“We have more support staff to hire. That’s kind of next on the agenda.”

At least in one way, the Process has come to Georgia.

Georgia’s football support staff expanded considerably during the final years of coach Mark Richt’s administration, and it has continued to grow under new coach Kirby Smart.

According to personnel records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there are now more than 40 individuals directly involved with full-time support of the football program. The number increases sharply from there when positions that have indirect involvement are included.

And it likely will increase. Smart has said he may continue to hire support personnel depending on whether he identifies a need he hasn’t already anticipated.

“The support staff is a continual process,” Smart said. “It’s not something that’s just, ‘all right we’re going to be done by this date.’ …

And they’re spending some money to do it.

According to documentation provided in compliance to a Freedom of Information Act request, UGA is spending about $5.6 million annually on football support personnel. That’s up from $5.2 million a year ago and comes after losing two significant positions the last two years.

John Eason, who was director of player development, and Dave Van Halanger, who was director of player welfare, have retired. They earned $356,479 a year between them. But Smart quickly wiped that out between internal promotions and external hires.

They don’t want to brag about it, though.

Georgia lists 50 individuals under “football staff” in its 2015 media guide. That includes Courson, three other assistant athletic trainers, two interns, two unpaid chaplains and a grounds supervisor.

The list will be longer in the 2016 guide, as has been the trend the last three or four years.

Keep those FOIA requests coming, boys.

As McGarity notes, this reflects a trend that started with Richt.  Or, perhaps more accurately, when Jeremy Pruitt showed up.

“You saw a change in our numbers around 2013-14,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said. “We had some turnover in our coaching staff. We had some new staff members coming on that saw various needs that we hadn’t seen before. That brought about a level of support that had not been seen before on campus. Mark made those recommendations and we got it done.”

Georgia’s in the process of finding out if it takes a village to raise a football program.

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

13 responses to ““We have more support staff to hire. That’s kind of next on the agenda.”

  1. Normaltown Mike

    How many positions were opened up by Chappy Hynes leaving to run for Sheriff of Oconee County?

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  2. Russ

    That is one thing that I think will pay off, as long as Kirby can keep all the cats herded together.

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  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    Filing FOIA’s on the football program at Georgia. Very impressive journalism by the AJC. I understand the producers of “Spotlight” are talking to the AJC sports staff about their investigative story.

    I can see the movie marquee now: Trivial Bullshit…the story of a once-decent newspaper.

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  4. Saltwater Dawg

    You can add Travares Tillman to the list. Coach Smart hired him away from Calvary Day School recently. Haven’t heard what the role is.

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  5. Bulldog Joe

    The trend started when Dr. Adams was no longer there to say, “no”.

    Glad to see the increased commitment and support of the football program. We have a lot of catching up to do.

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  6. W Cobb Dawg

    “John Eason, who was director of player development, and Dave Van Halanger, who was director of player welfare, have retired. They earned $356,479 a year between them.”

    Let it never be said being a friend of Mark Richt doesn’t pay dividends.

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