Thursday, December 3, 2009

Goodbye and thanks for the memories from the cornfield

As I went to bed last night, I kept thinking about the three men that were told that they would not have to face the prosepcts of furloughs anymore in the University System of Georgia. I thought about their makeup, what they had given to my University, my football team and my state. I thought about the range of emotions they must be going through, from despair to relief.

I also spent some time thinking about Mark Richt. The man he is. The CEO of the football program he is.

Some general thoughts.
  • For those of you that say Mark Richt is too nice to lead a major program to greatness, now is the time to publicly get on the message boards and profess your abject and utter wrongness. You were as wrong as taking your sister to prom because she is an easy score. He just fired his best friend on the staff, a man he played college football with. If you are about to say 'yeah, but he should have done it last year,' all I can say to you is you lack a fundamental understanding of how good leaders lead (and fail to recognize the decision is about more than this season). Good leaders give people they trust the opportunity to show that they are capable of fixing what they are responsible for. If you don't give that chance to those people, you don't get good people that are willing to follow you.
  • For those of you publicly rejoicing at Martinez, Fabris and Jancek's firing, you should be ashamed. While all of us are interested in seeing Georgia do well, this should remind all of us that players are more than just robots with numbers on them and coaches are more than names on a program. They are living breathing people, with families and friends and investment in the program. Think of it this way: none of the coaches let go yesterday had anything to do with Georgia's football program before 2001. For the past nine years (or five in Jancek's case) they gave and sacrificed much to our program. They were repsonsible for nearly half of the kids playing for Georgia today coming to Athens. They missed kids growing up. They gave 90+hours a week for 5 months at a time to the program. For that we owe them many thanks, not petulant derision.
  • For that sacrifice, I want to say thank you for your time and efforts. I oftentimes felt at least two of those coaches didn't adequately prepare thier charges for games. That is in the past. I sincerely hope all three find places to ply their trades and succeed.
  • I feel bad for the players. Coaching changes are always tough on men who spend hours working with and learning from the coaches. We as fans too often forget these guys rely on us. Too often we let them down.
At the end of the day, yesterday, I felt as good about the leadership of Mark Richt and the future of the football team as I have in some time. I didn't feel that way because of the firings, rather I felt that way as a result of how the firings were handled and what happened in the few hours afterwards.

Others have hit on this, but the one thing that stuck out to me from the teleconference last night about the firings was Coach Richt's comment about fan and booster support in this decision:
On how much influence public or booster pressure had...
"Zero. Zero."
Anything about Mark Richt make you think that isn't the God's to honest truth?

Now is the time to look forward. I support and agree with the decision to make a change. Had Coach Richt decided to not make any changes, I would have supported that.

Thank you Coach Martinez, Coach Jancek and Coach Fabris for your service, time and sacrifices you have given to our program. Good luck and God Bless.

4 comments:

  1. "You were as wrong as taking your sister to prom because she is an easy score"

    Classic!

    I echo your sentiments. The three coaches are solid football men that should not have any trouble getting hired. They accomplished much in Athens that can never be taken away. Despite the continuity we have witnessed in Athens this last decade, their profession is a merciless one. I know that will not ease their pain.

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  2. Coach Richt said that public opinion had ZERO to do with the firings. He wants the fan base happy, but they arent gonna tell him what to do. Thats MY COACH. I feel great about the way the changes were handled, just like you do. I also echo the sentiment that I want these guys to be successful and thank them for their time. I now am happy with anticipation of who Coach Richt will bring in. I trust him. We have no reason not to.

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  3. Hats off and hearts out to these 3 coaches and their families, along with Coach Richt and his family. I've never been involved in any type of organized college sports coaching but I have been in a profession that required the 90+hrs a week, missing your kids growing up, giving up so much of your family life to make sure the job gets done-for over 25 years. I can promise you these 3 men will bounce back somewhere, but i can also promise you that they and their families hurt so much right now, wondering what they sacrificed so much for. It is an immdediacy thing. And anyone that thinks Coach Richt has not been assessing this problem since it started is not willing to give him any credit at all. OUR Coach just reached a logical conclusion to an ongoing assessment process. Heartrending but needed. We have the right coach for our program. Believe that!

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