Interesting list Marc Weiszer managed to compile here.
Georgia hired Mark Hocke from Alabama’s strength staff as its new director of strength and conditioning.
Who else was in the mix for the job?
There were 25 applicants for the position, according to information provided by Georgia under an open records request.
Among those who applied: Tennssee Titans assistant strength coach Jason Novak, Stanford director of sports performance Shannon Turley, current Georgia strength staff members John Thomas and Sherman Armstrong and some current and former college and NFL head strength coaches.
What does that tell us? A few things:
- Georgia is an attractive destination for coaches. When you’ve got current big timers like Turley and other current or former head strength coaches applying for a job, that says something about the opportunity.
- Georgia didn’t care about the criteria it established for the hire. This wasn’t a case where the school didn’t have the option of bringing someone on board with plenty of experience being in charge of a big time strength program. For one reason or another, Georgia simply chose to go in a different direction.
- The mystery is in the why. Was Hocke chosen because he brings something unique to the table? Maybe – again, there’s little doubt that there are several coaches on the staff who could speak for him. (Although note that another former Alabama assistant strength coach in Ryan Davis was passed over.) Was Hocke chosen because he was affordable? Maybe. I don’t doubt he would have come cheaper than Turley or some of the NFL guys. But I also doubt he was the cheapest name on Weiszer’s list. Maybe the answer lies in some combination of both.
- What’s going to happen with the existing staff? There’s your $64,000 question. Does Hocke revamp or even get to add on to who’s already there? How awkward is it going to be with Thomas and Armstrong?
Like I said yesterday, what’s going to be interesting, aside from whatever fresh perspective Hocke brings to Athens, is whether there’s anything else in the budget to enhance Georgia’s strength and conditioning staff. I’ve got no idea – I doubt anyone does, except for McGarity and Richt, and they aren’t saying – but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.