Georgia football coach Kirby Smart hired Scott Cochran as special teams coordinator on Monday, but he expects it to be a move that elevates the entire program.
“Ask anyone who’s been around him, Scott’s passion and energy is contagious,” Smart said in a statement from UGA.
“Special Teams Coordinator is a great fit as he’ll be working with all position groups. His knowledge and experience elevates our entire program, and we’re excited to welcome the Cochran family to Athens.”
Smart and Cochran spent nine years together on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama between 2007-2015. Smart was working as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, Cochran the head strength and conditioning coach.
Cochran, however, yearned for more, and Smart saw fit to give him the opportunity that Saban would not.
The Bulldogs have had an on-field coaching staff vacancy since Jan. 24, when James Coley left to join the Texas A&M staff.
There was some thought UGA could have Todd Hartley coach special teams in addition to tight ends. Former special teams coach Scott Fountain left Georgia after the season to join Sam Pittman’s Arkansas staff.
But Smart found what he believes is a better option that will serve the program better.
Former Alabama assistant and current Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin is among the many to have endorsed Cochran’s work, per UGA.
“Scott’s one of the most energetic coaches I have worked with,” Kiffin said. “He developed great relationships with our players while I was at Alabama. I know that he will be successful as he moves on the field with Kirby at Georgia and I believe will be a head coach one day.”
Former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, now the head coach at Maryland, pointed to Cochran as one of the three pillars of success, long with trainer Jeff Allen and Saban.
“You want to know what the consistency is? It’s Nick Saban, (and) it’s Scott Cochran (and) it’s Jeff Allen. Those three pieces: the training room, the strength program and Coach Saban. Those are the pillars of what Alabama is and those three haven’t changed.”
Per former OC Mike Locksley:
“You want to know what the consistency is? It’s Nick Saban. It’s Scott Cochran. It’s Jeff Allen. Those three pieces: the training room, the strength program and Coach Saban. Those are the pillars of what Alabama is and those three haven’t changed.”
— Laine Higgins (@lainehiggins17) February 24, 2020
Former Alabama tight end OJ Howard, now with the Tampa Bay Bucs, also endorsed Cochran per the UGA release:
“Scott Cochran is the epitome of a players’ coach. He’s bringing energy and passion everyday. Coach Cochran will bring out the absolute best in every player. The work will be put in and results will show!”
Georgia spring football drills are projected to start in mid-March. The annual G-Day Spring Scrimmage is scheduled for April 18 at Sanford Stadium.
Sources: Alabama had a team meeting at 3 p.m. CT in which the team was informed about Scott Cochran headed to Georgia. Alabama football did not let Cochran say goodbye to the team. The team continues the 4th quarter program this afternoon… More at @bamainsider
— Kyle Henderson (@Rivals_Kyle) February 24, 2020