up on me there partner. I’m not agreeing with anyone. I am disagreeing and pointing out that your post about Donnan not beating any of our “considered rivals” was just not accurate. And while I didn’t point out that you were snatching dingleberries from your posterior… you not unlike IL were kinda flying (no pun intended) by the seat of your pants with your post. I understand and appreciate your loyalty. But if you wanna be taken seriously don’t color outside the lines here.
        just sayin’

        • Cojones

          The considered word I used was “continued” losses to those teams. The “any” slip was the least of my misused words when you are parsing.

          When I express my opinion, I can go to the annals for accuracy just as anyone else does, but I don’t because I feel it isn’t essential to my point. It doesn’t matter if my intent to express an opinion is word-parsed or my estimate is not researched for true numbers. Thanks DIB for being exact with the 6-14 record against those teams (which, by the way, I remembered their names without checking[guess the smoking never touched that memory]). I’m one who thought that the 14 number wasn’t indicative of a good coach for UGA and don’t see anything “spoiled” about it.

          • AthensHomerDawg

            Happy Memorial Day. Hope you’re enjoying it. This weekend is the first time I’ve attempted to make “pastrami”. I started yesterday smoking a brisket. Used a recipe that my brides relatives gave me when they came South for my youngest son’s graduation. (Terry Business School-Finance/Magna Cum Laude.Followed by Class of 2017 LawDawg.) Yeah, I’m proud. I’ve visited with this group twice before. My youngest has a middle name from a surname that was changed when they came to America. Couple of generations ago. Struck a cord with them. Anyhow… I’ve been coached up and I have learned a lot of new words!😉
            If you’re ever interested in making pastrami here is a link.

            • Cojones

              I posted below before seeing this post. We were working on the same idea independently so there is hope for us beyond politics.

              “Proud” wouldn’t encompass the feeling you must have about your son’s accomplishment. With that accolade on his resume he probably won’t want for future clients in the Barristerhood. Congrats.

              Thanks for the recipe. Would you like some brownies to go with it?

  5. Derek

    I’ll tell what a genius I am. I wasn’t in favor of canning Donnan and afterwards I said get anybody, anybody but richt. I thought he’d be brad Scott v.2. If we ever need a new coach l’ll announce who we shouldn’t get and let’s hire him.

    • Cojones

      And you are one of the few men on here who will admit that. I respect a man a great deal for that. Many people didn’t want him because of the “Born Again” connection into CFB and I can’t say as I blamed them, but his career credentials were impeccable.

  6. Cojones

    Please remember those good people who were CFB fans and aren’t with us today because they strapped on a uniform. I am humbled by all people who paid and continue to pay the ultimate price for our continued peace. The best way to honor them is to have a great and celebratory life.

  7. Lrgk9

    Dooley and the committee could have had Spurrier if I remember right, but Dooley et. al., ran right past the evil genius. Weren’t there two guys, not one – that backed out of the job ?

    Only guy I’d trust to tell the truth about this whole saga would be Jake Scott.

    BTW – if you were at the games where Donnan lost to Tech – you know why he got fired. Next guy to lose to Tech like that will get fired too…

    • All I heard was that Spurrier supposedly sent word of his interest in the job, but nobody at B-M reached out in response.

      • Senator, I distinctly remember Spurrier once said the week of the WLOCP (maybe ’97) that if Georgia had called in ’88 after Dooley’s retirement that he would be speaking to the press as the head coach at the University of Georgia. Florida calls Darth Visor home in ’89 and the rest is history.

        Everyone thinks he hates us because of 1966. While I think that’s somewhat the case, I really think his hatred for us goes to the fact that he didn’t get an interview in 1988. He probably thought Dick Sheridan was an idiot since they were both in the ACC and then couldn’t believe we hired Ray Goff over a guy who was beginning to win at Duke. The verbal barbs at Goff started immediately and continued until he was fired in ’95. Spurrier never really said anything negative toward Donnan and has never been anything but cordial to Richt. I believe he was the 1st to call Richt and offer his support after The Water Girl was diagnosed with cancer.

        • Cojones

          This is fascinating and good reading. I was out of the country for a couple of years during this time and missed these juicy tidbits.