December 17, 2009

Players, like fans, are waiting to hear

Yes, Georgia coach Mark Richt has the entire Bulldog Nation guessing as to who his new defensive coordinator might be.

Bulldogs like junior linebacker Darryl Gamble don't know much either.

"I just know what I see on the Internet," Gamble chuckled following practice Thursday morning.

Still, despite Richt's reluctance to discuss the search with the media - when the time comes - Gamble believes his head coach will at least give some of the team's leaders a heads-up on what he has in mind.

"Coach Richt is pretty open," Gamble said. "I'm sure he'll bring in a couple of the older guys to his office to see what they think. Coach is the one who will be making the decision, but I think he might try to get some feedback from some of us."

No, that hasn't happened yet. And no, Gamble doesn't know when it might.

Until he does, the Bainbridge native will do like the rest of Georgia's fan and guess what direction Richt might go.

Speculating who that could be is now an unofficial Winter sport.

On his daily radio show, former Georgia coach Jim Donnan tossed out the name of John Chavis, the former Tennessee defensive coordinator currently serving in the same capacity with LSU.

Also, Mike Groh, son of former Virginia coach Al Groh, told UGASports in an email that he believes that his 65-year-old father would be interested in speaking with Richt about the position, although to his knowledge no contact has been made.

Otherwise, Richt's search appears to remain status quo.

Technically, the only "candidate" who appears out of the running is Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who was contacted by Richt before restructuring his current contract to remain with the Hokies.

Another name linked to the job - Kansas State co-defensive coordinator Vic Koenning - is believed to be a leading candidate for the defensive coordinator at Illinois. This news coming after Koenning refused to confirm or deny to UGASports that he'd spoken with Richt, while Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart's name has been a popular topic from the first day former Bulldog defensive coordinator Willie Martinez was let go.

Richt offered no hints Wednesday as to what he might be thinking, including a question as to whether or not he had narrow his list of potential candidates.

"I can't do that for you," smiled Richt, who earlier indicated that his search could stretch into the first week of January.

"We all know It's a very important hire. I'm doing the due diligence I think that it takes, but I'm working toward that end," he said. "I don't want to put a timetable on it, I would think somewhere around - I'd hate to think it goes much past - the first week of January."

What are the players thinking?

After talking to several members of the Bulldogs, it appears a stock answer is now in place to any question that revolves around Richt's coaching search.

"We're just looking forward to the Independence Bowl against Texas A&M," Gamble shrugged. "It's not like we're all sitting around wondering who it might be."

Freshman cornerback Branden Smith sang the same tune.

"We're just focused on the bowl game," Smith said. "It's not even crossing our mind. We'll find out next year. Right now, we're just focused on Texas A&M."



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