Posted: 12:41 pm Friday, January 24th, 2014

Jeremy Pruitt got job, but who else did UGA consider for D-coordinator? 

By Chip Towers

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt created a lot of intrigue at the Jan. 13 news conference to introduce new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt when he said he’d made just one other phone call before learning of Pruitt’s mutual interest in the Bulldogs.

Most assumed that one call was to Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. It was not.

Turns out it was someone most Georgia fans have never heard of — NFL defensive backs coach Vance Joseph.

At the time, Joseph’s career was in limbo. He was defensive backs coach for the Houston Texans when head coach Gary Kubiak was fired in December. When defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was made interim head coach, Joseph took over the defense the final three weeks of the season. But the defensive staff was not retained when Bill O’Brien was hired as head coach in early January.

Joseph wasn’t in limbo long. He was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals to coach defensive backs on Jan. 14. But a few days earlier, Richt talked to him about the Bulldogs’ opening.

Joseph is just one of the interesting names that surfaced during the Georgia’s brief search for a successor for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. According to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via an open records request, the Bulldogs had at least four other candidates officially express interest in the job. And their range of experience varied greatly.

John Thompson, a longtime SEC defensive coordinator who most recently was interim head coach at Arkansas State, had a representative send in a cover letter and resume expressing interest in becoming the Bulldog’s defensive coordinator.

“He is a great fit for UGA Defense (sic) Coach … Former Georgia State DC … Knows the Recruiting Area … Experience as D1 Head Coach,” Ted Liberty wrote on Thompson’s behalf.

Thompson is 2-0 as an interim head coach with brief stints at East Carolina and Arkansas State. But he’s currently out of work since he was not retained by new Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson. Thompson has more than 30 years of coaching experience and has been a defensive coordinator at Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Georgia State under Bill Curry.

Another candidate who expressed written interest in the job was Bob Slowik. Slowik is a longtime NFL assistant and one-time defensive coordinator who most recently was linebackers coach for the Washington Redskins. Slowik was fired along with Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan. Ironically, he was replaced on the Redskins’ staff by Georgia linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti.

The other two written applicants fall into the category of long shots. Rudy Griffin is a defensive line and strength and conditioning coach at Navarro College in Texas and Darrell Scott junior is defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Vicksburg High School in Mississippi.

Of course, sending out cover letters and resumes is not how most college coaches are hired, especially in a search that was resolved as quickly Georgia’s was for a defensive coordinator. The Bulldogs hired Pruitt, defensive coordinator for the national champion FSU Seminoles, 48 hours after Grantham officially tendered his resignation to go to Louisville.

“That thing was over before it started really,” Richt said. “It’s mostly done on the phone. A lot of times (assistant coaches) are talking other coaches they know and they’ll tell me about them. Even agents get my number somehow. But once we heard Jeremy was interested all the focus went there.”

In the meantime, Georgia still has three defensive assistant positions still open. Colquitt County coach Rush Propst has confirmed that one will go to South Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer, who will coach linebackers. However, UGA has yet to make a formal announcement regarding Sherrer’s hire.

The Bulldogs are still looking for a defensive line coach and either an outside linebackers coach and/or a special teams coordinator (which could be both). But indications are Georgia is not in a big hurry to fill those positions. Recruiting has continued with the assistance of graduate assistants Christian Robinson and Mike Macdonald.

Who might be the new assistants. If the defensive coordinator search is any indication, there’s no telling.

107 comments
Classof98
Classof98

A high school coach (Probst) announced that a college coach in a different state (Sherrer) is leaving South Alabama to go to the University of Georgia?

What makes Probst an authority?  How does he know? 

godawg
godawg

Rocker will make an excellent HCIW...

POAD2013
POAD2013

How many hours and other media outlets will post about the ROCKER hire before the AJC does their job.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Rocker - Defensive Line

Sherrer - All Linebackers

Pruitt  - Defensive Backs

I can't wait until Spring practice to see what changes are going to be made.Big improvement from last years Defensive staff. Bobo better have to Offense , Especially the Offensive Line, ready.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

LCB

Good catch , Seth Emerson with the Macon Telegraph has confirmed that Rocker will be in Athens next week. Rocker won the Lombardi and Outland trophy in 1988 while at Auburn.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

Welcome Tracey Rocker to UGA! Damn good hire, cant say enough about how Richt has addressed the D. He has gone about this in a way that shows you he did not have the blinders on.

23Zone
23Zone

with this new DC hire, the dogs will have the best D in the SEC!!!  Mark this down--the dogs are winning the SEC title in 2014----Pruitt's D will shut down alabama's offense in the SEC title game!  Dogs roll!

dawgs01
dawgs01

the girl he is engaged to is 27 not 20 whoever wrote that.  you can look it up or you can just repeat rumors.

FrankFraticelli
FrankFraticelli

I think Richt answered most of the conspiracy theorists on here when he said most of these hires are not resume driven and are accomplished through phone calls and by the fact that most coaches, at all times, know who is interested in a position should it come open and what they are looking for if they need to make the call.

Look, if you're an NFL team and your QB goes down and later that day Peyton Manning calls and says, "Hey, I'd like to fill that spot for ya'" how much further are you going to look? Bang! Hired! If Pruitt made the call to CMR after he heard CTG was hitting the road do you think CMR would have to think much about it? Hmmm, let's see, he ran one of the top D's in the country, NC team this year and on NC teams the past 3 years. Hmmm.

And for all of you who KEEP saying he won with OTHER peoples talent and system - again I say. What did CTG do with that boatload of NFL talent he had a couple of years ago - and those were all  his guys! He didn't do squat. Talent is necessary, yes. But if you are not coaching them up and coaching them on the field and putting the right game plan together for the opponent - it just doesn't matter. Pruitt had one of the best D's in the country because HE was the coach - not because he was keeping the leftovers warm.

And you Gator people on here - I mean REALLY. If Georgia had just had their worst year in about 40 years would any of us be on a Gator board talking smack? Holy Moly - how stupid can you be? Talk about IRRELEVANT. I think your house is on fire an you need to be THERE with a hose trying to put it out!

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

I told you all that Coach Rick hired John Pruitt in a knee-jerk reaction. With my contacks in the UGA athaletic department, I know for sure that Rick contacted several other coaches who turned him down cold. Coach Rick was in a pickle and had to hire somebody quick. Enter John Pruitt. If Pruitt were that good, Jumbo Fisher would have kept him and paid the money. Instead, we now find out that John Pruitt is a lot like Bobby Peetrino.....he could not keep his Fruit-of-the-Looms on in Tallahassle. Then we find out the 40 year old Pruitt is engaged to a 23 year old GIRL. This has scandal written all over it. We should have throne the checkbook at Kippy Smart or Ed Orangearon. My checkbook to Athens is now closed until Coach Rick is either fired or gets his act together and we win a National Championship. With Mason Hudson we don't have a chance.

thebucket
thebucket

@ WhiskeyBreath - Oh and when I saw Mike Shula and he said to tell you hello, Mike Dubose was there, too. Yeah right, you guys never turn on your own!

ruffdawg
ruffdawg

Jeremy had gotten more credit than he probably deserves? Perhaps

As for Dawg fans turning on their on? Last I check Kirby turned on us,a true Benedict Arnold, he stiffs around our program like a buzzard, a scavenger .You see it in recruiting ,for example, they didn't want D.Henry until we had him, he Smart defensively recruited A.Kamara, from Uga and screwed him(in the process) where he didn't have much of a choice to return anytime soon! The chickens will come home to roost! Go Dawgs!

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

When in the hell did I bring up Kirby you dumb humps? That is what Chip came up with.

However, you guys are bigger fools than I thought if you believe Kirby wasn't part of the hiring process. 

For the record, I want Jeremy to do well even though I love seeing Ga get beat. He is an Alabama guy and unlike you guys who turn on their own kind, I pull for Bama guys that go to work for the competition.

I will also add this, Jeremy has gotten more credit than he probably deserves. Every positon he has had in coaching has been with an elite program. Not one time has he been completely responsible for the defense.

Sunseri was  the co DC coordinator at State. He has benefitted from the teams and coaches he has been assoiciated with. Hoover High School, Alabama, Florida State, Nobody knows what he can do with a average defense.  

TampGator1
TampGator1

@MoistDawg....


You seriously think the rest of the SEC in in panic mode because Georgia hired Pruitt? You are one laughable dude. 


@Chip.....


Nice post back to Whiskey Breath.  But his sole purpose on the AJC sites is to get someone upset by posting nonsense.  Not worth your honest breath on him. 




southgabrave
southgabrave

@Chip

I understand that UGA has now announced the hiring of Sherrer? Do you have ANYTHING on other possible hirings or interviews to come?

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

Hey Humps, if I start telling you everything you want to hear about Ga and Brother, will you like and believe me too? 

POAD2013
POAD2013

@godawg HAHAHA.....Everybody thinks this new term mean S..T......Head Coach In Waiting is about as valuable as the Vice President. How many VP's have become Presidents? HCIW is BS.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

Yep, he was the DL on the NC team I believe too. Leaving to take Titans job thus opening up Garner to takeover for him. This Grantham thing has turned intoa huge win for Richt.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@dawgs01 So when he was at a bar having his first Legal drink she was in 3rd grade. Cool! He was loving the FSU coeds and now he will be in Athens around the coeds. I hope his engagement can survive.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@SlawDawg 

Good Lord, you make Moist look half smart. And that's saying something!

Gandolph
Gandolph

@SlawDawgMy checkbook to Athens is now closed until Coach Rick is either fired or gets his act together and we win a National Championship.


Along taking your toys and going home, ah that we could just get you to boycott the blogs as well. 

thebucket
thebucket

@WhiskeyBreath "He is an Alabama guy and unlike you guys who turn on their own kind," Mike Shula said to tell you, "Hello".

DawgWhisperer
DawgWhisperer

@WhiskeyBreath You're just a glutton for punishment WB. Give yourself a few hours for your head to clear and come back for round 2.

NCDawg
NCDawg

@WhiskeyBreath - coward...you are trying to dodge the fact your made a fool of yourself (yet again) and got hammered for it.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Whiskey richardbreath.... so if georgia defense were to give up 60 points, you would not toss your typical troll insults to include Pruitt (since he is an ex bamard player)??

HotDawg
HotDawg

F off, you harvey updyke piece of crap.

FrankFraticelli
FrankFraticelli

@TampGator1

Do you seriously believe that the rest of the SEC thinks the Gators are anything to worry about right now? Why are you on this board talking about the Dawgs? Isn't there enough carnage and ruin in Gainesville to occupy your undivided attention right now. Geez.

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@TampGator1 and T-Gator, if you seriously think Moist is a dog fan you are one laughablde dude...troll on bro...go dogs

FrankFraticelli
FrankFraticelli

@southgabrave

I have this on Sherrer...he is a former Director of player development (making sure all of the kids dot their I's and cross their T's)...he did work with the strength and conditioning program at 'Bama in some capacity...former HS coach and very good at it. If you want to see the full scope of what may be on the table in terms of coaching hires go to coachingsearch.com - they have all of the good news.

godawg
godawg

TOAD...I said it toungue-in-cheek...see my comment way below. You're a such a maroon.

Dawgilama
Dawgilama

@POAD2013@FrankFraticelli I'll take losing to a conference  champion in a meaningless bowl game with a freshman QB over losing to MTSU Blue Raiders at home by 3 TDs with  a  senior qb.

Gandolph
Gandolph

@FrankFraticelli @TampGator1  

Do you seriously believe that the rest of the SEC thinks the Gators are anything to worry about right now?


That's what we all said about Auburn this time last year.

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Paul Finebaum@finebaumJan 12

Kirby Smart might be wise to at least consider return to Georgia. He's next in line at Alabama to be the fall guy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The credible source came from the Paul Finebaum camp... It was stated that Kirby Smart and Jeremy Pruitt both were interested in the UGA job...UGA chose Pruitt over Smart because Pruitt would do the job cheaper (half price)

UGA (Greg McGrarity) knew in mid October that Gratham would be seeking another position at the end of the season...

I am like Todd Gurley... I don't care how much Chip Towers weighs either...

"BELIEVE" in the G

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Paul Finebaum@finebaumJan 12

Kirby Smart might be wise to at least consider return to Georgia. He's next in line at Alabama to be the fall guy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The source came out of Paul Finebaum's office... it was stated that Kirby Smart and Jeremy Pruitt both were interested in the UGA job... UGA chose Pruitt over Smart because Pruitt would do the job cheaper... UGA (Greg McGarity) knew in mid October that Grantham would be seeking another job at the end of the year...

"BELIEVE" in the G

Dawgilama
Dawgilama

@POAD2013@Dawgilama , dawgs recruiting classes are usually 3rd  to  6th in SEC, GT plays in a  crap division of a  bad  conference, Dawgs losses  in 2013  were all to teams that finished ranked. in 2012  2 losses to the #1  and # 7 ranked teams, 2011 4 losses all to teams that finished in top 15. Gt beat one team with a winning record in 2013 Duke , playing  without  their  starting qb. finishing 4th in the  country in 2012 is pretty elite , 8-5 was  disappointing  but  considering all the injuries , just one of those seasons. Dawgs  will bounce back doubt  GT does, especially as long as Pj is there , he's in over his head on the  field and in recruiting. Hoping Gt gives him a new  deal.


POAD2013
POAD2013

@Dawgilama

The DOGS continually lose to teams with Lesser Talent.

Tech plays against teams with more talent but wins often enough. Admit it the Dogs are far from elite and lose too often to teams they shouldn't lose to. Tech recruiting classes are middle to lower ranked in the ACC but seem to finish in the upper half of the league. UGa recruiting classes are in the top of the SEC but can't seem to play in the BCS games as often as they should muchless play in a BCS CG.

Dawgilama
Dawgilama

@POAD2013@Dawgilama should have said  next  3 years since  we  don't know how  awful GT will be in 2014..Which top 25  teams did  Gt your team beat or  for that matter play in the past  3 years?  If sucking is  going 10-4 12-2 , 8-5 . What is  8-5, 7-7, 7-6 playing in CFB weakest  division the ACC coastal?  In the past 3 seasons  Georgia is 2-4 3-2 2-4  against  teams  that finished in the top 25. GT is 1-8 vs top 25 over the past  3  seasons.. By the  way which team in CFB hasn't lost to a  team with equal or  lesser talent in the past  3 years? 



POAD2013
POAD2013

@Dawgilama

Right. UGa continued to lose to teams with equal talent and even lose to teams with lesser talent the last 4 years. Tell us how UGa didn't SUCK the last 4 years against top 25 teams

Dawgilama
Dawgilama

@POAD2013@Dawgilama Central Fla  finished in top 25  and  won their  conference in 2010. MTSU lost  to McNeese  State, to Miss St 45-0 and Arky State 45-3. and  didn't get invited to a  bowl game. In 2010 Georgia  sucked , but they didn't  continue to suck for the next 4 years like GT. 

POAD2013
POAD2013

@Dawgilama

You would. Losing to what Conference Champ? How many 4-5 starts at UGa(scoring 3 points) playing against UCF and all their 3 stars was impressive for sure.