Tag Archives: Greg McGarity
Boy, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to watch Greg McGarity’s reaction to this:
While there were rumors of dissension on Georgia’s coaching staff in 2015 because of defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, nothing was ever confirmed. And there’s no question Bulldogs players will miss him: One player tells me that Pruitt’s future at Georgia was one of the first things athletic director Greg McGarity was asked about when he addressed the team following Mark Richt’s dismissal.
That probably explains the sensitivity.
I’m struck by something I posted a year ago.
… Again, I don’t pretend to know the specifics of what’s happened behind the scene at Butts-Mehre over the past six or seven weeks. But it’s clear that the athletic administration has committed to hitching its star to Richt’s wagon. McGarity may not really be “… very pleased with the direction of our program under Mark’s leadership,” but I have to think he was given the opportunity by Morehead to say what he thought Richt’s immediate fate should be and declined to pull the plug. Once you cross that bridge, you can’t be in half way. Like it or not, if you’re McGarity, you just bought in to giving Richt what he reasonably believes he needs to succeed.
I think most of us hope that, with the commitment to resources from B-M, there’s a commitment from Richt to getting Georgia over the hump. The irony is that if Richt is being held accountable for that, McGarity has to be held accountable for his call not to replace Richt. If his faith in Richt is rewarded, I have no problem letting him share in the credit. But if the best we get after this is a continued plateau or even worse, it shouldn’t simply be Richt’s term in Athens that should be questioned. I wonder how they both feel at this point about being joined at the hip…
Well, Richt is gone, but McGarity rolls on. The cynic in me wonders if hiring Kirby Smart – he’s a Georgia man, PAWWWLLL! – was the price McGarity had to pay to dodge being held accountable for Richt’s failing. If it wasn’t a blatant quid pro quo, it certainly can’t be denied that Smart was a popular choice in certain influential quarters. Nor should we ignore that it’s been pretty widely whispered the timing of the decision to replace Richt was pushed along by a strong rumor that South Carolina was courting Smart for its head coaching job.
Regardless, Smart’s the guy in charge at Georgia now. That being said, there are no guarantees in life. And in fact, as this Seth Emerson piece indicates, the odds that you can come home again and win a national title, which is what the movers and shakers are jonesing for, aren’t too impressive, particularly in the BCS and CFP era.
Smart was hired because Georgia wants him to do what Mark Richt couldn’t, win a national championship. But if Smart leads his alma mater to the title it would be a rare feat.
Fulmer is the last head football coach to win the national championship at his alma mater, Tennessee after the 1998 season. Prior to that it was Spurrier, at Florida two years earlier. Alabama’s Bear Bryant is the only other head coach to do so (albeit six times) since Auburn’s Shug Jordan in 1957.
Yeah, if it works, everyone’s a genius. If it doesn’t? Well, for starters, Smart’s out of a job, in what will probably be an even more painful exit than Richt’s. And Lord knows where the next coaching search goes. As for McGarity, assuming he’s still around when the shit hits the fan, he’s can play the card of having given the powers-that-be the homegrown product they wanted. Who can say if that will be good enough?
For sheer delusion, if nothing else, I really love this quote from Georgia’s AD:
“I’m fully confident that while physically he may not have been in Athens during this time, mentally he was doing what he could on behalf of the institution. He was able to multi-task successfully,” McGarity said Monday. “The timing was such, with classes starting (Monday), we had no one on campus during that time other than bowl practice anyway. So as far as recruiting, things of that nature, that could have been handled anywhere. The way the calendar worked out and school not starting til the 11th, all of those things when you look at them as a whole certainly led us to be able to accommodate everyone.” [Emphasis added.]
Awfully decent of him, eh? I bet Nick sends him a Christmas card this year.
After all this time, Greg McGarity’s found religion.
McGarity said he met with other UGA athletic administrators on Monday morning to talk about the mind-set of changing the way things are done under a new head football coach.
“We have to listen,” he said. “We’re going to listen to Kirby, his goals, his objectives because we’ve operated one way for six years now (since McGarity arrived for the 2010 season). Just like when we’ve hired other coaches, you’re going to have to help us understand what you want and our job is to make those things happen.”
Then again, he could simply be trolling Mark Richt.
I tend to brace myself when Greg McGarity is in explanation mode, but this is downright weird.
Change was clearly on the mind of Athletic Director Greg McGarity back in mid-October when he began looking into search firms. McGarity revealed Monday that it was then that he made up his mind he was going to utilize Bill Carr of CarrSports Consulting — if needed.
McGarity was a panelist at the College Athletics Leadership Symposium at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Atlanta on Oct. 19 when approached by Carr and “three or four” other search firms after the meeting.
“Bill was one presenting that day,” McGarity said after introducing Kirby Smart as Georgia’s new head coach Monday at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. “They all anticipate (coaching changes). That’s the job of these firms. When you finally make a decision to contact one — and I’m sure they’ve done some homework themselves — those guys want work, too. … They’re doing their due diligence, too.”
So McGarity didn’t seek out search firms, they sought him out? Color me a wee bit skeptical on that happening out of the blue.
It’s a pretty good indication the decision to can Richt wasn’t totally based on this season’s record, though. That “on the way home from the Tech game” story of McGarity’s is just that.
UPDATE: According to Chip Towers, the players didn’t see it coming.
Georgia’s players have had the air knocked out of them the past week. They went from not really believing that Richt was in trouble with the administration to dealing with him being fired, to rationalizing him bolting for Miami, to accepting a new coach.
Bobby Bowden, on when he knew the end was near for Mark Richt:
Although Bowden had heard Richt’s job was in jeopardy, he never really thought the school would fire a coach that finished the regular season 9-3, won 74 percent of his games (145-51) and made 15 consecutive bowl appearances.
“I thought it would be a replay of the LSU thing, as soon as the last game is over we’ll announce he’ll be back,” Bowden said, referring to the about-face LSU officials did with Les Miles. “Then I heard after the game with Georgia Tech the athletic director didn’t show up in the locker room. Most of my games after the game, the athletic director [would] come into the locker room to congratulate you or commiserate with you…”
Eh, by then, Greg McGarity was digging down deep and listening to his gut. Or something.