Bryan McClendon set to coach Georgia in bowl game

Bryan McClendon was a Georgia receiver when incoming coach Kirby Smart was running backs coach in 2005.

ATHENS — Georgia assistant coach Bryan McClendon already had four job titles on his business card. Now he can add another: Interim head coach.

McClendon was given the title on Thursday on the heels of Mark Richt informing the team that he is leaving immediately to be the head coach at Miami. McClendon will coach the team in its bowl, which is yet to be determined.

Richt is set to be introduced at Miami at a press conference on Friday at 10 a.m. UGA’s announcement cements that Richt’s time at the school is indeed over. He was fired on Sunday despite a record of 145-51, including a 9-3 mark in his final year.

McClendon will turn 32 on Dec. 28, right in the middle of bowl practice. He is the receivers coach and assistant head coach, is also the team’s recruiting coordinator and passing coordinator. He is a former Georgia receiver who has been on Richt’s staff since 2007, one year after his career as a Georgia receiver ended.

UGA said in a statement that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt – as well as “all other assistant coaches” – will “remain in their present roles with current responsibilities.”

McClendon was described by several people close to Georgia’s staff as a good choice for the role.

“I’ve asked Bryan to assume all administrative duties of the head coach,” athletics director Greg McGarity said in a statement. “This will be the least disruptive option for our players and staff as they begin preparations for our bowl game.”

WSB reporter Zach Klein first reported the news, and a source later told Klein that Richt became “very emotional” at the meeting, telling players he had “all intentions” of coaching the bowl game, but the Miami job was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

McClendon being named bowl coach is another indication he will be retained by incoming coach Kirby Smart, though McClendon is also still free to pursue other opportunities if he wishes.

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