ATHENS – Mike Bobo was introduced at Colorado State on Tuesday, and the now-former Georgia offensive coordinator brought a deadpan awareness about his twang.
"I realize I'm not from the West. I'm from south Georgia,” Bobo said during the press conference, which was broadcast live on The Coloradoan's web site.
Bobo added, deadpan: “I probably don't sound like it, but I'm from the South.”
He also doesn’t appear to be the only Southerner on Georgia’s staff who will be making the trek west.
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Offensive line coach Will Friend is also headed to Colorado State, per multiple sources, although he will still coach for Georgia in the Belk Bowl. There was no firm word from UGA on Friend’s status, or from Bobo, who declined to name anybody when asked about staff members at his press conference.
"Do I have a couple key guys in mind, yes. Have I filled out my entire staff, no," Bobo said, adding that he wanted to speak to current members of Colorado State's staff.
Bobo, unlike Friend, will not coach in the bowl. He said it wouldn’t be fair to Georgia players because “my mind would be here, in Fort Collins.” But he will be watching the game against Louisville.
"To be honest it saddens me, because I have a relationship with those players at the University of Georgia," Bobo said, recounting how he fought with the team this season to get to this point. "At the same time, this is a new chapter in my life, and there's not a lot of time to waste."
Georgia, meanwhile, has to fill Bobo's job. One potential candidate was eliminated on Tuesday, when Doug Nussmeier, the former offensive coordinator at Alabama and Michigan, reportedly took the same job at Florida.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt released a statement Tuesday congratulating Bobo, who has been on his staff ever since Richt was hired in 2001. That includes the past eight years as offensive coordinator.
“His goal has been to become a head coach and he has definitely earned this opportunity with the job he’s done at Georgia,” Richt said in a statement. “I want to thank him and his wife, Lainie, for their loyal and excellent service to their alma mater, the University of Georgia. I wish for them nothing but the greatest success. The rest of our staff will be continuing to focus on the bowl game against Louisville.”
There was a lovefest two time zones away. Bobo spent much of his press conference praising Richt, recounting his interview with him in 2001.
“I wasn’t qualified for that job,” Bobo said.
But Richt took a chance on him, and Bobo said his main impression of the meeting was how good a man Richt was.
“That’s why I’ve been there for 15 years,” Bobo said. “The same thing is true about this man right here, (Colorado State president) Dr. Tony Frank. I get the same feeling.”
Bobo said this was the first time he had ever interviewed for a job. He didn’t care about the salary, he said, although his five-year contract worth about $1.35 million annually, will be almost triple
The Colorado State job drew interest from a number of high-profile assistant coaches around the country. Bobo, whose offense has put up huge numbers the past few years, quickly rose to the top after his first interview, according to athletics director John Morris said.
“We are fortunate to get one of the leading offensive minds in the country,” Morris said.