Can Josh Brooks follow in Kirby Smart’s footsteps?

If you didn’t see it, Seth Emerson ($$) wrote a smart piece (pun intended) about Josh Brooks taking the reins as Georgia’s new athletic director.  First, the background, and the context for my natural cynicism about the hire:

It’s easy to see how this looks: Georgia, a school that has almost always hired one of its own for big jobs, first promotes Josh Brooks to interim athletic director, says there will be a national search, and then gives Brooks the full-time job a mere six days into that interim tenure.

Brooks thus succeeds Greg McGarity, a Georgia graduate and Athens native, who had succeeded Damon Evans, who played football at Georgia, who succeeded Vince Dooley, the school’s legendary football coach.

The last time Georgia hired an athletic director with no connection to the school: 1963, when Joel Eaves was hired away from Auburn. So by merely promoting Brooks, who has worked at Georgia for the better part of the last 12 years, school president Jere Morehead — another UGA graduate who himself was promoted into his job eight years ago — has settled for more of the same.

That’s how it looks, at least.

With good reason.  A half-century legacy of never hiring outside the program?  How many other schools can claim a track record like that?

Like it or not, Georgia’s gonna Georgia.  Morehead is quoted as saying he chose Brooks after an extensive search inside and outside the program, but seeing as Morehead’s preference all along was for McGarity to stay in the job, I’m not exactly impressed with his representations.

That being said, it’s a fair comparison to make, as Seth does, to the Smart hire.  In other words, the process may be open to question, but there’s no reason Brooks can’t make his mark in the way that Kirby has.

Well, maybe.  Brooks faces booster pressure and also the financial pressure of keeping the books looking good in ways Smart never has.  And, of course, in some ways it’s easier to measure a football coach’s success than it is an athletic director’s, especially in the case of a school like Georgia, where poor hiring/firing decisions in sports other than football, one of Greg McGarity’s faults, are often ignored.

That being said, if Brooks can do a few things, such as up that hiring/firing track record, do more than give lip service to improving the game day fan experience and, generally speaking, keeping his foot out of his mouth, he’ll be a success, or, at least, a significant improvement.  He’s got my good wishes for that.  The best thing he’s got going for him is that in so many areas, a low bar has been set by his predecessor.

51 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

51 responses to “Can Josh Brooks follow in Kirby Smart’s footsteps?

  1. What does Greg McGarity’s biggest fan Bark Madly think? That’s what everyone needs to know. 😉

    The Georgia Way is going to Georgia Way.

    As long as the money keeps rolling in and someone is watching the budget for paper clips, Josh will be all right.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ugafidelis

    Is the the Josh that was Director of Football Operations as recently as last season?

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  3. gastr1

    What’s the point of announcing a national search when you clearly didn’t do one? Is that even allowable via state equal opportunity employment laws?

    “On the one hand you got your favoritism. Then over here it’s who knows who.”

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    • Gaskilldawg

      That is how Josh was able to adopt that beautiful baby so quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s allowable. I’m assuming Jere and the athletic board had already narrowed the search to Brooks and Carla Williams. If what Trey says below is true, there’s a reason Ms. Williams pulled her name from consideration so quickly. They knew what they were going to do.

      Same thing that happened with the search that led to Kirby. The decision was made before there was true vacancy.

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      • gastr1

        It must be allowable on some level or the wouldn’t have done it, of course…but I still find it curious. Is it because the AA is a private organization and not a state entity? Or is it that just announcing the national search and then publishing the job somewhere means that’s good enough to satisfy the state EEO requirement?

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        • gastr1

          What I;m getting at is that there’s a reason this kind of thing is illegal…the reason is not hiring anyone outside the dept. for 60 F’ING YEARS.

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        • Not a lawyer but I assume they followed the state employee labor laws. While the AA is a private entity and pays a large portion of the salaries, they all are state employees for pension purposes.

          Liked by 1 person

          • gastr1

            Right. We have to assume they followed the laws because they really couldn’t get away with not doing so; instead they’ve blatantly skirted them. I’m kind of surprised there hasn’t been a lawsuit about this after one of these searches. It’s very obviously bogus and a lot of people are watching.

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            • 79dawg

              There’s no law in Georgia that says a public entity has to publicly post a job opening for any length of time – governmental entities can hire whoever they want, whenever they want, for whatever (non-discriminatory) reason they want. What they can’t do (and what is illegal) is advertise a job opening and refuse to hire a qualified candidate who is a member of a protected group, due to the candidate’s status as a member of such group…

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              • gastr1

                There’s no EEO requirement re: public listing of positions in Ga.?

                Also, public universities are typically required to follow certain guidelines re: job announcements and procedures (I work at one and have been involved with 11 campus job searches, so I’m familiar with this). I guess I thought those were related to EEO requirements.

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  4. OK, gonna juice up the rumor mill a bit. Regardless of public utterings, a WELL connected source tells me that the resignation was hastened because they feel Brooks is a rock star and he was about to look elsewhere.

    The bird flew in, the bird flew out. take if for what its worth.

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  5. Ace Harris

    The worry here is that McEars was his boss toooooo many years. What could he have learned under Alfred E. Neuman that was relevant to anything about athletics. Maybe, how to correctly lob a tennis ball, just sayin!

    Like

    • Down Island Way

      The hope is “learning from others experiences/short comings”, should the new UGA AD have his eyes open and have the pulse of the individual sports staffs plus their needs and sells them on his expectations/goals and even have a 3-5-10-20 year plan…I get budget constraint$, the SEC is who they are, if you want to be in the conversation, ya gotta keep up with the guy next door…given the pandemic and economic forecast, having low attendance could be around for a while…

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  6. RangerRuss

    Anyone who feels the “Good Ol Boy” system has gone the way of the Confederate battle flag in Sanford Stadium needs to feel again. I’m okay with that as long as they’re sending the boys away to be tutored by experts before bringing them home to run things. Seems to be working well with Kirby. Maybe not so well with McGoo. If the best those search committees can discover are shitheads such as Mr Red Panties and that insidious asshole Adams? The boys with the bucks have to take matters in their own hands and public perception be damned. Hopefully they got it right with in-house trained Brooks.

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    • Russ

      Well, Adams was an outsider found by a search committee, so that doesn’t really speak highly of that method either.

      Basically, they’re going to hire who they’re going to hire. The problem is sticking with mediocrity for so long. Of course, “mediocrity” is defined many ways. While I think McGarity was a bad AD, the books (and the people that worship them) think differently.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. His statements about having to improve the gameday / fan experience for all fans was certainly great. How well he’s driven to improve non-revenue sports remains an open question however.

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  8. stoopnagle

    Leadership gets too inbred, you end up like Penn State. UGA and the USG need some outside blood to restore independence and offer new perspectives.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    Count me as skeptical about Josh Brooks, especially about learning of his ridiculous email response to a complaint one of our regular posters here at GTP made awhile back.

    Just another feckless, milquetoast politician who doesn’t give a damn about us, and everything the UGA AA will continue to do will be geared towards the big money.

    I hope I’m wrong, maybe he was just having a bad day when he fired off that email, God knows we’ve all done that, but we’ll see.

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    • 79dawg

      Yeah, I think I’m with you and Stoop. Certainly the hope is that by bringing in someone younger, there is a new look/fresh perspective, but based on his comments so far and some of the above, sounds more just like the same-old, same-old…

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    • Help me out. I don’t remember the email story.

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      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        It’s from this post about the Brooks hire:

        https://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2021/01/06/the-georgia-way-is-undefeated/#comments

        Look for dawgphan34’s reply to me.

        It’s ridiculous. If Josh Brooks sent him that email, it’s just more proof that The Georgia Way won’t die with this guy.

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        • aim260

          I’m sure you’ve never once been trying to get through emails, maybe on a day where you really can’t be bothered to give a damn, and sent of a few replies to emails that are merely acceptable.

          Point is, like most issues you opine on, you come in from on high with faux-outrage, and make a mountain out of a molehill, in a grating, monotonous style.

          On the whole, I like what I’ve seen from Brooks over the past few years, and am willing to observe for a while before I start slinging words like feckless, milquetoast, ridiculous (x2) , etc. from my great commentating perch in the interwebs.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. munsonlarryfkajim

    i’m going to assume he will do great until he doesn’t.

    Personally i spent 15 years working under someone with many flaws. He retired and i took over his job (a national search was not necessary). a year into it i am doing a lot of things differently than he did and my organization is performing at a much higher level as a result. It can be done.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. PTC DAWG

    You guys don’t like much, I can tell y’all that.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Harold Miller

    Has Mark Bradley started sniffing his crotch yet?

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  13. Derek

    History aside, hiring from within makes sense here.

    Too many AD’s want to make their name on their football coach hire.

    They rise and fall on who they hire for the revenue producing sports.

    Seems to me were set there. I see no need for tension or suspicion between the bmoc’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. siskey

    Can they stop playing the same 4-5 songs ( especially “The Who” and any “AC/DC” or “AC/DC” adjacent bullshit, hell just play artists from Georgia you can make any demographic happy) any before the game and vary the highlights? Also, can we get a beer garden, concerts that are actually worth a shit and turn the Spring Game into a big deal as in music, experience, etc and have the AA become involved in other “Athens concerns” or at least have a presence? Hipsters become old and like to watch sports too. (I am not a hipster but you get my drift).

    Liked by 2 people

    • CB

      An unpopular take, but I agree with most of it. I could also do without the Nickelback’s Elton John cover of Saturday Night’s Alright. I’ve got no problem with AC/DC or the Who, hell I’d even go so far as to say Nickelback gets a worse rap than they deserve but I don’t really understand why they’ve been forced into Georgia football culture over the last decade or so. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they didn’t do all that in the 90’s. Why would we outsource music when we have such a rich music culture in the state?

      For my money Auburn does a much better job DJing their games, and creating atmosphere at Jordan Hare.

      Liked by 2 people

    • CB

      Spot on with the beer garden, concerts, and spring game.

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    • Russ

      As a long time, huge fan of the Who, I agree with you 100%. The Who and the Dawgs do not go together. I like maple syrup and I like nice shoes. It doesn’t mean they go together.

      Play a variety of Georgia artist, or how about this crazy idea, let the Red Coats play!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. biggity ben

    I just want him to not fold like a cheap lawn chair anytime the NCAA goes sniffing around our program or wants to put us on the plains two years in a row or move or FU game because FU fucked up. That’s be a good start.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. dawgphan34

    I wish the guy all the best. I hope he does wonders for the athletic department.

    I dont love hiring from the same pool of people every time, but they dont ask me.

    Like

  17. DawgFlan

    Hope he shaves his beard so I don’t have to do a second take every time thinking we just hired Ted Cruz.

    Liked by 1 person