Friday, February 25, 2005
Defensive ends coach elects to stay
ATHENS, Ga. -- Less than a week after accepting a job at
Oklahoma, Georgia defensive ends coach Jon Fabris decided to remain
in Athens, Georgia coach Mark Richt announced Friday.
Fabris, who has served on the Georgia staff for each of Richt's
four years, had accepted a similar position at Oklahoma on Monday.
Fabris said "personal matters" led to his decision to return
to the Georgia staff.
"This is in no way a negative reflection on Oklahoma, Coach
[Bob] Stoops or the OU football program," Fabris said in a release
issued by Oklahoma. "I want to be clear about that. Everything has
been handled very professionally. I just have some personal matters
that need to be addressed. There is no more to it than that."
Richt said he spoke with Fabris on Thursday night and learned that
Fabris was wavering on his planned move to Oklahoma.
"After a long conversation, he decided he wanted to come back
to Georgia, and I allowed him to do so," Richt said. "He was
really having a difficult time with the decision, and it was hard
for him to communicate that to me since I was out of the country
until last night. For personal and professional reasons, he
believes that Georgia is the best place for him, and I'm very glad
he's decided to stay."
Fabris, who also assists with Georgia's special teams, has
coached such standout defensive ends as David Pollack, Josh Mallard
and NFL first-round pick Charles Grant.
"I fully understand and respect Jon's reasoning in making this
decision," Stoops said. "There were some issues that Jon thought
could be worked out, but now it appears that it would be best for
him to return to Georgia. He's making the decision for the right
reasons. We all respect him for taking this kind of stand."
Richt has lost two other assistant coaches.
Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder accepted an offer to
become linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Running backs coach Ken Rucker will take over the same job at
Richt hired former Bulldog defensive back Kirby Smart to replace
Rucker and Central Michigan defensive coordinator John Jancek to
Willie Martinez was promoted from secondary coach to defensive