As the various college football preseason content comes out, naturally there’s a look ahead to which coaches are on the hot seat and who might be in line to replace them.
When you’re the defending national champions, you’re bound to have a few assistants plucked from your staff. Georgia saw Dan Lanning take the head coaching job at Oregon this offseason. Mel Tucker and Sam Pittman previously left Georgia for head coaching jobs at the Power 5 level, while Shane Beamer is now the head coach at South Carolina.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel tabbed Todd Monken as an assistant who could greatly impact the coaching carousel. Matt Zenitz of On3 ran a coaches survey of those deserving to become head coaches, with both Dell McGee and Glenn Schumann making the list.
McGee and Schumann are the two longest-tenured coaches at Georgia. McGee reminded reporters on Thursday that he’s been at Georgia long enough to when they had to take a bus to the practice fields, as opposed to now working out to the palatial football complex that Georgia has constructed.
The two are both excellent recruiters and valued members of Smart’s staff. Schumann is now the co-defensive coordinator this year, while Smart has let McGee run things in the past when Smart has had to be away from the team for whatever reason.
Both know the opportunities to become a head coach exist. Sure there is pressure that comes with that, such is the price to pay for new-found wealth and the ability to call your own shots.
But the two Georgia coaches know that so much of that process is out of their own control.
“I really don’t control that part of the process,” McGee said. “I’m very happy to be the running backs coach at the University of Georgia. Coach Smart ahs been a blessing to me. I really want to thank him for affording me the opportunity to be the running backs coach here. As well as the opportunities to be in front of our football team and our staff as well. Coach Smart has done everything as a mentor as far as a head coach for an assistant coach.”
Even though neither coach shares the sole coordinator role that Monken does for the offensive side of the ball, recent college football hires have indicated that is no longer necessary to move up the food chain. Pittman was Georgia’s offensive line coach before he began to turn around the Arkansas program. Dabo Swinney and Ed Orgeron are recent title winners who weren’t coordinators before they became head coaches.
The position coaches also have so many other demands they don’t really have much time to focus on what head coaching opportunities might come open. Between recruiting, running meetings and game planning for opponents, they have plenty of things to get done for Georgia first and foremost.
McGee joked that he doesn’t know how much money he has in his checking account with all that he has going on.
“I really try not to be too forward thinking, there’s times and places for that,” Schumann said. “That quote that Coach Smart had last year before training camp about success coming to those being too busy to be looking for it, that’s a very real quote. It’s not coach speak, it’s a real thing so I try to live that. First-year players, be where your feet are and that’s what it’s all about.”
Schumann and McGee are both thankful for the opportunities given to them by Smart. McGee arrived at Georgia after being passed over for the Georgia Southern head coaching job. Schumann has been working with Smart now for 14 of his 32 years on earth, nearly half his life.
Each coach could very well end up becoming a head coach someday. Given the success Tucker, Pittman and Beamer have all had early in their tenues, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see them be pretty successful at it whenever that day comes.
But those two, along with every Georgia position coach, know there’s no point in waiting for a day that might never come. So instead, they’re determined to be the best running backs coach or inside linebackers coach they can be.