Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Georgia's Richt overhauls defensive staff
By Chris Low
In a move that's been two years in the making, Georgia coach Mark Richt has overhauled his defensive coaching staff.
Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, defensive ends coach Jon Fabris and linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator John Jancek have all been fired.
At this point, the only defensive staff member that remains is assistant head coach/tackles coach Rodney Garner.
Martinez has been under fire from fans for the last two seasons. Richt stuck by Martinez following last season. But after Georgia's defense struggled again this season, Richt had little choice but to make a change.
Martinez had been at Georgia with Richt since 2001, when Richt first took the job. They both played collegiately at Miami.
The Bulldogs, who lost five games for the first time under Richt this season, gave up 30 or more points five times. They ended the regular season a year ago by giving up 38 or more points in four of their last five games. Martinez's defense was particularly vulnerable against the pass in each of the past two seasons.
As hard as it was for Richt to make this move, he was at a point where he had to do something to try and pump some new life into a defense that simply didn't play up to its talent level the last two seasons.