ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart revealed his plans to replace Mel Tucker, and it’s going to take some time and some of his own personal involvement.
Smart made it clear he’s is no rush to find a new defensive coordinator in place of Tucker, who vacated the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator post to become Colorado’s head coach on Dec. 5.
“Yeah, no timetable on replacement,” Smart said at his Monday press conference at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. “We’ll have a ton of interest, obviously, with an opportunity to come in and be at a place with good players like University of Georgia.”
Smart figures to have plenty of applicants and could even wait until after the AFCA Coaches Convention takes place Jan. 6-9 in San Antonio.
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 15 Texas (9-4) at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl and are having their third bowl practice on Monday.
The plan to replace Tucker’s role on staff involves Smart become even more involved than he already is.
Smart, who served as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for Alabama coach Nick Saban, has had no problem taking over that area of the team in Tucker’s absence.
“I’ll be working with the secondary during bowl practices, also our graduate assistant (Bacarri Rambo) will be working with us, and (Glenn) Schumann and Dan (Lanning) and Tray (Scott) will all share some of those duties going forward, but we’ve always been really involved with the defense myself, so it’ll continue to be that way.”
Schumann is widely considered the top internal candidate to be elevated to defensive coordinator should Smart go that route, as he has experience working with the Bulldogs’ high-energy, hands-on head coach.
Oakland Raiders secondary coach Derrick Ansley has been speculated as another potential candidate having worked on the same Alabama staff with Smart and coached in a very similar system.