ATHENS -- Six years ago when Florida hired a new football coach, Urban Meyer came all the way from Utah, with his roots in the Midwest, so hardly anyone at Georgia knew anything about him.
Contrast that with Meyer’s replacement, Will Muschamp. Not only is the new Florida head coach a Georgia graduate, but seemingly every Bulldogs assistant coach has crossed paths with him at some point.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo started his playing career at Georgia in 1994, when Muschamp was a senior safety. The two have remained in touch since then.
Offensive line coach Stacey Searels had the same job at LSU in 2003-04 when Muschamp was the defensive coordinator. In fact, Searels said he lived across the street from Muschamp.
Recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Rodney Garner was at Auburn when Muschamp was a graduate assistant there.
Even defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who was in the NFL the previous 11 seasons, knows Muschamp. Their paths crossed when Grantham was one of the assistants then-LSU head coach Nick Saban would fly in to consult with his assistants.
So does all of that create any awkwardness, not only for the annual game, but on the recruiting trail?
“There’s a lot of awkwardness (already),” Bobo said. “There’s a lot of guys that I know are in this league coaching: Derek (Dooley) at Tennessee, Kirby (Smart) down at Alabama, Will at Florida. It’s just the nature of this business. It should make for exciting falls.”
But the most awkwardness might be for Muschamp, who played at Georgia.
“I don’t know that he’ll admit it to anybody, but he’s still a Georgia man in a lot of ways,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said.
@BR Body Subhed:Finishing the drill
Dave Van Halanger has been a mainstay at Georgia practices for the past decade. But the outgoing strength and conditioning coordinator wasn’t there Wednesday as the Bulldogs practiced in snow flurries.
Richt announced that Van Halanger was being replaced by Joe Tereshinski II 10 days ago. In his first media availability since then, Richt expounded on the reason.
“We aren’t saying that Coach Van isn’t a good strength coach. I’m not saying that at all, but I think there are different ways to do things, and I want to go a little bit more old school I guess. We’ll get after it a little bit differently,” Richt said. “I’m sure that will be a big emphasis in our program is to make sure we truly finish the drill. We say finish the drill but are we really doing it? Did we do it this year? We did not.”
@BR Body Subhed:Dent, Durham to all-star games
Two more Georgia seniors will be playing in postseason showcase games.
Linebacker Akeem Dent said he has agreed to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 22 in Orlando, Fla. The coaches for the East-West game are Dan Reeves and Wade Phillips.
Receiver Kris Durham said he will play in the Texas vs. the Nation game on Feb. 5 in San Antonio. Durham’s team, made up of national players, will be coached by Jerry Glanville.
Offensive lineman Clint Boling has received an invitation to the Senior Bowl.