Richt Learns From Shula

Jeremy EnglandContributor IDecember 2, 2009

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  Head coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia Coach Mark Richt fired Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez ,and the majority of the other defensive coaches today.  The decision came under increased pressure from fans and alumni after a disappointing 7-5 season. 

Richt made the tough decision and should be commended for that.  It is, afterall, his job as the head coach to make those kind of decisions.  Nevermind the fact that he gets paid a ton of money to do just that.

So what made Richt decide to pull that trigger?  He may have learned from his former colleague Mike Shula.

In the wake of the 2006 season, former Alabama coach Mike Shula faced similar pressure from school athletic officials and alumni alike.  The Tide's offense was possibly the worst it had been since before Bear Bryant came to the capstone. 

Sources said that Athletic Director Mal Moore met with Shula and asked what his plans were with regard to changes in his offense.  Shula replied with a proposition to reassign offensive responsibilities but not make any changes to the offensive staff.  Apparently that line of thinking didn't go over too well with the powers that be at Alabama and Shula was fired that same evening.

Did Richt have the same type of "come to Jesus" meeting with Damon Evans?  If he did, Richt obviously had a better answer for his athletic director.

Now one should not confuse Mark Richt's accomplishments with that of Mike Shula.  He gets more of a benefit of a doubt due to his early success in Athens.  However, he might have sealed his own fate if he had not made the change that he did today.