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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Todd Grantham Mystery

So you thought just because "Lost" was over, you were done reading between the lines, speculating on clues and trying to solve a potentially unsolvable mystery? Not so fast, says Mark Richt.

In the past couple of weeks, Richt has hinted on several occasions that there were some complications during the hiring process before he landed Todd Grantham, noting that he wanted Grantham more than a month before a deal actually got done. Mysterious circumstances prevented that from happening though.

“It’s a long story and I’m not going to tell it, but a lot earlier than the day he came, I thought he would be the guy," Richt said. "I was convinced he could be the guy probably a month earlier. It’s just that circumstances kind of moved me around in a different direction for a bit, but ultimately came around to a guy that (at least) a month earlier I thought probably should be the guy.”

Um… OK?

I get it. It's a long story. But I just invested six years of my life into "Lost," so I'm certainly open to hearing a long story -- assuming we don't all end up in purgatory at the end.

So what could possibly have been the hold-up that Richt doesn't mind hinting at but won't really discuss?

My obvious first suspicion was that money might have been the big issues, but Richt said it never came close to getting to that point.

“No, I just never made an offer or anything like that,” he said.

And while Damon Evans did express some concerns about escalating coaching salaries a while back, he reiterated at this week's SEC meetings that he was more than comfortable with the money Grantham is making now.

So, was it simply that the powers that be wanted Richt to look elsewhere, and it was only after Bud Foster and Kirby Smart, etc. said no that he was allowed to go back to his first choice?

“This entire process was strictly on my ability to do whatever I wanted to do," Richt assured me. "Damon was 100 percent behind what I wanted to do. There was never an issue with that.”

For his part, Evans gave a similar response, too.

“Mark always had a good pool of candidates, and Grantham was one of them," Evans said. "Grantham was someone that, from my understanding, Mark had known about and obviously had a great reputation as a coach, so as you went through the process, a lot of people thought it was long and took some time, but we did a good job and ended up getting a job that (Richt) knew about and was already on his radar. That’s good for us all.”

But if everybody's happy now… what was the hold-up?

I'm guessing something involving a smoke monster. But you're free to speculate for yourselves.


Anonymous said...

My best guess would be that it had something to do with the NFL side of things. Dallas was vying for the playoffs. It could also be that Grantham was in the infancy of talks w/ one or more NFL teams for a potential DC candidacy at the pro level. I really don't think there was anything sinister going on.

Woolly Butts said...

Both Grantham and Mark Fox were hired after protracted searches, during which people fretted endlessly about how Richt and Damon were dithering, as some might say. But in the end, we got a hell of a coach in Fox, and I think we'll be mighty happy with Grantham. The Athletic Association didn't disclose much publicly about either search, and from the looks of it, operated wisely throughout both searches. All's well that ends well, and I'm not that interested in ferreting out the details.

Anonymous said...

It does not matter. We have our DC, and now lets got beat Florida and win the SEC East. Oh yeah, lets also destroy the nerds again.

The Gameday Chef said...

Okay, I'm going to (sort of) take a page out of ANON's playbook and do a cut and paste of a comment I left on a previous blog. The difference being, of course, that this comment is pertinent to the discussion.

I think it is possible that Richt and Grantham both had the pulse of the Bulldog nation, and we were collectively clamoring for Hometown Kirby. I imagine that the outrage of the fanbase had Richt hired Grantham without even trying to get Kirby (or at least looking like he was trying to get Kirby) would have been enormous. It seems to me that Richt recognized this, and saw that the fans would never like Grantham because he was not “the man.” Or, at the very least, Grantham would have a lot more skepticism from the fan base to overcome. By trying to “hire” Kirby first, Richt made Kirby the bad guy and Grantham the hero, and thus the dawg nation welcomed him instead of resenting him. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Robert Jordan, but I think this might have been Richt’s DC hire plan the whole time.

To clarify my meaning here-I don't think Richt's decision was based on what fan reaction would be, but I do think the way he handled the process was designed, basically, to manipulate fan sentiment in favor of Grantham. And it worked brilliantly. Or Richt just fell ass-backwards into what I think will turn out to be the best hire of his career.

Anonymous said...

At the time there seemed to be a LOT of talk that Kirby had told Bobo and/or Richt that he was interested but couldn't make a move until after the NC game. Then Kirby changed his mind. Just speculating but where there's smoke, there is usually fire and that would fit the story.

Anonymous said...

Chief probably has right from the University and fanbase side of things.

Perhaps though it was nothing more than his family liked living in Dallas. They have not been anyplace longer than 3 years since the early 1990's. So rath than make a decision during the hectic time of the holidays and playoff push, they waited a bit longer before choosing to come to Athens.

Anonymous said...

This may come across as jaded, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is just fluff to make everyone feel better about not getting our first, second or third choice.

That being said, I am happy with having Grantham.

Anonymous said...

I like all the new defensive coaches, especially Belin. Also, thank God we will not be using directional kicking on kick offs. Now, we have to suffer through one month of soccer on ESPN. Soccer is for losers

Anonymous said...

I believe gameday Chef hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

Gameday Chef,

Let me get this straight.
So Richt made a 3/4 a million dollar offer to Smart just so fans would support Grantam as DC?
Seriously ?!?

You've been watching too much television.

This does fit the rampant speculation that Richt had told someone "I got my guy" long before Grantham was actually hired.

The Gameday Chef said...

In response to the anon poster who said the following:

Let me get this straight.
So Richt made a 3/4 a million dollar offer to Smart just so fans would support Grantam as DC?
Seriously ?!?

You've been watching too much television.

This does fit the rampant speculation that Richt had told someone "I got my guy" long before Grantham was actually hired

I actually rarely watch TV. My disclaimer is that I am probably reading too much Robert Jordan. As for the "I got my guy" speculation, I never heard that rumor.
As to the offer to Kirby-if Kirby accepts the offer, then we end up with him as a DC which isn't a bad deal. If he doesn't accept it (which it seemed unlikely he would), we have placated the fan-base, Kirby is the bad guy who shafted the Alma-Mater, and no one sees Grantham as the "first available date to the dance" so to speak. So, in response to your question, yes. Seriously.

Big Muddy Dawg said...

Well, Chef, regardless of how everything turned out, how much braid tugging do you think CMR did over his decision? :)

The Gameday Chef said...

Big Muddy-
LOL. I can see him tugging a braid once or twice during the process. Especially if he was reading blogs or getting any phone calls about it, lol. (BTW, I have made the Robert Jordan reference multiple times, and no one acknowledged it. Thanks, fellow Dawg.)

Anonymous said...

Chef, he wanted Kirby Smart.

Coach Richt is a liar that he wanted Todd Grantham, instead of Kirby Smart.

Just as Coach Richt is a liar that he was toiling over how the Depth Chart looked, when it was obvious that Logan Gray wasn't anywhere in the consideration. It was either Zach Mettenberger or it was Aaron Murray. Therefore, it was clear that it was always a torn wringing of hands with Coach Richt had to suffer through March, April, and May to decide what his Quarterback Depth Chart looked like.

Then, in early May, Zach made the whole Depth Chart clear to Coach Richt on that day Coach Richt realized that Zach Mettenberger lied to Coach Richt that that was all there was to that fateful Saturday during Spring Break at the bar. When it became obvious to Coach Richt that we had not 1 but 1 Top 10 Players at their position in the nation both accosting little girls, coeds in this state during Spring Break, Coach Richt all of a sudden said he had no issue whatsoever, that the whole time since last year, Coach Richt was always only going to name Aaron Murray the Starter.


Both lies. First that Coach Richt did not want Kirby Smart and all along wanted only Todd Grantham.

(Alabama head football coach Nick Saban called UGA a cesspool going no where. And, Kirby Smart listened and stayed.)

Second that there never was any issue with the Quarterback Depth Chart all Spring, either.

And, while we are at it, it is a 3rd lie that Coach Richt said at The SEC Media days that he did not know that he is rumored to be on the hot seat if he suffers another # 4 in The SEC or # 5 in The SEC finish. He reads the Internet and shows great knowledge therein, daily. There is no Webpage on the Internet covering UGA football that the debate does not rage daily that he really cannot afford 2 more years in a row 2010 and 2011 of sub-standard results.

# 4 in The SEC over the last 4 years behind Florida, Alabama and LSU.

Now at The SEC Media days as well, the Directors of Information of The entire SEC say that UGA is # 5 in The SEC this 2010 season.

Then, after this season, we lose 15 seniors 14 starting and 4 juniors all 4 starting. That is 18 starters gone after this season. That is doomed to a worse season 2011 than 2010.

2010 is the year, not 2011.

Not with the recruiting class we just signed.

He is trying to diffuse what he is reading.

Lies. He is very good at it.

Anonymous said...

Chef is right that Coach Richt lied.

Chef is wrong about the timing of the lies by Coach Richt to the fan base.

They are NOW. Not way back then when he wanted Kirby Smart and settled for Todd Grantham.

Todd Grantham is a great coach. I don't want Kirby Smart when I have Todd Grantham because we have Todd and I am not looking over that shoulder once again.

However, at the time of the request for Interview of Kirby Smart prior to Todd Grantham, we had asked Coach Richt to do 2 coaching changes :




He did 1 reluctantly, and late.

He has not done the other, and is late at it too; and now last month announced that he is making these choices, sitting in on all the meetings for the failed offense, and he is doing this because Coach Richt knows that if he does not, he is on the hot seat with yet another 2 more years of failed offense.

Aaron Murray better not throw interceptions, lead the team in fumbles under center, and lead us to # 96 in NCAA Ranking in Penalties again for the 5th year in a row.

You see ?

I knew this all along.

Coach Richt had already told you, but like everything else, you have selected perception, selected memory, and selected retaining. Coach Richt, very clearly back at time he was told by the alumni to fire Willie Martinez and fire Mike Bobo, said and you will say now oh yeah I remember that that he doesn’t like NFL coaches, which is why NO ONE ON HIS STAFF has 1 day of NFL experience ever. He feels they will LEAVE and jump ship. Take the money honey. They do. Todd Grantham will. In the meantime, we have HALF of what we asked for. Had Coach Richt gone and picked off an 11-year NFL veteran as Offensive Coordinator, I would concur with UGA is a Football Program who is going to be reckoned with this 2010 season.

We might be anyway. But, if we are it will be on the shoulders of Aaron Murray and Caleb King to show up big in the big game against Florida this year and to not falter against lesser teams such as Auburn, the vols, and South Carolina especially in Game 2. Of course, you guys and gal don’t care anyway. He can lose all those games for all you care.. I am the only person not satisfied with being # 4 in The SEC over the last 4 years and now ranked # 5 in The SEC for 2010 by all the Directors of Information in The SEC.

Am I allowed to have that opinion here David Hale, sir, since you accuse me of saying things in your blog I DID NOT POST.

Anonymous said...

Gameday Chef, just to be clear, if you offer a guy $750,000 its because you want THAT GUY. The idea of there being some super secret ulterior master-plan behind it is just plain looney.

My point in mentioning the "I got my guy" rumor its that it does coincide with Richt's hinting that he actually wanted Grantham much sooner than he was actually hired. That story was all over some other sites.

I think people are COMPLETELY missing the most obviously likely scenario regarding the delay in hiring Grantham. Everyone knows Jerry Jones was close to firing Wade Phillips last year. I've seen a video where Jones holds Grantham in high regard and was sorry to lose him. So I suspect that as Richt began pursuing Grantham, Jones steps in to try and keep him if he can get a better position which could happen if he fired the head coach. And once Jerry Jones decides to retain Phillips, it frees Grantham up to come to Georgia.