Greg McGarity on football coaching staff: 'Change is good'

semerson@macon.comFebruary 6, 2014 

ATHENS, Ga.- Speaking about the overhaul of his defensive coaching staff, Mark Richt said this week that he felt as energized as he's been in awhile.

His boss seems to like the changes too.

"Mark likes his staff," athletics director Greg McGarity said Thursday. "I think his coaches enjoy working with each other. There's a chemistry among that staff that's refreshing to see. I think Mark says he feels invigorated. Hopefully he's always excited. But he feels really good about things. Change is good in some situations."

Mike Ekeler became the fourth and final new defensive assistant coach on Thursday, joining coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and assistants Kevin Sherrer and Tracy Rocker.

But it was a holdover assistant coach who McGarity singled out for praise on Thursday during a meeting of the UGA athletic board. Running backs coach Bryan McClendon was named the recruiter of the year by 247Sports, an honor that McGarity mentioned to the board.

"Bryan has really stepped up and done a great job, and is really responsible for a lot of these young men who signed on the dotted line," McGarity told the board.

Those include some of the highest-rated recruits, such as Lorenzo Carter, Isaiah McKenzie, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Isaiah Wynn and Keyon Brown.

Asked after the meeting if that will result in a raise for McClendon, the athletics director deflected, though did not deny it.

"Oh, Mark and I will sit down and talk about that at some point in time," McGarity said. "But it's just that they've done a great job in recruiting. Mark and I will sit down and have those discussions."

Bauerle update

One of the most successful coaches at Georgia, and the most recent one to win a national championship, Jack Bauerle, remains partially suspended, and there's no firm word on a resolution.

Jack Bauerle, the head swimming and diving coach, has not been coaching the team in meets or recruiting for about a month. The move came because of an academic eligibility review for a swimmer, who has since been reinstated. But Baurle remains in limbo.

"That's an ongoing situation, so I don't know what the end date's going to be on that," McGarity said.

McGarity declined to answer whether the investigation was in the hands of the NCAA, SEC or UGA.

Bauerle is still on the job, doing all his other duties except coaching in meets and recruiting.

"It basically gets to when you get to represent the institution, that we just felt like it was appropriate to basically sort of stand down during that time, from a recruiting standpoint and coaching," McGarity said. "Jack can still conduct coaching. He's going to be at the scholarship endowment luncheon tomorrow. He's at our coaches' meetings. So he's still our head swim coach. So it's just those restrictions that we have in place right now. But hopefully that will all come to an end very soon."

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