ATHENS — Bryan McClendon held court Wednesday in his temporary role as Georgia’s head coach. He mainly wanted to talk about the bowl, but one of the first questions he got was the obvious one:
Did he know whether he would still be on Georgia’s staff after the bowl? McClendon chose not to answer that.
“It’s kind of all about the kids. It’s been about the kids,” McClendon said. “That stuff will take care of itself a little later on, but right now everything is just geared toward this bowl game, getting the team ready for the bowl game so we can go out there and have a good showing.”
When asked if he had talked with incoming head coach Kirby Smart about coordinating anything in practice over the next few weeks, McClendon answered: “No.”
McClendon did say he has spoken with previous head coach Mark Richt, seeking advice on how to handle this period. He did not say whether the two have discussed a possible role on Richt’s new staff at Miami.
“I reached out to him the first day and said ‘Hey man, I’m really going to need some input from you,'” McClendon said of Richt. “His main thing was just to make sure that I think through everything in the aspect of how this is going to affect 125 kids and the whole staff, not so much what’s best for five people or 10 people or anything like that. You’ve always got to think of the greater good when it comes to certain things. Coming from a position coach, you’re thinking about what benefits your position more times than not.
“When you’re going to coach to make a request, going to coach and saying hey can we do this or can we do that, you’re thinking about how it’s going to benefit your guys. You’ve got to do that for everybody now. That’s the one thing that has been really eye opening, in that regard. That was his help.”
McClendon has been a Georgia assistant coach since 2009, when he was named running backs coach. He switched to receivers coach this year, taking over the spot he played for the Bulldogs from 2002-05.
Smart and McClendon’s relationship isn’t known. Smart was running backs coach in 2005 when McClendon was a receiver, but since both became coaches they have gone head-to-head on a few recruits.