Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Coaching carousel

Tuesday December 12, 2006

I’ve only been marginally paying attention to the offseason coaching carousel. It’s reason enough to stop and appreciate Mark Richt. Wasn’t he a sure thing to run off when Miami came calling? Oh, nevermind.

  • Arizona State will retread Dennis Erickson. He’s had success at other schools, and we’ll see if he can sort through the mess in Tempe. The Dawgs will face Erickson’s Sun Devils in his second year, so we’ll keep an eye on his rebuilding job next year.
  • How often do we see a coaching search where the main criteria seems to be "the exact opposite of the last guy?" The last coach was too dull, so let’s get a personality in here. The last guy was married to the option, so let’s open up the passing game. That seems to be the case at NC State. Chuck Amato was quirky, eccentric, flashy, erratic, and his teams were known for their undisciplined play. Tom O’Brien might or might not be the right coach for the Wolfpack, but the former Marine major projects an image that’s everything Amato wasn’t. Will that matter when it comes to bringing a higher level of consistency to Raleigh?
  • Count me among those unimpressed with Miami’s hire. Shannon’s biggest job will be to convince the local goldmine of talent to believe that a coach from the former failed staff can restore the image and attitude of "the U".
  • So Alabama is still without a coach. When Georgia was looking for a coach after the 2000 season, I wrote that firing the existing coach was the easy part. The decision to replace the coach can’t be evaluated until we see how the replacement does. Everyone now looks back on the decision to replace Jim Donnan as a no-brainer, but that’s only because we hit a home run with Mark Richt. The Dawgs could have likely ended up with Ray Sherman or even, yes, Chan Gailey. Every coaching change is a big risk from replacing a guy leaving on his own terms to getting rid of someone not performing to expectations. The saving grace for Bama is that as messed up as things appear now, the next coach won’t be judged based on how smooth the selection process went. If he succeeds, no one will care about the public process. If he fails, it wouldn’t matter if Bama ran the model coaching search.

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