I know which side my bread is buttered on. I can clearly see that there has been a great deal of interest in my posts this week calling for Mark Richt’s head. So let me throw the question open to you, my fellow Georgia fans: Who should be the next head coach at Georgia?
First of all, let me say this: There is a process by which these things take place. I get that. I am not expecting Mark Richt to be fired this week. I understand that the very earliest that anything would happen in this regard would be the end of this season. With all of Mark Richt’s accomplishments in the early part of his career, he has built up enough goodwill that he would more than likely be given at least another year or two to try and straighten things out. The most likely outcome, assuming that Georgia manages to figure some things out and win some games in the back half of the season, is that Mark Richt would fire some assistants and keep going for another season.
Having said that, let me weigh in with some of my thoughts on who should replace Mark Richt if and when he should go.
Historically, Georgia has filled its football head coaching vacancies by hiring some young, up-and-coming assistant who has distinguished himself in his previous position and who, hopefully, would serve Georgia well for many years to come. That is the process that gave us Vince Dooley. It is also the process that gave us Ray Goof.
Should Georgia choose to go that route, here are some names that I would recommend:
Kirby Smart, Alabama DC Kirby Smart played well for Ray Goof in the early 90’s and served Mark Richt well as running backs coach in the early 00’s. How and why Mark Richt ever let him get away is completely and totally beyond me.
Kirby Smart is commonly believed to be responsible for Alabama’s defensive success under Nick Saban. But Nick Saban loves to run the show and take the credit, so no one can tell for sure how much of Alabama’s defensive success can be rightly attributed to Kirby Smart. Bill Belichek’s disciples have all done very poorly as head coaches, with Nick Saban being the lone exception. It is believed that Nick Saban’s disciples would have the same problems if and when they get to be head coaches. That is a risk which Georgia would have to take if they should choose to hire Kirby Smart.
Will Muschamp, Texas DC Like Kirby Smart, Will Muschamp played for Ray Goof back in the early 90’s. He is also a Nick Saban disciple, having served under him as LSU’s DC before moving on to Auburn and then to Texas.
Would Will Muschamp heed the call of his alma mater and return to help in her hour of need? Don’t know. Muschamp is currently the head coach-in-waiting at Texas. He has a sweet provision in his contract which is supposed to kick in if he is not the head coach by 2011 or 2012. (I believe. Don’t hold me to this.) Mack Brown just signed a huge new contract, so he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Although with Texas’s recent troubles, he may wind up having to leave sooner than he would like. Muschamp may want to to stick around to see how this plays out.
John Chavis, LSU DC John Chavis was Philip Fulmer’s longtime DC, and widely believed to be the brains behind Fulmer’s program at Tennessee. Think he might want to step up and be a head coach one of these days?
On the other hand, Georgia might want a coach with a proven track record of successful head coaching experience. (Good luck getting one of those.) Should Georgia choose to go that route, here are some names that I would recommend:
Chris Peterson, Boise State Chris Peterson is going to be at the top of everyone’s wish list once the coaching carousel cranks up this year. Georgia had better move quickly and decisively if they want him.
The question is: How much of Chris Peterson’s success is due to factors which are strictly organic to Boise State and how much of it is transferable to wherever he goes? Boise State seems to be a breeding ground for coaches who do well there but have little to no success elsewhere. Former Boise State coach Dan Hawkins, now at Colorado, is a prime example.
Another question: Would Chris Peterson even want to come to Georgia? Peterson has already turned down a number of very good offers in order to remain at Boise State, and he seems to have little interest in going anywhere else.
Kyle Whittingham, Utah The successor to Urban Meyer, Kyle Whittingham is another coach who has accomplished a lot at a lightly-regarded program. It would make for a very interesting story if two back-to-back Utah coaches were to wind up as archrivals in the SEC East.
Again, how much of Kyle Whittingham’s success would come with him wherever he goes? And would he even be interested in coming to Georgia?
Greg Schiano, Rutgers Greg Schiano has built Rutgers into a program that is consistently competitive on a national level, year in and year out. Would that he could do the same at Georgia.
Some other possible names:
Gary Patterson, TCU He will be on a lot of schools’ wish lists this year.
Chris Ault, Nevada Georgia has already gotten a good basketball coach from Nevada, why not a football coach?
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State The most successful coach that Michigan State has had since Nick Saban defected to LSU, he will also be on a lot of schools’ wish lists this year.
Chip Kelly, Oregon Another likely hot commodity this year.
Jim Harbaugh, Stanford In his third year, he is gaining national attention because of his team’s success.
Manny Diaz, Mississippi State DC Georgia couldn’t move the ball at all against his defense. Why not?
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles QB He’ll teach them Dogs how to fight.
So what are your thoughts on who should replace Mark Richt? Vote in the poll below (the first time we’ve ever done one of these here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion), or leave a comment. If you wish to suggest a candidate who does not appear in the poll, you MUST leave a comment.