It sounds like Mark Richt took one lesson to heart from his Georgia days when he accepted his new gig.
And though Richt is quick to credit athletics director Blake James and deputy athletics director Jen Strawley with investing in things that weren’t done around here before — like a nutritionist— that Richt knew were critical to competing for national titles, none of this happens without a lesson learned in his final years at Georgia.
Under some administrative pressure to shake things up, Richt tried to Sabanize his coaching staff, hiring Saban disciple Jeremy Pruitt as his defensive coordinator along with five other staff members who had Alabama ties, giving that group wide latitude to modernize the recruiting operation and other aspects of the program.
The gambit ultimately didn’t work, as Richt went 10-3 and 9-3 in those two seasons but lost the games he needed most, including twice to Florida, once to Georgia Tech and a 38-10 loss to Alabama in Athens that made the Bulldogs seem light years away from contending for an SEC championship. Moreover, there was constant drama inside the football building, as people separated into camps over how things should be done and never developed any chemistry as a staff.
It was a lesson learned for Richt, who was far more clear-eyed and uncompromising when putting together his staff at Miami…
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…
I’ll keep saying it — nobody running the show at Butts-Mehre has the first clue about successfully supporting a football program. “Why don’t we do things more like Alabama” is envy disguised as strategic planning. The best a Georgia football coach can hope for is benign neglect from the administration, something that works as long as the reserve fund isn’t being threatened. Fortunately for us, Kirby appears to know how to play that game.