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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Complete Teleconference Recap

Here's the complete transcript from Mark Richt's teleconference today following the dismissal of Willie Martinez, Jon Fabris and John Jancek...

On whether the coaches knew about this before today...
"No the coaches didn't know about my decision until today and I spoke to the team today at 4 o'clock."

On how difficult the decision was...
"I will say this, I spent a lot of time with these men. People may not have an idea of what we do, but we spend much more time together than we spend with our families. In season, we're probably working 80-hour weeks, if not 100. So you spend a lot of time with these men, you get to know these men, you meet with them daily, you watch their children grow up, you bleed with them, you have defeats with them and you have wonderful victories and celebrations with them, Christmas parties with them and all those things. We have accomplished quite a lot at Georgia over that time frame, so this has not been anything easy at all."

On whether those coaches will coach in the bowl game...
"I have asked them to, I welcome them to, I want them to. But I don't really want to comment on that right now because it's such a short time that even if one said yes, he may want to reserve the right to change his mind. Or if he's not sure, whatever. At this point, I hope they do, but I think we'll have a better idea here after a little time passes."

On what he'll be looking for in a new DC...
"The bottom line is we want to get back to the top of the Eastern Division and the top of the SEC, so we're -- that's the ultimate goal, that's what we're going after, so we want to bring in the finest coaches and men we think we can."

On how much influence public or booster pressure had...
"Zero. Zero."

On what his plan/timetable for finding replacements would be...
"The plan is to bring in the right people and the right coaches. Not only do you want coaches that are very competent but you want to bring in guys that will buy into the overriding philosophies I have as a head coach. So those things can't necessarily happen overnight and quite frankly I don't think it's right to be out there shopping around before I had an opportunity to talk to the men that I had to today. I'm not putting a timetable on anything. The goal is to make sure we get the right people in place."

On what Damon Evans has told him about spending...
"He has said to me and publicly that we're going to do what we need to do to compete at the highest level and do what's appropriate."

On whether he has spoken with recruits about this decision...
"At this moment I have not. Tonight I will spend -- the next couple of days I'll be just a little bit more active than I normally would be. The three coaches that we're talking about won't have any more -- Coach Martinez, Coach Jancek and Coach Fabris will not have any more recruiting responsibilities to Georgia even if they choose to stay for the bowl. So the other coaches and myself, we'll have to pick up a little bit more of the load in that area. But we're going to make sure we do that."

On whether this decision had been building over time...
"It was definitely not a one-year, knee-jerk reaction to this season, I can promise you that. It was more of a decision that was made over the course of time -- more time than just one year."

On what he expects from the defense...
"I want them to make sure that we're playing Georgia ball, playing with the type of speed and intensity that it takes to be champions. That's what we're looking for."

On whether the DC would be allowed to make his own hires...
"That definitely played into the decision. If you're going to bring in a top-notch person, I think every coordinator has one or two or more people that he has worked with in the past, that he's very comfortable with, that he knows exactly what he expects, exactly what the defense is all about. So I want them to have the room and freedom to be able to do that."

On whether Rodney Garner would be considered for the DC job...
"We have not talked about that at this point."

On what the status of the other coaches is...
"It's not the time of year to sign contracts, but all the other coaches are in good shape."

On the reaction from the players to the coaching changes...
"It's difficult to tell exactly what they might have heard before they got into the room. We know how news travels so quickly. That's part of the reason I wanted to make certain I had a chance to talk to the coaches and then not long after that meet up with the players. I didn't have any wild ideas that word wouldn't get out. I'm sure some of the guys knew something, some knew more than others, and some might have had no idea. So I think there was probably some shock and some sadness and there might have even been one or two that felt like this would afford them an opportunity for a clean start. Some guys maybe didn't do as well as they should have or do what he could do in the best way he could. He'll now get an opportunity to show the new coach what he can do."

On who he might want to bring in...
"I'm not going to discuss any of that right now. There'll be another time for that."

On how much influence the new DC will have on other hires...
"I would definitely want the coordinator to have some freedom to suggest other folks. I'm not going to say I'm guaranteeing you can bring in whoever you want, but I certainly would have to feel comfortable with whoever he had on the defensive staff with him. But I do understand that's very important. I was a coordinator at one time, and if I was going to take a new job, if I had someone with me that was knowledgeable of what we were doing and was a guy I knew I could trust with the type of work ethic I was going to expect and a guy who will battle with you through thick and thin, that's important for any coach to have. So I want to be able to afford that to whoever becomes the defensive coordinator."

On what today was like...
"It was a very difficult day, but as difficult as today was, the time that I spent deciding what to do was just as painful. So it's not been an easy time."

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know this must've been so hard for Coach Richt. I hate that it came to this and I really hope people will STFU about his "loyalty."

eisenmang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...

David-

Has anyone asked Richt to acknowledge Garner's contract situation beyond what was asked today about him and the coordinator position?

Is he being purposely vague by saying that the three will not have their contracts renewed and that he hasn't spoken with RG about being the D-Coord?

It's not like Garner even HAS a contract that can be renewed, but I cant imagine that he was included with the "other coaches" who are "all in good shape" as it pertained to this time of year not being the contract-signing time.

Do you have a feeling as to what Garner's future at UGA may hold?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Richt has evaluated a lot of the things that have held UGA back the past two years. Its a hard step in the right direction. Espn college footbal live called it the most high profile assistant job available this afternoon. Lets hope it demands the right candidates...

Anonymous said...

I know Richt said neither media nor fan pressure played a role in his decision, but did anyone ask if pressure by Evans had anything to do with what happened today?

bnwdog said...

Agreed, anonymous 1, I think it was clear to those listening and watching CMR that changes would be made and that it would be difficult on him personally. I look forward to his strong leadership in this search and will be glad to hopefully hear less belittling, berating, and near downright hate for a man who has built this program back up to a level where we expect to win, which was not the case not so long ago.

Let's be clear here. If the man can win one MNC he will have as many as any other coache in UGA's history. If he continues with the success of his first 10 years he may well go down as the best ever @ UGA. Here's hoping things play out that way and CMR has a long and bright future with UGA, which is what I expect!!! GATA DAWGS!

The 3rd Richt said...

Garner may be a great recruiter but I don't see him being a good DC. Word is that he is the reason VanGorder and Smart left. He's been using interviews for leverage for a couple of years now.
Richt is really the closer on recruiting so he's just going to have to take it up a notch and play his CEO role to seal the deal.

Anonymous said...

Nobody asked him what his thoughts were about Tiger?

Anonymous said...

So you guys actually think CMR is going to say "yeah the blogs, forums, tweets, money alums, man you talk about pressure but that bunch played a big role in this decision". Get real.

Putting Garner in the DC position would be a huge mistake.

CMR needs to bring in fresh blood and I believe that's what he will do. I think we're all going to be very surprised and very satisfied with the choice.

And now LG's move to WR has made the QB path sweet. 2010 is looking more and more exciting.

The Watch Dawg said...

anon@7:04 -

You're a damned fool if you think that blogs, forums and tweets made Richt fire one of his best friends since college. Don't give yourself THAT much credit... not that many people read your comments.

ernest said...

Coach Richt is a class act, and a great coach. This is not an excuse, but life in the eastern division of the SEC is brutal. What a dificult decision he must have had. I wish the departing coaches well.

NRBQ said...

I don't know if Coach will leave this decision to the incoming DC, but I, for one, think David Pollack is the ideal hire for DE coach.

Anonymous said...

Richt dilly-dallied so long to make the change that despite his claims to the contrary, it certainly appears these moves were made due to outside pressure. I understand that he did what he had to do. The competition is getting fiercer and the heat is definitely on. But he was anything but proactive in this process.

Bourbon Dawgwalker said...

You're right Anon 7:57. Richt should have announced this during his on field interview after the win Saturday night. "Coach Richt, how good does it feel to beat Tech?" "I'm not going to answer that question, but I would like to announce that I'm firing 3 assistant coaches."

Anonymous said...

David, Is it true that Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong has emerged as the leading candidate for the Louisville head-coaching job?

Next, what were the final stats for the following you reported on earlier.

Georgia's ranking this season, nationally, in a few categories:

Total Offense: 73rd
Pass Efficiency Defense: 90th
Scoring Defense: 75th
Third-down Conversion Pct: 73rd
Time of Possession: 84th
Red-Zone Defense: 103rd
Interceptions Thrown: 111th
Turnover Margin: 119th
Takeaways: 120th
Kickoff Coverage: 119th
Punt Coverage: 88th
Penalties: 116th

CAJDAWG said...

Two words: Bud Foster

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys amaze me and you obviously have never had to fire someone especially a friend that is giving everything he has and still can't measure up. The decisions Richt passed down today were obviously torturous on him. These are his first major staff changes due to dismissal since he's been a head coach. I know he wanted to be 100% sure these coaches could not meet our standards before he uprooted their families and careers. I can assure you no blog or reporter or even booster played into his decision. I commend CMR because in the end, he put the UGA program ahead of all else, which is what he's paid to do. He grew up today as a coach and a leader. I applaud his patience with his decision making. Let's hope his next DC is as good a hire as the no name guy he brought in with his staff in 2001 who is now DC in the NFL.

And also, why is it that everyone just assumes all firings will be replaced by better coaches. That's not a given in any sport or business. Keep your fingers crossed Bulldog Nation. The #1 attribute the new DC has is Tim Tebow is graduating. Go Dawgs.

Anonymous said...

I hope the coaches find success wherever they end up. One question, though. How does Joe Schad find that out first? Who on the inside decides it's a good idea to let Joe Schad know in house business before the players are told?

89Dawg said...

Coach Richt got it right -- exactly right in my opinion. There was nothing easy about these moves, but he did address the positions that have been underperforming all season (and beyond). Hopefully some new thinking on the kick coverage and punt return units will come with the new hires. I'm sorry for the coaches who were let go, but they all understand that it's a risk/reward business when they choose the profession.

BZ said...

David, Can you find out what this will mean for special teams? Wasn't Fabris or Jancek in charge of special teams. Can he just hire a guy where that is his only responsibility? thanks!!!

bulleagle said...

when all is said and done in your life the only real thing that really truely counts is the quality of the relationships you have had, both family and friends. being a man if great faith and character coach richt understands that as well as anyone. i am sure that what he had to do today was one of the hardest things ever for him. i admire and respect him for that and continue to be very proud that he is the coach of our dawgs. may god bless and encourage those three men and their families as they seek new direction.

Marty Funkhouser said...

Two words: Claude Rains

Marty Funkhouser said...

Two more words: Farley Granger