Smart to UGA
Jeremy Pruitt stressed he would like to return as the UGA defensive coordinator immediately after he stoned Tech 13-7 in Atlanta Saturday afternoon. An opening score by 1,000-yard rusher Sony Michel outdistanced the Jackets, who were held scoreless into the 4th yet still had a shot late due to Georgia’s remarkably low scoring output. Georgia had the SEC’s top offense last year, by contrast.
Sunny skies and any in-state win good vibes quickly gave way to tumult, as Mark Richt was removed as head coach Sunday after fifteen years, regardless of whether it was officially a firing or a so-called “mutual” stepping down. He was removed.
Tom Herman, the visionary spread architect who took apart the Crimson Tide last year as Ohio State offensive coordinator and has Houston playing lights out as a would-be one-and-done head coach, is a likely name to appear atop any big school wish list – the leading jobs open being: UGA, USC, Miami. I see him as a real candidate at USC and much less likely to end up in Athens. Richt returning to his alma mater would be a good move for school and coach, though we offered him a token job with our institution.
Impetuous, not media savvy, often hotheaded and still inexperienced, Jeremy Pruitt may have been closer to getting canned for his personality than being named the next head coach at Georgia. His coaching itself is phenomenal, though, so he can’t be dismissed without some consideration.
Alum Kirby Smart sits atop many fans’ wish lists, and he was Pruitt’s boss at Bama for two national championships, before Pruitt took a one-year promotion (and another national title) at FSU. Pruitt has only coordinated for three years total and probably sees himself as at least two years from a head coaching gig. So…give Kirby the pot of gold but also retain the DC. Heck, double Pruitt’s pay if you must, let’s make him the highest paid assistant in the country if necessary to keep him.
Inheriting a back-to-back double-digit team is certainly not a usual scenario – this is not a rebuilding job. While it’s wise to expect a few hiccups next year, getting it going big time at GEORGIA is the only reason to remove the second greatest coach in school history. Donnan plateaued and was ousted, and Mark did a great job for eight or so years and a less good but still pretty solid job for the last seven. It wasn’t enough, with the loss of his best player three years consecutive (Gurley, Gurley, Chubb), after a near-miss at true glory.
Either the next coach wins big and does so basically right away or the AD will deserve to and get the axe. We want it all. This could badly backfire.