End of an Era:  Not Going to Say I Told You So

Well I am sure by now you have heard the news.  Mark Richt is no longer the coach at the University of Georgia. Well technically he still is, but he won’t be after the bowl game.  Early yesterday afternoon it was announced that Mark Richt and Greg McGarity had mutually decided that Richt would resign. I know this is an unpopular decision for many Dawg fans.  I fully understand why so many Georgia fans would feel this way.  When a man like Mark Richt is asked to leave it is painful.   But folks it was always going to be painful, and just like the Bruce Hornsby song, “That’s Just the Way It Is”.  Mark Richt has a lot of class, and he has represented our state, our school, and our team in a fashion that few men could replicate.  He is a man that you want to see win it all, but I think too many began to feel he was not going to win it all.   The day after the Florida game I posted a blog called, “The End of an Era: Thanks for Memories Coach Richt.”  It may have seemed a little premature to write such a post, but my opinion had finally changed about Richt after that game.  Quite frankly, I was mad as hell after that game.  It’s sort of embarrassing that I care that much, but I do.  And many of you do as well, and that’s why this had to happen.

My change of heart was not created by one bad game.  But the Florida game further proved what I would not admit for years.  That the program was trending down and not up.  And Georgia’s talent was either poorly evaluated or under developed for years.  Ultimately after 15 years, I realized that Georgia had already peaked under Richt.  It was a painful realization.  I love Mark Richt, and I really believe he is the best head coach UGA has ever had.  But he missed his window to reach the top.  That window was open from 2001 to 2008.  It was cracked open in 2012, but quickly shut again.  He is still a great coach, and if wants to keep coaching he will get that opportunity.  I would love to see him around UGA for years to come, but I am just not sure what he will decide.  I said it before and will say it again.  Thank you Coach Richt for all the things you did on and off the field for UGA, the city of Athens, and the young men you coached.

But like it or not Dawg fans there will be a new coach here in Athens very soon.  No matter how you feel about this it is already done.  So I suggest you get on board.  I for one am excited about the future.  Georgia football needs a new message and new leader.  The fans need a breath of fresh air and a renewed enthusiasm for the program.  I believe the next coach will find the program in good shape and positioned to succeed. Therefore, it is time to get excited.  So who will it be?  Let’s take a look at some candidates and examine some of their pros and cons.

KIRBY SMART- The rumors about Kirby have been swirling for at least a week.

He seems to be an obvious choice considering he is an alumnus and considered one of the top coordinators in the country.

Pros- He is from Georgia and recruits the south very well.  He should still have tons of love for his alma mater and a desire to see UGA win.  He has learned from one of the best in Nick Saban, and one would think that UGA would get better on the line of scrimmage with Kirby.

Cons- He is unproven.  Plain and simple it would be his first head coaching job.  Is he truly ready to be the head dawg so to speak?  Overall, there is just some uncertainty in his ability to handle the job.

TOM HERMAN – Many of you may not really know this guy.  I have to admit I don’t know much either.  He is the current head coach at Houston and coached with Urban Meyer.  He is an offensive guy and seems to be a top of the line candidate for any job.

Pros- I think this guy would be a good hire.  He has already been the top guy at Houston so he knows the job.  He would bring a different offense to Athens and maybe that would be a good thing.  This guy is going to get a top level coaching gig somewhere.  Might as well be UGA.

Cons- He doesn’t know Georgia or the overall recruiting territory. And bringing a new offense to Athens could be a con instead of a pro.  Overall, he may not be the best fit, but you really don’t’ know until you try something on.

JIMBO FISHER– Seems hard to believe he would leave FSU, and I personally don’t think he would.  But some people seem to think he isn’t real happy.  Not sure about that, but I know Georgia has the money to hire him away.

Pro-He’s a proven winner and this would be a big SPLASH if he came to UGA.

Con-Let’s be honest this isn’t happening.

GARY PATTERSON– This is probably the best coach not named Nick Saban in my opinion.  I really like him, and the job he has done at TCU.

Pro- Proven winner and could really do great things with the resources here in Athens.  This guy is my dream coach for UGA.

Con- The time to hire him was years ago.  He would probably come, but not sure it is the best fit now. May have been in 2009.

MIKE BOBO– This one may be a bit of stretch.  He has only been a head coach 1 year, and he worked hard to reach a 7-5 record.  Personally, I like Mike Bobo and think he is great coach.

Pro- He knows the job, knows the area, and knows how to recruit.

Con-If you hire Bobo than why did you fire Richt?  Besides, if I was Mike Bobo I would tell everyone that hated me and my play calls to kiss my    A-S-S!

DOC HOLLIDAY– No I am not referring to the famous gunslinger and gambler.  This guy is a good coach at Marshall.

Pro- Mainly his name.  I would love a coach named Doc Holliday. Honestly, he is a great coach.

Con- He is almost 60 and probably not a good fit.  A bit of stretch to get this job

ANYBODY ELSE– This refers to people we aren’t talking about or would think want the job.  This is also what will make the next several days or weeks very fun.

Overall, part of me is sad to see the end of the Mark Richt era.  But I know that this was the right decision, and I know Mark Richt is going to be just fine.  I am excited to see what the future holds for my beloved Dawgs, and you should be too.  My gut tells me that Kirby Smart is going to be the next coach.  I have nothing to base this on other than my own opinion.  Yes, I have heard some rumors claiming it to be true.  But this is more of a gut feeling.  I think he will be offered the job, and he will accept.  Regardless, Georgia has an opportunity to get this right.  I just hope they do, but only time will tell.  Go Dawgs!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

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