“I think it’s pretty cool.”

The Mark Richt coaching tree has more branches than you might realize, my friends.

  • Tennessee last week introduced its new defensive staff which includes three coaches who worked for Richt in Athens: line coach Rodney Garner, secondary coach Willie Martinez and outside linebackers coach/special teams coordinator Mike Ekeler.
  • At Auburn, he can catch former offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and offensive line coach Will Friend. They were at other SEC schools last year with Bobo, who spent 14 seasons working with Richt, at South Carolina and Friend at Tennessee.
  • At North Carolina, former Richt tight ends coach John Lilly and offensive line coach Stacy Searels are on Mack Brown’s staff.
  • Tight ends coach Todd Hartley was with Richt for all three of his Miami seasons. Former UGA linebackers coach John Jancek is a Bulldogs defensive quality control assistant and of course head coach Kirby Smart was a running backs coach under Richt in 2005.

Ten listed there, which is not too shabby.

“I keep up with those guys and a lot of time they keep me updating on what’s going on,” Richt said last week. “Every once in a while I’ll help them with a recommendation here and there over the years.”

44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

44 responses to ““I think it’s pretty cool.”

  1. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    I thought the definition of a coaching tree was how one coach’s assistants become head coaches elsewhere.

    This is more like a coaching fern.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    So, when it comes to actual coaching trees, Kirby is actually doing pretty well, all things considered.

    Mel Tucker at Michigan State, Sam Pittman at Arkansas, and Shane Beamer at Sakerlina.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TN Dawg

      I’m gonna have to say even this is a stretch of the terminology.

      The coaching tree, as I understand it, generally refers to a protege of the head coach that goes on to a head coach position as well.

      It’s difficult for me to pretend Sam Pittman learned at the knee of Kirby Smart and went on and installed the Kirby System at Arkansas.

      Likewise for Beamer, if Beamer is off of anyone’s coaching tree, it’s his father’s.

      Mel Tucker fits the mold though.

      You won’t find many coaches installing the Kirby System though, mostly because Kirby doesn’t have a system other than try to imitate what Papa Saban taught him. Other than that, he’s pretty clueless on the field coaching, unless you like to watch him hop around like a monkey with his organ grinder holding his pants leash.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. UT needs to get Bobo and Friend.

    Like

  4. Texas Dawg

    Is Kirby off the Richt tree or the Saban tree?

    Like

    • I’m going to leave that question to the folks here with doctorates in coaching trees. 😉

      Liked by 7 people

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

        Saban for sure. Richt had him coaching running backs for some reason.

        Liked by 2 people

        • RangerRuss

          Fundamentals, man!
          SMFH.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

            I mean, Richt had has best buddy, former roommate, and best man coaching the defense and defensive backs.

            Why show up Soft Willie by hiring Kirby to do the thing Kirby does best (and so much better than Soft Willie)? Kirby can go coach the running backs and Willie Two-Thumbs doesn’t get shown up or his fee-fees hurt.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Other than the fact that in 2004 when Richt hired Kirby, Smart had never been a DC. We went on to win the SEC in 2005.

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              • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

                That’s actually not true. He had been a DC before.

                But at the end of the day, Kirby was also, by that time, a much better DB coach than Soft Willie. And we won the SEC with two losses, one horribly bad in which the entire secondary was so badly positioned by their coach and DC (same guy) that they gave up a 4th and long for a TD to Auburn.

                And then a month after the SEC Title Game we’d watch Soft Willie’s D get torched by WVU.

                So.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Ok, he had been a DC for one year at VSU and a DB coach at VSU for a year before that. Then, he got the job as a DB coach for 1 year at LSU for Saban.

                  I’m not defending Two Thumbs. I thought Richt should have run him out of Athens after that game in Atlanta.

                  Like

          • Down Island Way

            Called a specialist…a professional Arborist if you will, a man that has been coaching trees for several rings now, he did attempt to define what a coaching tree is…”a tree that is coachable at either the back yard, social level or full on deep woods variety is an oak”….he did comment that 5 star trees never get toilet papered and are always well rooted in their beliefs….

            Liked by 3 people

            • RangerRuss

              DammitDIW! Maybe if I smoke some tree I can pick up what you’re laying down.
              Where’s Uncle Got’s finest when you really need it…

              Like

  5. mp

    I notice Jon Richt is not listed. The hire that doomed his Miami tenure and he couldn’t get his kid hired anywhere else.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would say Thomas Brown and Bryan McClendon should be mentioned.

    Liked by 3 people

    • RangerRuss

      Thomas Brown? Didn’t the Senator ban that sumbitch a few years ago?

      Like

      • Got Cowdog

        Not that one.
        IIRC Thomas Brown was CMB’s original blueprint player for running a small back between the tackles.
        Damn good Dawg.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Brown may have been smaller than the average Georgia tailback, but he was still about 190 pounds and arguably pound-for-pound the strongest player in the team.

          Definitely a different animal from Carlton Thomas.

          Liked by 1 person

        • RangerRuss

          SMMFH.

          Like

          • Got Cowdog

            ‘Bout time you showed up. I found myself on a restock run for the libation locker, and wanted to try something different. I picked up a 12 year old Johnny Walker Black. I’m no Scotch guy, but I’ll try some a little later tonight. Thoughts?
            And Thomas Brown was still too small to run between the tackles, but CMB/CMR O-line recruiting may have had something to do with that (He says sotto voce, so we don’t pirate the thread…)

            Liked by 1 person

            • RangerRuss

              Johnnie Walker Black has been my drink of choice6 since I was a senior at UGA. Professor Bob Clute (RIP) bumped me up from Red to Black. The Black is a bit better blend than the Red and worth the extra coin. I used to keep a liter of Red for the nights when I polished off a full bottle of Black. No need to waste the good shit when I’m getting sloshed or some classless asshole that can’t tell the difference is mixing it with Mountain Dew. Haven’t opened the Red in years. Just don’t drink that much now.
              I’ve been on a Costco Kirkland 22 and now 23 yr old Speyside single malt kick for the last year. Not saving any money at about $80 a liter. But it’s very good. Reminds me of what I grew up sipping out of Pop’s stone jug. I simply ain’t paying what they charge for that in bars and restaurants. That’s when I drink ol JWB. It’s consistent and affordable. Shiiiiit man. I’ve been known to leave a restaurant that didn’t stock JWB. Just as the sun never sets on the old British Empire, there’s no reason for an establishment anywhere in the world not to stock that ubiquitous libation.
              I applaud your choice if belated. A bit of ice and three fingers poured is how I prefer mine. But I’ve been known to drink it neat and hot from a toolbox on a hot Georgia summer afternoon.
              You got to live hard to be hard. But you ain’t got to compromise on your drink of choice.

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              • RangerRuss

                I meant to add that I read where Thomas Brown is RB coach and assistant HC for the LA Rams. DGD.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Gaskilldawg

                  Brown was a fine player for us. He was the kind of player you could win a championship with, and we did. Really good player and person. I hate the cracks above criticizing him about running between the tackles. Brown was a tough runner.
                  I didn’t know he was on an NFL staff. The NFL has a pension fund for coaches, meaning that coaches don’t have to remain with a particular team for a certain number of years to be vested. Even if he is a career assistant it is still a great career.
                  Scotch was an acquired taste for me. My smoking hot wife was a scotch drinker and she helped me acquire the taste. I like rye, too, and being a Southern boy and Georgia alum have been a bourbon drinker since Nixon was in his first term. Now I like scotch and rye better than bourbon, but bourbon has its place on football weekends as part of tradition.
                  I agree that Johnnie Walker Black is better than Red, but Red got a lot of sales when Joe Namath’s book titled ” I Like My Women Blonde and My Johnnie Walker Red” got published. I bought it in hardback way back when and dreamed of his lifestyle when reading it!
                  Keep posting!

                  Liked by 2 people

                • RangerRuss

                  Gaskilldawg, Thomas Brown was a fine RB and an excellent receiver out of the backfield as well as a serviceable return man. That fellow blogging under his name always pissed me off.
                  Agree that bourbon is a game day staple. Maybe it’s because Jim Beam pint bottles travel so much better in a back pocket than a square Johnnie Walker bottle.
                  I’ve grown more discerning of what and how much I drink. I’m damn particular about who I drink with now.

                  Like

                • Got Cowdog

                  JWB is really, really good.
                  Gaskill, The cracks above were directed at the Coach who told Brown to run between the tackles behind a sketchy O-line, not the player. To be clear “I blame Bobo”. The “Damn Good Dawg” in my post was not sarcasm and I apologize if you took it that way.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • Got Cowdog

                No kidding.
                Just fixed a taste, with an ice cube in a favorite glass. Very nice.

                Liked by 1 person

  7. Jack Klompus

    For all the places he’s living, it doesn’t seem as though Richt spends much money on rent.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. bigjohnson1992

    Uhhh. Not a real all-star list right there. Cute story, but a truly an off season reach.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gaskilldawg

    Jesus Fucking Christ, it was a noncontroversial post about how a former coach had a bunch of assistants still coaching who remain in contact with the former coach. A bunch of people couldn’t resist going into attack mode.
    Arguing about the meaning of the term, “Coaching tree?” Whk gives a fuck about whether it truly a “Coaching tree?”

    Liked by 1 person