The Dawg House
   Today it was announced that some coaching changes will be made following Georgia's bowl game this year. Today it was reported that Mark Richt has said that Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez, LB Coach John Jancek, and Defensive Ends Coach Jon Fabris will not be retained following the season. All three coaches were coaching under a one year deal. Of the three coaches, Willie Martinez was the one with the hottest seat. Georgia's disappointing 7-5 record led to the almost complete makeover on the defensive coaching side. Only one assistant with ties to the defense, assistant head coach/defensive line/recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, is set to return. Many questioned if Richt would fire Martinez, who roomed with Richt at Miami, and any other assistant. In Richt's nine full seasons as Georgia's head coach this is the first time that any assistant has been fired due to performance on the field.

   I believe that every Bulldog fan is thrilled that Richt finally made this move. From every true Georgia fan I have heard from, they felt if Richt didn't fire some of his assistants that Richt himself might find himself fired. This seems ludicrous when looking at his record as head coach (89-28), but still I was hearing this over and over. What at once seemed like a surprisingly warm seat for Richt is now ice cold. Today Richt proved himself to be a true head coach, showing that no matter how you feel about the men who work as your assistants, you have to do what's best for your team. Without a doubt having a Defensive Coordinator not named "Willie Martinez" is what's best for the team.

   Now Richt must search for new assistants. The obvious defensive coordinators on Georgia's wishlist are Texas Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp and Alabama Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart, both Georgia alums. However, the fact is that there is no way that either of these assistants are leaving to head back to Athens. Do you honestly think Muschamp would turn down a chance to be Texas's next head coach or that Kirby would leave the Alabama dynasty to come back to rebuild a Bulldogs defense? Didn't think so.

   Here are some coaches that I see as possibilities in any of the three openings. Tommy West, Memphis head coach from 2001-09, is a Georgia native and does have experience as a defensive coach (LB Coach at Clemson from 1982-89, Defensive Coordinator at South Carolina from 1991-92, and Defensive Coordinator at Memphis in 2000.) Jon Tenuta is a name that I heard not long ago as a candidate before these changes were announced. Tenuta, former Georgia Tech and Notre Dame defensive coordinator,  will be looking for a job following the firing of Fighting Irish head coach Charlie Weis. Tenuta was known as one of the hottest assistants for his defense during his Georgia Tech days, but the downfall for Weis's tenure in South Bend was Notre Dame's defense. Another coach to consider is Chuck Amato, former N.C. State head coach and current Florida State LB coach. Amato will most likely be looking for a job with the announcement of Bobby Bowden's retirement, and Amato has ties to Richt from their time at Florida State in the 90's. Although I wouldn't give Amato the Defensive Coordinator position, I think he could get the job done at either LB Coach or Defensive Ends Coach.


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