Georgia Bulldogs

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 27

Ball State’s Pete Lembo is a hot name. His Cardinals are 9-2 and won nine games last year.

Ball State coach Pete Lembo is likely to be mentioned for several openings. (Photo: Richard Shiro, AP)

Ball State coach Pete Lembo is likely to be mentioned for several openings. (Photo: Richard Shiro, AP)

We’re told Lembo could be a serious candidate at both UConn and Wake Forest.

Sources indicate that Virginia coach Mike London is likely to return in 2014.

His saving grace? An $8.06 million buyout.

It would also cost the Cavs an additional $3.12 million to dump his staff. That’d over $11 million paid to coaches not to coach. That’s unlikely to happen at a place like Virginia.

There’s a ton of chatter about Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe. Multiple sources tell us that Grobe could retire or be pushed out. The Deacons are currently 4-7.

Michigan native Jerry Glanville says he’s the man for the Eastern Michigan job. Glanville lives in Atlanta, but he’d love the opportunity to return his home state and believes the Eagles can win.

According to the Detroit Free Press, other candidates for the EMU job include former Eagles quarterback Ron Adams, ex-Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, now an assistant with the Buffalo Bills, former Miami (Ohio) coach Mike Haywood, and Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, previously with Grand Valley State.

At Georgia, there are lots of rumors flying around Athens that the Bulldogs could make some defensive staff changes.

We continue to hear that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is going to get looks from the NFL. It’s expected to be a big year for coaching changes in the Not-For-Long league, and the timing might be right for Sumlin to exit College Station.

We’ve been told privately some sources have told us there could be a few staff changes at Northwestern. The Chicago Sun-Times makes that sound very possible.

Akron has extended Terry Bowden’s contract. The Zips are 4-7, but that’s still the school’s most wins in five seasons.

We’re hearing varying opinions on how much trouble Nebraska’s Bo Pelini is in. After sampling several coaches this week, the consensus seems tobe that Pelini keeps his job at 9-3. If the Huskers have a meltdown against Iowa then things get a little more dicey, but for his part, Pelini says he’s not coaching for his job.

At Indiana, we continue to hear that Kevin Wilson is likely to return, but to expect major staff changes on defense. Wilson says his program is making progress.

We’re hearing that Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads will return, but again, expect a major staff shakeup. Rhoads said this week he feels his job “absolutely not” in danger.

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Georgia WR Justin Scott-Wesley arrested on marijuana charge

It’s been a rough year for Georgia’s Justin Scott-Wesley.

Georgia wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley (Photo: Donn Rodenroth, Macon Telegraph)The redshirt sophomore wide receiver’s season ended earlier this year with a torn ACL, and now he’ll have to deal with a self-inflicted issue.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Scott-Wesley turned himself in on an arrest warrant Thursday afternoon. He cited the night before for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession/use of a drug object.

The citation was issued by a university police officer who responded to a call reporting the odor of marijuana coming from a dorm room.

Scott-Wesley reportedly consented to search his room and glass pipe and marijuana “grinder” were located in a desk drawer. No significant quantities of marijuana were found but the residue in the grinder resulted in the possession charges, according to the report.

“I’m disappointed in the news about Justin,” Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “We will discipline him according to our policy. We will also educate him, provide him counsel so he can learn from this, and be able to move forward in a very positive direction. I’m confident he will respond properly to the correction process.”

At the time of his injury, Scott-Wesley was second on the team with 16 receptions for 311 yards.

Photo credit: Donn Rodenroth, Macon Telegraph

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Oct. 24

Steve Spurrier went 9-4 and won the Gator Bowl in his third season at Florida. The HBC won 9 and 10 his first years.

Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp (Photo: Dave Martin, AP)Ron Zook went 7-4 and was fired in the middle of his third season. However, it was obvious that he had recruited great players and it’d only be a matter of time before they’d compete for championships. (Zook recruited 22 of 24 starters on Urban Meyer’s 2006 National Championship team.) Zook’s tenure ended as the Gators beat FSU in Tallahassee, something even Steve Spurrier never did.

Urban Meyer went 9-4 in his third season. That’s after winning 9 in his first and the national championship in his second.

Will Muschamp went 7-6 in his first season, 11-2 in his second and is currently 4-3 in the middle of his third. The Gators gave one away at Miami, didn’t play well at LSU and were blown out at Mizzou. With Georgia, Vandy, South Carolina, Georgia Southern and FSU remaining, it’s not out of the question that Florida could have it’s first losing season since 1979.

Sources inside the program tell us there’s a lot of division on the team and teammates beginning to point fingers. Florida AD Jeremy Foley gave Muschamp a vote of confidence earlier this week, saying his coach is “not going anywhere.” For what it’s worth, he told Ron Zook he was “in the circle” and on “on the same team” the Friday before he fired him. So, his public support for Muschamp should be taken with a grain of salt.

We talked with a number of coaches this week and they all told us the same thing. They don’t see a lot of “energy” on the sideline and they don’t see the kinds of playmakers Florida has had in the past.

Muschamp deserves another year to get it fixed — but expect staff changes if he does. The head coach gave offensive coordinator Brent Pease a half-hearted vote of confidence this week, saying “This is the same staff that came a game away from playing for national championship, OK.” Well, Greg Davis was fired at Texas four seasons after winning the national championship and one season after winning 13 games and playing for another.

Assuming Muschamp is around after this season, Foley will insist on staff changes and you can take that to the bank. Sources close to Foley tell us he has had thoughts that maybe he pulled the plug too soon on Zook — and that he seems determined to give Muschamp a longer leash.

However, if the Gators implode down the stretch, don’t be shocked to see Foley do what Foley does best: protect himself. Just ask Ron Zook.

There has been chatter around Central Florida coach George O’Leary for some time. He had a player die on his watch and the Knights landed on NCAA probation. That’s not to mention his prickly personality — he’s not exactly warm and fuzzy. But fast forward to the present and UCF could land in a BCS Bowl as winners of the new AAC.

Duke has never been to back to back bowls, but David Cutcliffe has the Blue Devils one win away from being bowl-eligible for the second consecutive year. Things may look better now with Hugh Freeze at the helm, but maybe firing him at Ole Miss one season removed from winning ten games wasn’t such a smart move after all.

After a one-year respite, there are rumblings again at Georgia. If the Bulldogs lose to Florida, watch out. One prominent coach told us today that the coach that loses that game could lose his job. Cocktails, anyone?

Photo credit: Dave Martin, AP

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The Coaching Wire: Thursday, March 7, 2013

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has been rewarded with a three-year contract. (Chattanooga Times-Free Press)

Mike Bobo has been rewarded with a three-year contract. (Chattanooga Times-Free Press)

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ark Richt has rewarded offensive coordinator Mike Bobo with a new three-year contract. Additionally, offensive line coach Will Friend has added the title run game coordinator.

Bobo’s deal increases his guaranteed pay from $335,000 per year to $575,000. Friend received a $90,000 per year raise to $300,000. Both turned down overtures to talk to Virginia Tech this off-season.

Bobo’s increase moves him from ninth to fourth in pay among SEC offensive coordinators. Florida’s Brent Pease and LSU’s Cam Cameron will make $600,000 while Alabama’s Doug Nussmeier will be paid $590,000. Cameron is set to make $1.3 million in 2014 and $1.5 million in 2015.

Georgia’s offense set program records for points (529) and touchdowns (72) during a 12-2 season. The Bulldogs ranked third in the SEC in scoring offense (37.8 points per game) and total offense (467.64 yards per game) and in the top 25 in the nation in both categories.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s salary has been raised from $760,000 to $850,000. His compensation is third among SEC defensive behind only Alabama’s Kirby Smart ($950,000) and LSU’s John Chavis ($911,250).

Bobo and Grantham, who already had a three-year contract, are the only Georgia assistants working under multi-year deals.

Receivers coach Tony Ball, who interviewed last week for an opening at Tennessee, received a raise from $210,000 to $260,000.

Defensive line coach Chris Wilson was hired from Mississippi State at a salary of $250,000 in January.

Georgia’s nine assistant coaches will be paid a total of $3.23 million, up from about $2.77 million last season. Richt’s pay increased from $2.81 million to $3.2 million and he received a one-year contract extension.

Below is a breakdown of the staff’s 2012/2013 salaries:

Name 2013 2012 Role / Title
Todd Grantham $850,000 $760,600 Defensive coordinator
Mike Bobo $575,000 $335,000 Offensive coordinator
Will Friend $300,000 $210,600 Offensive line, Run game coordinator
Kirk Olivadotti $285,000 $260,000 Inside linebackers
Tony Ball $260,000 $210,600 Wide receivers
Chris Wilson $250,000 Defensive line
Scott Lakatos $235,000 $210,600 Secondary
John Lilly $235,000 $210,600 Tight ends
Bryan McClendon $235,000 $210,600 Running backs

Russ Huesman fills remaining two spots on UTC staff

Tennessee-Chattanooga coach Russ Huesman has hired Rusty Wright as linebackers coach and Brandon Cooper as defensive assistant, filling the last two remaining spots on his staff. Wright, a former Moc tight end, previously served as a UTC assistant from 1996-2002. During that tenure, he served in a variety of roles, including coaching the linebackers, tackles, tight ends, special teams and the junior varsity squad. Wright spent the last two years building a new program at NAIA Reinhardt in Waleska, Ga. There he was the defensive coordinator for the Eagles, who will play their inaugural season in the fall. He was linebackers coach at Furman in 2010.

Cooper spent the last two seasons at Jacksonville State as cornerbacks coach. Before that, he spent three years at UT-Martin, also as cornerbacks coach. He was a four-year letterman at Martin and a teammate of current UTC offensive line coach Alex Atkins.

Mississippi Valley State hires Mike Pizinski as quarterback coach

Mike Pizinski has been hired as quarterbacks coach at Mississippi Valley State. He spent the last five years as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Langston. Other previous stops include Kilgore C.C., Central Oklahoma, Trinity Valley C.C. and Cisco College.

Wagner’s Walt Hameline names Ben Martin offensive line coach

Wagner head coach Walt Hameline has named Ben Martin as offensive line coach. Martin was running backs coach at Princeton last season. Previously, he spent two seasons in an offensive line quality control role at Texas A&M. He replaces Jason Houghtaling, who recently became offensive coordinator at Cornell.

Tye Hiatt named offensive coordinator at Southern Virginia

Southern Virginia has named Tye Hiatt as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Hiatt was running game coordinator and offensive line coach last season. He played wide receiver for the Knights from 2004-08.

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Richt 'thrilled' Tony Ball will remain at UGA

Georgia wide receivers coach Tony Ball turned down an offer to become running backs coach at Tennessee.

Georgia wide receivers coach Tony Ball turned down an offer to become running backs coach at Tennessee.

[dropcap]G[/dropcap]eorgia has only had one spring practice, but the Bulldogs have already gotten their first victory of 2013.

Bulldogs wide receivers coach Tony Ball interviewed for the running backs opening at Tennessee last week and was offered the job, but turned down the offer to remain in Athens.

Mark Richt said he was “thrilled” with the decision.

“Tony’s one of the best coaches I’ve been around,” Richt told reporters following the Bulldogs’ first spring practice on Saturday. “He’s just so meticulous in his work. He’s not taking anything for granted with these kids. He’s going to teach them the fundamentals of how to play that position from the very grassroots. Every little detail you would think of, he’s going to cover it. If you’re coachable and teachable, you’re going to get better because of Coach Ball.”

Tennessee came calling after Jay Graham left for the same position at Florida State. Butch Jones also interviewed former Chicago Bears assistant Tim Spencer and West Virginia’s Robert Gillespie. When Ball said no, Jones hired Gillespie.

Ball currently has a one-year contract and earns $210,000 a year. Graham’s salary at Tennessee was to be $225,000. Though Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity would not confirm that Ball will receive a salary increase, it seems likely that he will soon get a new contract and raise.

Ball came to Georgia in 2006 from Virginia Tech, where he was coaching receivers, but he coached running backs his first three years in Athens. He moved back to receivers when Richt promoted Bryan McClendon (a former Bulldog wide receiver) from graduate assistant coach to running backs coach in 2009 and moved Ball.

According to Richt, that flexibility is part of what makes him so valuable.

“I also see Tony as a guy who has a great understanding of the big picture,” he said. “I think Tony understands the running game, I think he understands the passing game and he’s got some really strong leadership qualities, too. I think he’s a guy that could be a coordinator one day somewhere. But I’m really glad he’s here.”

Ball is the third Georgia assistant coach who was seriously courted by other teams since the end of the season. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham interviewed for the same position with the New Orleans Saints and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was offered the same job with Virginia Tech this year.

Defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner left to join Gus Malzahn’s Auburn staff in December.

While the other courtings created a stir on talk radio and message boards, Ball’s flirtation with Tennessee was much more low key.

“I don’t even know if the players knew what was going on,” Richt said. “Tony’s a very private guy. But I sure am glad he’s staying.”

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Saints choose Rob Ryan; Grantham will remain at Georgia

Todd Grantham will remain at Georgia. (Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

Todd Grantham will remain at Georgia. (Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n Wednesday, we reported that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was likely headed to the NFL.

Grantham was in consideration for both of the NFL coordinator jobs open at the time, but both of those jobs went to other candidates and Grantham announced that he will return to Athens.

Chip Kelly filled the Philadelphia opening by hiring Browns’ linebackers coach Billy Davis on Wednesday. Grantham interviewed with the Saints on Thursday, but Sean Payton hired former Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, long speculated to be the leading candidate.

Following the interview, Grantham learned that Ryan was going to be the Saints’ choice, and then announced that he would return to Georgia.

“As I said Wednesday, Georgia is a great place, my family loves it here, and I do as well,” Grantham told the Athens Banner-Herald. “This is where our heart is and today I have withdrawn from consideration for the position with the Saints. I’m excited to start preparations for another season and along with the rest of our defensive staff look forward to coaching some really good returning players as well as developing some very talented newcomers.”

Grantham coached in the NFL for 11 seasons with the Colts, Cowboys, Texans and Browns before coming to Georgia. Grantham is very well regarded in NFL circles and sources indicate that he would like to coach again at the professional level.

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Source: Todd Grantham likely to leave Georgia

A source says that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has likely coached his last game at Georgia. (Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

A source says that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has likely coached his last game at Georgia. (Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t would appear that Todd Grantham has coached his last game at Georgia.

Sources close to the situation tell us that Grantham is looking to make a change, and that he is “highly likely” to be coaching in the NFL next season.

It’s been widely reported that Grantham will interview with New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton on Thursday, but the source indicated that Grantham is more likely to join Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles staff as defensive coordinator.

Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday, Grantham dodged questions about his interest either NFL job.

“You know what? I can tell you this, that my family loves it here; I like it here a lot; and this is a very special place and I think today needs to be focused on the players we’ve got here right now and trying to get back to Atlanta,” Grantham said.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt sidestepped the possibility as well.

“I know that we’ve got great coaches on our staff and every single off-season somebody’s calling me about somebody,” Richt said. “That’s just the way it works and I think it’s a good sign. That’s just the way it works. I think we have some pretty good coaches and ones people think a lot of.”

The source indicated that Richt is aware of Grantham’s desire to leave, and has a plan in place to move quickly on a replacement. No potential candidates were mentioned, however.

On Wednesday, Payton appeared on ESPN radio’s “Mike and Mike Show” and said he planned to speak to “two to four” candidates in the coming days. Payton did not mention Grantham by name, but did say that he planned to meet with former Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

[colored_box color=”grey”]Talk about it in The Inside Scoop.[/colored_box]

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