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Post Changes coming to Georgia’s strength program?

Thursday December 2, 2010

Georgia’s strength and conditioning coach Dave Van Halanger has been with Mark Richt since the FSU days, and no man is as tied to the concepts of Mat Drills and “Finish the Drill” as Coach Van. You won’t meet a more inspirational man, and his motivational tactics were key to changing the culture of the Georgia program during its rise in Mark Richt’s first years. But strength and conditioning has become a focal point of criticism during this year, and several opponents noted an advantage over Georgia in this area. The Georgia Sports Blog demonstrates that the team got outplayed and outscored at the end of games, and that’s not a good trend.

A post to Kelin Johnson’s Twitter page this afternoon makes it sound as if Van Halanger is leaving his position. Mark Richt indicated over the weekend that he wasn’t considering or expecting staff changes, but Van Halanger technically isn’t an assistant coach. If he is stepping aside, we join Johnson in thanking Coach Van for all he’s done for the program and wish him the best.

UPDATE: And the changes are now official. Van Halanger will remain with the program in a position that deals with character development, and it’s hard to imagine many people better suited for something like that. Joe Tereshinksi, father of recent quarterback Joe Tereshinksi III, will step into the role of director of the strength program. Tereshinski, a letterman in the 1970s, has been part of the Georgia staff in some form since 1982.

I’m not sure what to make of the move. I don’t disagree that a new approach was necessary, but I’m also skeptical when I hear that the solutions to problems were already in the organization all along. When I heard that Tereshinski and John Kasay were going to be involved in the conditioning program, I thought I had woken up back in the early ’90s. Not many of us know what all goes into the strength and conditioning and player development programs; it’s much more of an I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it thing. We know that getting pushed around down the stretch of many games this season is a pretty good sign that the players weren’t in a condition to finish the drill. Whether it takes state-of-the-art techniques or throwing tires around, the proof will show up in a 2011 season that could make or break Mark Richt’s future.

Of course this isn’t the end of the story. The program won’t be just one or two men, and we’ll see over the next few months what additional resources and people are brought on board to help. Tereshinski is already talking about a revamped approach to player nutrition, and that alone will require some specialized professionals.

2 Responses to 'Changes coming to Georgia’s strength program?'

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  • Too bad we are going to replace him with Coach T and John Kasey instead of getting a first rate S&C coach that is not old enough to be the players grandfather. This will change nothing and is yet another sign that Coach Richt is just marking time until the kids graduate and he can go into mission work full time.

  • Anyone who thinks Coach Tereshinski is a joke is nuts!
    This guys is tough as they come! I expect the GA
    player’s strength to benefit from this change. We have had good skill positions, but have been falling behind in the trenches – Coach T has been there and
    can help!