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Post Staff shakeup

Saturday January 10, 2009

You probably didn’t expect news about coaching changes to come from the offense, but that’s what we have tonight. UGASports.com is reporting that, effective June 30, receivers coach Dr. John Eason will step into the Director of Football Operations position left vacant by the retiring Steve Greer. In this administrative role, Eason will no longer be an assistant coach but will still be around the program to share his experience and mentor the student-athletes.

Running backs coach Tony Ball will slide over to coach receivers, and graduate assistant Bryan McClendon will join the staff full time as an assistant coaching running backs.

You might ask why they’d move the running backs coach to receivers and put the former receiver McClendon over the running backs. There are two reasons on the surface. First, Ball had coached receivers at Louisville and Virginia Tech since 1995 before he joined the Georgia staff in 2006. He has more career experience coaching receivers than running backs. That experience will be very important in a year in which the Dawgs will go through some big changes in the passing game.

Second, running backs coach is often seen as a position for a recruiter. There’s still plenty of coaching to do, but running backs might be a better “entry-level” position for a new assistant, especially one who shows such promise as a recruiter. McClendon is a product of Atlanta, and he’ll no doubt help to strengthen Georgia’s presence in the metro area. Everything I’ve heard about him since he began as a graduate assistant indicates that he’s an up-and-comer, and I’m glad that he’s able to continue his career at Georgia. By catching the 2005 game-winner at Tech, he’s already several credits up in my book.

Mark Richt said after the season that he didn’t expect any changes on the staff during the offseason, but here we are. Of course this isn’t exactly a house-cleaning, and stability was one of the attributes that kept Garner and Searels at Georgia. But with the door open now, is this the end of the changes?

One Response to 'Staff shakeup'

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  • Richt says McLendon is going to be a really good coach. We need someone who is a really good coach now. Sounds like another Kirby Smart deal to me. Put a receiver to coach running backs (i.e) KIrby was a defensive player who coached his whole career on the defensive side and Richt made him the running back coach. Nothing Richt does makes any sense to me so why am I surprised!!!!!