UGA assistant Tony Ball sticking around after interviewing at Tennessee

semerson@macon.comMarch 1, 2013 

ATHENS - It happened very under the radar. But the Georgia football team was in danger of losing an assistant coach to a rival SEC school for the second time this offseason.

But receivers coach Tony Ball is staying at UGA, likely with a raise.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity confirmed that Ball interviewed for the running backs coaching job at Tennessee this week. McGarity would not confirm that Ball accepted a counter-offer to stay at UGA, as the web site footballscoop.com reported on Friday evening.

Ball's current salary at Georgia is $210,000.

Tennessee announced later on Friday evening that it had hired Robert Gillespie, a former South Carolina assistant who worked at West Virginia last year.

While he has coached receivers at Georgia since 2009, Ball previously coached the running backs from 2006-08, and was a running back during his playing days at UT Chattanooga. He was born in Chattanooga, and at Georgia worked alongside several new Tennessee assistants: John Jancek and Willie Martinez.

Georgia lost defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner to Auburn, which is Garner's alma mater, in December. He was replaced in January by Chris Wilson. Garner is the only assistant coach to leave Georgia since the end of the 2011 season.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo also rebuffed advances this offseason from Virginia Tech, which wanted him for the same position. Bobo is expected to receive a substantial raise, and possibly a multi-year deal, at some point during the offseason.

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