Todd Grantham's time at Georgia has come to an end—but not because he was fired, as some fans in Athens had been clamoring for.
According to ESPN's Joe Schad, Grantham has been hired as the defensive coordinator for Bobby Petrino's staff at Louisville:
Todd Grantham leaves Georgia for Louisville DC job per source— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 12, 2014
Georgia confirmed the news, per Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph:
Georgia is now confirming that Todd Grantham is leaving. Georgia officially has a vacancy at defensive coordinator.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) January 12, 2014
Grantham, who left the NFL's Dallas Cowboys to join Georgia in 2010, saw the Bulldogs go 36-18 with a Capital One Bowl win in 2012 during his time as defensive coordinator. Despite the team's success, though, many weren't satisfied with his job.
Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel summed up his reign with some numbers:
Grantham was at Georgia for four seasons. His defenses ranked 39th, 7th, 34th, 54th.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 12, 2014
Moreover, according to ESPN's Travis Haney, there is at least one opposing SEC coach who is "disappointed he's leaving," which is quite the insult to Grantham:
Getting a few texts from coaches in disbelief that Grantham could fetch that. One from SEC says he's disappointed he's leaving league. Ouch!— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) January 12, 2014
Grantham was seen as a major upgrade over Willie Martinez when he originally came on board, and after his defense held LSU to zero offensive points in the SEC championship game in 2011, it was tough to disagree with that belief.
Smart move by Louisville?
But the Bulldogs' defense collapsed in the second half of that game, and, despite impressive talent, underwhelmed the last two seasons, especially in 2013. This led to unsatisfied fans in Athens.
Still, while the Georgia fanbase may be celebrating this development, it's not all bad for Louisville.
Getting a defensive coordinator with NFL and SEC experience isn't a bad coup, and Grantham should find things a bit easier in the ACC. Moreover, as CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler pointed out, Grantham may not be nearly as loathed among coaching circles as he is in Georgia:
Grantham often takes heat in the south but is well-respected in coaching circles. Finalist for Saints DC job. Bulldogs crazy young in '13— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) January 12, 2014
If nothing else, Louisville is putting together an interesting staff, and it will be compelling to see how things work out for the Cardinals, who were so successful under Charlie Strong.