Butts-Mehre’s legacy

From The Athletic’s look at the top five jobs in college football ($$):

The other factor that drove Georgia up the list is a donor base that demanded the administration stop pinching pennies and start pouring resources into football facilities. This coincided with the firing of Mark Richt and the hiring of Smart. Georgia wasn’t always the kind of place where the coach could get what he asked for every time. It basically is now. One staffer who put Georgia atop their list said it came down to support from donors and the fan base and pure potential.

Richt certainly had his share of warts and flaws, but no football coach is going to win at a power program where the AD doesn’t buy into what the coach needs to succeed.  The dysfunction may have stayed largely beneath the surface for a few years, but by 2014 it was obvious McGarity wasn’t seeing eye to eye with his football coach.

But even before McGarity, it was apparent that Georgia was a program where the administration was reluctant to provide Richt with the level of support that an Alabama did for Saban the moment he walked through the door in Tuscaloosa.  The irony was that B-M was able to leverage Richt’s own loyalty to the program to control spending.

Putting profit before sustained success on the field, while all the while holding yourself out as being somewhat purer than the typical football school is what the Georgia Way was all about.  There is a part of me that gives Richt credit for being as successful as he was in the face of dealing with that.  But there is a bigger part of me that gives Smart credit for using his substantial leverage to call bullshit on the whole thing.


Filed under Georgia Football

31 responses to “Butts-Mehre’s legacy

  1. 45 people said the Georgia job isn’t one of the top 5 in the sport. What was their criteria? A 5-star sushi restaurant in town?

    Anyone with a brain and an understanding of college football would say this job is clearly one of the 5 best jobs to have. It has everything Alabama has with closer proximity to talent and #16 on the best public university list. Other than the depth chart at your position, there is no reason for a blue-chip recruit not to consider UGA other than a personal preference.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Ran A

    The more we find out about McGarity, the more it confirms that he was nothing more than an administrative hack. If your going to be comfortable finishing behind Florida overhear, the least you could do is up the academic performance of your student athletes. I honestly haven’t looked to confirm, but pretty sure that took a step back too. And as the Senator constantly reminds us – he wanted to hire Mullen…

    Liked by 3 people

    • akascuba

      Agent McGarity did want to hire his FU buddy Mullen thankfully by then he was a puppet being told what to do. So happy people like him and Michael Adams are gone.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. That last paragraph pretty much puts a bow on top of a long narrative that has come to rest—mostly. We think. Ok perhaps just for Kirby and not for the fans…but we have coke stations now right?


  4. akascuba

    Richt was not the type of guy to demand what he needed when he still had leverage to do so. The fact that he paid assistant coaches out of his own pocket extra money to stay showed how cheap really the Georgia way was.
    By the time Kirby was offered the job he knew what had to change before taking the job. I’ll forever be great full to CMR for making Georgia relevant.
    He was not mentally wired like Kirby for the 24/7 recruiting means everything to a teams success.
    Kirby is what Georgia football has been needing for a long time. A driven to succeed coach with nearly a blank check to get there.

    Liked by 9 people

    • SlobberKnocker

      Agree and the most damning part of this is that “B-M was able to leverage Richt’s own loyalty to the program to control spending.” That speaks to the quality of a man CMR is and to McGarity’s twisted ideas of what a successful program looks like.

      Liked by 8 people

    • debbybalcer

      I do not think that is true from what he has said he probably already had Parkinson’s Disease at the end of his tenure. I think the weariness of fighting to get support and his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis brought n the Parkinson’s. I think Richt has fire and could have been more successful if he had what Smart has in support.

      Liked by 5 people

      • dawg34

        He fought for it, it just wasn’t made public….like say maybe a Jeremy Pruitt.

        More behind closed doors, same way he treated his players. You have to respect that.


      • akascuba

        I completely agree with you. I did not mean to imply Coach Richt had no fire as a coach. I only meant with the AD’s office.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. timberridgedawg

    Since it’s behind the Pay Wall, who were the Top 5 and what was the order?


    • rugbydawg79

      alabama first UGA second Uga had by far the toughest schedule so far.


    • stoopnagle

      Bama, Ohio State, UGA, Texas, LSU

      A lot of it has to do with institutional support, proximity to recruits, and owning the geographic territory of said recruiting landscapes.

      Fun quote: “Georgia doesn’t have another program on its level in the state competing for talent. Georgia Tech also is in the Power 5 but doesn’t run in the same recruiting circles…”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 79dawg

    I can still see the marks where the jockey was hitting this dead horse!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. back9k9

    Accurate. Thanks Senator.


  8. These are friggin painful retrospective reminders…I try to suppress my inner “what if” doubter…but if we had full buy-in from B-M back during the Richt era we would have at least 1-2 more National Championships as a program.

    If and Buts…so on and so on

    Liked by 1 person

    • aim260

      Couple that with the 4-team playoff having existed from 2002 forward, and the odds we’re left empty handed are almost non-existent.

      Liked by 1 person

      • siskey

        We would have made it in 02, 07, and 2012 with the 4 team playoff and I think we would have won in 07. I don’t think we would have beat Miami in 02 or Bama in 2012.

        Liked by 2 people

    • ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

      Almost had ‘em anyway. If the Bama linebacker doesn’t tip that pass in the 2012 SECCG and if the ‘07 Dawgs were allowed to play in the BCSNCG……


  9. sirjackshea1980

    The idea I find absurd is that any AD, actually anywhere, has Putin-esque power to decide the course of any football program. You guys really believe their are no questions asked or orders given on the “for” line on the checks the big donors write? There seems to be a consistent misunderstanding/ misreading here of the institutional will/attitude about the football program at Georgia. If you want to blame Greg McGarity, sure, have at it, but you miss the point completely.


  10. Texas Dawg

    Given his lack support from the administration, it’s a wonder Richt did as good as he did.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Bama is only the best job when you have the best coach of all time running things. Saban’s been there for so long that people forget how that place made Butts-Mehre look like a well oiled machine for nearly three decades after the Bear retired.

    Liked by 2 people

    • sirjackshea1980

      Short memories are a blessing in some circumstances, but a curse in this one. That any coach failed at a university that has “championship football” in its mission statement is an interesting proposition.

      Liked by 1 person