Mark Richt's staff cites coaching stability

Coaches same as last season

ATHENS, Ga. — This time last year, Georgia’s staff had to recruit against the backdrop of swirling speculation about the future of coach Mark Richt.


Now, after a 10-win season that included a trip to the Southeastern Conference Championship game, tight ends coach John Lilly made sure prospects the Bulldogs were targeting knew not only that Richt was back but so was his entire staff.

He printed out an online story found at coaching to share that Georgia was one of only 16 coaching staffs in the Football Bowl Subdivision that returned all nine assistants from last year.

“Guys get so hung up on, ‘I want to go play for this coach,’ ” Lilly said.

The last time Georgia’s staff returned intact was 2004 after another trip to the SEC title game.

“That’s good,” Richt said. “It’s just good; it’s comforting to know that everybody knows what they’re doing. You go in the staff meetings and you don’t have to re-explain much philosophically. We had our hideaway (preseason meeting) and we talked about everything just to remind ourselves what we’re about, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It’s nice when you don’t have to sit there and explain everything even to just one guy. It changes the dynamic of the meeting.”

This year, Georgia and Mississippi State are the only staffs in the SEC without some turnover.

“Everybody’s kind of on the same wavelength,” Lilly said.

• Cornelius Washington worked at outside linebacker, his old position, in practice Saturday.

The former Burke County standout moved to defensive end, but he was expected to train at linebacker, too.

“We want versatility,” Richt said. “We know by cross-training people, you have depth if you have injuries and things of that nature.”

• Richard Samuel, who is at tailback and fullback this preseason, said he expects to play mostly tailback early this season. The tailback order in practice Saturday was Ken Malcome, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley.