Meet the new staff

Jake Rowe hands out the resumes of Kirby’s assistants, and it’s pretty clear one of those is unlike the others.

Cochran’s hired at Georgia came seemingly out of nowhere on Monday. Cochran arrives at UGA with zero years of on-field coaching experience. He spent the past 13 years at Alabama as the head strength and conditioning coach, helping the Crimson Tide to five National Championships. He was an assistant strength coach for the New Orleans Pelicans before that and was on LSU’s strength staff from 2001 to 2004. The first three years at his alma mater were as a graduate assistant and the fourth was as an assistant strength coach. According to Nick Saban and former Alabama players, Cochran has been aiming for an on-field job for awhile and he was reportedly pursued for such a role by Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffen earlier in 2020. [Emphasis added.]

It may not be a fatal flaw, but it’s certainly a gamble.  Although Seth Emerson indicates ($$) it may not be as big a gamble as it appears on its face.  For one thing, he’ll have plenty of help.

One former SEC coach told The Athletic that he thinks Cochran will be fine, having not only spent enough time around special teams units, but also because Georgia will give him staff resources to assist: Quality control coaches, graduate and/or student assistants, etc. (Greg Meyer is currently listed as a special teams analyst and Adam Ray as a quality control coach for special teams.) Georgia tight ends coach Todd Hartley was Miami’s special teams coordinator from 2016-18, so he can also assist.

For another, he apparently coached the special teams scout team at Alabama.  Obviously, that’s no substitute for real game experience, but it’s not nothing, either.

A couple of other notes about the coaches — one, note how every one of them who’s been in Athens for a couple of years at this point has notched some big wins on the recruiting trail. Cochran will be expected to make an impact there, as well.

Two, look at the experience Luke and Monken bring to the table, not just as position coaches, but as head coaches, too.  If Smart wants to give his key assistants some autonomous space, they’ve certainly got the chops to know what to do with it.

All in all, it’s the most intriguing mix of assistants Smart’s assembled.


Filed under Georgia Football

9 responses to “Meet the new staff

  1. Faltering Memory

    I think Cochran will moore than pull his weight. He couldn’t work for CNS for 13-years and be a dumbbell.


  2. One thing that seems to be common is the face value approach to analysis of this hire. Cochran has no on field experience. What is missing is giving him, and Smart, the benefit that within their relationship that CKS probably knows the Cochran has been preparing himself for the opportunity to step into this role as it’s been widely mentioned that he has Head Coaching aspirations. You don’t just wait until the job opens to prepare and given the obvious drive Cochran has one has to believe he’s been doing his due diligence and CKS probably knew(or saw) this.
    Detractors will say “why didn’t Saban see/know this?” But sometimes relationships grow to a point of assumptions that everyone is content in their role and the opportunity for promoting gets overlooked or ignored. Saban is not without making a mistake or two.


  3. DavetheDawg

    The angst this has caused the Bama faithful alone is worth every ounce of risk we might incur.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Russ

    Yeah, he will be fine. He wanted to get into on-field coaching and this is the perfect spot. Many teams don’t even have a STC, and I believe Kirby himself has even said something along those lines in the past. It’s not rocket surgery, it’s stay in your lane, be aggressive, but don’t overrun the play.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. mddawg

    “Todd Hartley was Miami’s special teams coordinator from 2016-18 and their special teams performance was awful.”

    Fixed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. practicaldawg

    What’s the worst that can happen on special teams? We don’t block a punt or return a punt for a TD in 2020? Sounds like 2019 to me.


    • Kirby went very conservative on punt return after Simmons’s disaster in the ND game. I never watched his reaction to Blaylock’s muff in the Fech game, but it couldn’t have been good.


  7. TN Dawg

    I don’t want to suggest special teams is unimportant, it’s won or lost many a game.

    But as for scheming, it ain’t exactly the toughest facet to coach.

    Kick the ball through the end zone. Don’t shank the punt. Kick it towards the sideline when the other team has a good returner. Stay in your coverage lanes. Block the dudes in front of you. Snap it to the holder or punter. Kick the ball between those two sticks.

    If you handle all of those things, save the field goals, 98% of the time, you are a top 50 special teams group.

    Throwin a cleverly schemed return set up, onsides kick, FG/Punt block alignment and you are a top 20 ST unit.

    The big decisions are made by the boss when it comes to ST. A keen eye might spot a weakness in the opponent that offers an opportunity to make a big play, but by in large it seems unless you are a ST savant like Frank Beamer, most big special teams plays are largely a result of somebody making an outstanding athletic play individually or are the products of good fortune or mistakes.


  8. Twilb Dawg

    Loving the staff that Kirbs has assembled! The future is bright, enjoy the ride!

    Side note: Jake Rowe needs to take just a couple of minutes to proof read his work.