Richt announces restructuing of coaching staff

semerson@macon.comFebruary 11, 2014 

Tight ends coach John Lilly and head coach Mark Richt hang out on the sideline before the 2013 game against Appalachian State.

JOHN KELLEY

ATHENS - Georgia is back to having a recruiting coordinator, and it also has a special teams coordinator. In fact it has two of them.

That's the result of a restructuring that head coach Mark Richt announced on Tuesday, five days after completing his new defensive staff.

Richt has long resisted the idea of naming a special teams coordinator, choosing to spread the duties over five of his assistants. But now two assistants coaches will oversee the units, and carry the titles of co-special teams coordinator.

Tight ends John Lilly will coordinate units deemed as offensive special teams: Kickoff return, punt cover and extra point/field goal.

Inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler (hired last week) will coordinator defensive special teams: Kickoff, punt return/block, and extra point/field goal block.

Meanwhile, running backs coach Bryan McClendon now has the title of recruiting coordinator. The title had been vacant since Rodney Garner left for Auburn in December of 2012.

Daryl Jones, who has served as the on-campus recruiting coordinator the past few years, remains in that job and his duties remain unchanged.

McClendon was named national recruiter of the year by 247Sports and Scout.com last week. A former Georgia player, he joined the staff as running backs coach in 2009, after a couple seasons as a graduate assistant.

Lilly joined Richt's staff as tight ends coach for the 2008 season. He has been one of the cluster of coaches involved in special teams, which critics said led to issues on those units. But Richt always resisted, and pointed to the NCAA limit on assistant coaches.

"This restructuring I believe will give us the best chance to win from a recruiting and special teams standpoint," Richt said. "Our recruiting effort will be strengthened and our special teams will be improved as well."

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