Not the departure we were expecting.

This is both abrupt and mysterious.

Tracy Rocker has left Georgia after three years as defensive line coach.

The circumstances of Rocker’s departure are not clear. A team spokesman simply confirmed that Rocker was “no longer with the program.”  He becomes the first member of head coach Kirby Smart’s staff to leave this offseason.

I sure thought he was a major upgrade as a position coach over Garner. However, it sounds like there are more than a few hints out there about his recruiting being subpar, like this one.

Still I’m sorry to see him go.  At least we’ll have something to speculate about before spring practice.

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58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

58 responses to “Not the departure we were expecting.

  1. Gravidy

    The development of the young defensive linemen was one of the few bright spots from last year, and I was looking forward to watching them grow. I assumed Rocker was doing a good job, but apparently Kirby Smart disagrees with me.

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  2. VoxDawg

    DawgPost says Tosh Lupoi is one to watch, while others say that Chris Rumph of UF is Kirby’s first call.

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  3. CaliDawg

    This is bizarre. Rocker is an undeniably great D-line coach, and the players loved him.

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  4. The other Doug

    Is it the Jimmy an Joe’s or the X’s and O’s?

    We now know Kirby’s answer. I hate to see him go, wish him the best, and I hope he doesn’t end up at a rival school.

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  5. This seems like something that happened on the recruiting trail that Kirby doesn’t want to linger out there.

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  6. He was also the main recruiter for that Murchison (Sp?) kid that had his offer pulled out from under his feet on signing day. Maybe ol Tracy was not too happy with the process v2.0 and decided to head out.

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    • Scout reporting that he got into an argument with Solomon’s mother. From what I understand, Rocker is the king of “De-recruitment” once these dudes get on campus. So not hard to imagine that maybe sucking up to a drama queen like Solomon and his mama might have caused some friction.

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    • Old Cobb Dawg

      My suspicions run the same way. From the posts, the rumor was he had silently committed, then Smart at the last moment decided to go another way. If Rocker was his main recruiter and then had his word (his integrity) damaged by his superiors, he has a right to be offended. My bet is he left as opposed to being fired. As for Solomon, it appears Tracy was honest with him, not willing to lie. Otherwise, think Solomon fell for the snake charmer Harbaugh….one willing to tell him what he wanted to hear. He will learn the truth about Harbaugh and cold weather when he gets there.

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  7. WF Dawg

    Huh, didn’t see that one coming. The man had actually gotten me to forgive him for being Nick Fairley’s position coach, and that’s saying something. If Fairley got hit by a bus, I’d probably check the bus first for damage.

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  8. 3rdandGrantham

    I’d suggest calling in the national guard to protect Butts-Mehre for the next few days — the UGA and ACC police don’t stand a chance against that dude.

    The 5 star D linemen in question were both signed by AU, correct (Brown/Bryant). We all know how shady AU is, particularly when recruits are hosted at Dye’s camping compound. If he indeed was let go because of this and this alone, then IMO its a damn shame — kind of like being fired from a sales position because the competition cheated to win your two biggest deals of the year.

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    • hailtogeorgia

      Bryant wasn’t a five star – this year was Aubrey Solomon, who is at Michigan. Hate to rain on your parade, though.

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  9. Bright Idea

    Good coach but it would have been unusual not to have somebody leave after Kirbys first year. Rockers son is either a HS senior or just graduated so who knows the real story.

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  10. 69Dawg

    Seems Kirby is more interested in recruiting than he is in coaching. Lupoi’s a great recruiter from what I hear from an Alabama friend. Well look on the bright side the next head coach at UGA will have a lot of talent. Kirby better get somebody who can coach them up or his butt’s going to get real warm. Winning at recruiting alone is not going to get us to the Promise Land. Look at how the Falcon’s snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to see what one quarter of shitty play calling can do. Rocker was the one coach that was a great position coach. The rest, Pittman included, haven’t shown anything yet.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 3rdandGrantham

      Overreact much? If CKS has another poor season, then by all means feel free to question his coaching ability. Until then, try to at least enjoy the best recruiting class in UGA history.

      By the way, it’s ‘promised land’, and I have no clue as to why you chose to capitalize both words. It’s also ‘Falcons’ as well. Good gosh.

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      • DawgPhan

        let’s make some sanford stadium noise for your 3rd place according to 24/7 composite team rankings Georgia Bulldogs and dont forget to stop by the bookstore and pick up your 3rd place recruiting championship shirt after the game.

        I dont know if I should laugh or cry that 3rd place is the best we have ever done.

        I do know that you guys are losing your mind over coming in 3rd and that is some funny shit after 5+ years of incessant excellence demanding from a vocal minority.

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        • JCDAWG83

          It has to start somewhere. I’ll take the recruiting results this year over another 16 player class or one that is top 10 but about #7 in the SEC with 3 offensive linemen who are 6′ 3″ 260 lb private school boys.

          I’m not ready to announce Kirby as the savior but I’m sure as hell happy to move on from the last decade where 10 wins had become the new undefeated at Georgia. Something happened that made Rocker leave and I don’t think it was totally Rocker’s decision. Richt hung on to Garner long after he was blatantly stealing his paycheck. Kirby doesn’t appear to be going down that path.

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          • OdontoDawg

            David Andrews was one of those smaller, “private school boys.” But I get your point and admit he was a rare find.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Napoleon BonerFart

            When is 8 wins better than 10 wins? When it’s UGA! I sure was tired of those converted wide receivers playing tackle for us. I don’t think a single offensive lineman under Richt’s tutelage ever had a scholarship offer from a Power 5 school. Recruiting experts are idiots. If you’re not first, you’re last.

            Did I miss anything?

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        • Hal Welch

          Dawgphan wears yellow and black pajamas

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        • Come on DawgPhan…If your point is to minimize the importance of recruiting rankings–I agree, somewhat. Alabama has no needs–so they can spend their (allegedly) limited time and money recruiting only the best kids. Georgia had needs–and addressed almost all of them. Would’ve been cool to add another DT–but the most glaring weakness last year was O-Line. So Georgia had to spend their (absolutely) limited time and money on their needs instead of the best available regardless of position. Maybe in 4 or 5 recruiting cycles–Kirby reaches that ‘best guy regardless of position’ stage…but this is his first full year of recruiting and is obviously looking for different types of dudes that were recruited before him. In that sense–I think he succeeded regardless of ranking.

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      • Got Cowdog?

        im upset that rocker lef to.but that dont mean you can poke fun at me cause I am not good at punchuating and capitals or a gud spelar.dam it

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gaskilldawg

        I don’t know. Is “Falcons” a singular word when referring to the team? If so, would not a singular word ending in “s” still be ” ‘s ” in the possessive form? I.E., “That is Mr. Jones’s car,” not “That’s Mr. Jones’ car?”
        If so, the correct would be It was the Falcons’s screwup” not, “It was the Falcons’s screwup.” You are correct in pointing out the team nickname is “Falcons,” not “Falcon,” so in either event “Falcon’s” is incorrect.

        It has been 47 years since my last grammar class and I may be remembering incorrectly.

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      • Sorry, I can’t hear you, I’ve got blowing a two score lead in the fourth quarter at home to Tech stuck in my ear.

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      • Napoleon BonerFart

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    • rpcpisme

      having great players makes it easier to coach.

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  11. Old Cobb Dawg

    Based on performance of position groups, I would say Rocker and Sherror were the two best coaches Georgia had last year. Wish him well. He did a lot of good for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Doggoned

    I guess we couldn’t have hoped for a quiet off-season, right?

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  13. ugadawgguy

    Yeah, we really are about to witness a “recruiting vs. coaching” experiment, about as pure as possible.

    Spoiler: recruiting alone will not yield championships. I doubt it will produce many 10-win seasons, for that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DawgPhan

      ummmm…florida just did this….then they went the other way.

      Ole jim bob down in the swamp just won the SEC E on muschamp’s 3rd place recruiting.

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  14. AthensHomerDawg]8

    Oh for goodness sakes. You guys watching the soaps with your lady friends?. There is so much cash out there he will hardly be missed. Ask Nick… He knows.

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  15. W Cobb Dawg

    Rocker arrived to find the cupboard empty. Now that he’s coached em up and we have some talent he’s out. That sucks. If he wasn’t our best position coach, he was in the top 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dawg19

    Wow…now Ken Blankenship has gotten Rocker fired. Kirby sure can hold a grudge.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dawg19

    But seriously…I wish the NCAA would let Bo Davis come back to coaching. I think he’d do well with the stock we have on the D-line.

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  18. Bright Idea

    If Bo Davis gets hired at UGA we will know for sure the old Georgia Way is dead.

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  19. Bulldog Joe

    I appreciate the job Coach Rocker did here and wish him well, especially if he lands back in the NFL.

    Wouldn’t want to face him on the opposing sideline.

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  20. Cpark58

    From 44th in 2013 to 75th, 44th, 33rd in rushing defense over the last 3 years (ESPN). Not knocking him because I thought he was indeed an improvement over Garner but aside from being a big, surly looking mofo I never understood the gushing over Rocker.

    “He coached Nick Fairly” sounds a lot like “He coached Drew Brees”.

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  21. Macallanlover

    “Not the departure we were hoping for” FIFY

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  22. wow, what a terrible thread.

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  23. Irwin R. Fletcher

    When a guy is making $550K, I think you can afford to be picky. Love Rocker as a position coach and appreciate all the work he did, but I don’t fault either coach for it being time for a change.

    I’ll never understand the crowd that feels that good recruiter and good coach are mutually exclusive.
    Whatever. Give me an A+ coach with B+ level talent vs a B+ level coach with A+ talent, and I’ll take the latter.

    every. single. time.

    Saban isn’t a magician. He has better players. And that is why his margin of error is so much bigger. The CFA Peach Bowl is a great example…95% of teams play like they did against UW lose. They looked really bad. BUT…so many ills are cured when your lines can dominate the point of attack and athletes make plays. You have to be able to coach to win like they do, but over 14 games, you aren’t perfect. Talent bridges the gap.

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  24. AusDawg85

    When Rocker asked about the swim day on the Fall practice schedule and pointed to his framed photo of CMR in a Speedo, Kirby immediately made the call.

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