The final survivor of the Richt era on Georgia’s coaching staff, Kevin Sherrer offers some interesting perspective on how the last four years went down.
When Sherrer arrived four years ago, Georgia’s defense was in the midst of an overhaul. The unit had struggled the year before and Pruitt had been brought in to fix it. Sherrer, who had been the defensive coordinator at South Alabama, was part of that overhaul. The defense did turn it around, but the offense struggled after Mike Bobo left, Richt was ultimately fired because UGA power brokers thought the program had plateaud, and Smart was brought in.
Sherrer was connected to both Pruitt and Smart. From his perspective, this was a four-year process for Georgia to get here: There were necessary changes implemented the first two years with Pruitt’s influence, and then they accelerated when Smart took over.
“We all come from the same background. You could see a little bit of the change. But when Kirby got here, you really could see the change,” Sherrer said. “And to me, in any transition there’s always going to be a feeling-each-other-out type thing.”
The turning point, or at least when Sherrer noticed things really changing, was preparation for the Liberty Bowl. That’s when Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter announced they were returning, and when Sherrer thinks the veterans on the teams really began to “take ownership” of the team and buy into what Smart was trying to sell.
“That was really when the turning point came, in my opinion, was this time last year,” Sherrer said.
Lesson from the story: a head coach — at least a Georgia head coach — is only as good as his assistants.