ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart did not do a lot to shine light on why he fired Tracy Rocker last month, but he at least did address the defensive line coach’s dismissal for the first time on Tuesday at the Bulldogs’ spring practice news conference.
Initially, Georgia did not specify whether Rocker left of his own accord or was fired when it announced his departure the first week of February.
“With Rocker, that’s usually a personnel issue, which I’ve chosen to keep in-house,” Smart said.
Rocker received a hand-delivered termination letter from athletic director Greg McGarity on Feb. 6. That was just five days after National Signing Day. No specifics were given for Rocker’s dismissal in that letter or the general-release form that accompanied it. However, Rocker was identified in one of three secondary NCAA violations committed by Georgia last fall.
Rocker was hired by former Georgia coach Mark Richt and had been with the Bulldogs since 2014. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 2015.
The terms of the release, which Rocker signed on Feb. 7, call for him to continue to draw his $525,000 annual salary through Dec. 31 of this year unless he finds another job. To date, there have been no reports of Rocker finding employment elsewhere.
The Bulldogs hired Tray Scott as Rocker’s replacement three days later. Scott, 32, comes to Georgia from Ole Miss, where he was on the staff for just six days before accepting the Bulldogs’ offer. Before that he coached defensive line at North Carolina for two seasons (2015-16) and at UT-Martin for two seasons.
“Looking forward, I’m excited with what Tray’s going to do,” Smart said. “He brings a lot of energy to our team, enthusiasm to the practices. Tray’s a guy that I’ve known for a while now and he does a great job. He’ll continue to develop our young defensive line. Very pleased with what he’s done in the offseason and the energy he’s brought to our conditioning program.”