ATHENS — Mike Bobo knows all about being criticized by Georgia football fans. By the end of his time as Georgia’s offensive coordinator Bobo had convinced most skeptics, but for awhile there the heat was constant.
Now Bobo is the rookie head coach at Colorado State, and this week he was asked about the pressure on Mark Richt, his former boss at Georgia.
“That’s the nature of this business. You’re going to take criticism,” Bobo said, according to The Coloradan. “The more you stay, the more you lose a percentage of your fan base because they get dissatisfied. That’s part of it. It’s hard to stay that long and please everybody. But he’s a good football coach and a good man and I hope they win this week, but that’s part of the business.”
Bobo was Richt’s quarterbacks coach at Georgia from 2001-14, and the chief play-caller from late in the 2006 season until 2014. During the mid-point of that tenure Bobo came under intense criticism from fans, but Richt stood by him. And from 2012-14 Georgia had one of the most prolific offenses in college football, despite myriad injuries to key skill position players.
When Bobo left he was replaced by Brian Schottenheimer, and things aren’t going well for Georgia’s offense. Schottenheimer and Richt are both taking the heat, and their jobs may be on the line as Georgia (5-3) has four games to go in the regular season.
“Bottom line is, I think that’s why our profession is growing and why we’re making more money,” Bobo said. “People are passionate about college football. Fans are filling the stadium, they’re filling the stands, and are passionate.”
Colorado State is 3-5 this season, currently in fifth place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference. The Rams were picked to finish third in the division before the season.
In an interview before the season with the AJC’s Chip Towers, Bobo issued a passionate defense of Richt.
“Here’s what I say about that: I went to school there, I graduated from there, I’m an alumnus, I played football there, I have bled and sweat for that school and did everything I could to help it win, and there ain’t another man in the country I’d want coaching at the University of Georgia than Mark Richt,” Bobo said, his voice level rising. “His time’s gonna come. It’s gonna happen, OK, because he’s consistent, he does it the right way. He’s going to win. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. But at the end of the day, he’s going to be able to say, ‘I’ve done everything I possibly could – time, energy, resources – into trying to make Georgia a complete program that cares about kids.’
“Our biggest job is make sure these guys grow, not just as a football player, but as a person,” Bobo continued. “When they walk out of school, they’re ready. They’re ready to walk out there and do what it takes to be successful. He does that better than anybody. There isn’t any guy I’d rather have there than him.”