Georgia has biggest defensive staff overhaul in 50 years

Georgia has biggest defensive staff overhaul in 50 years

January 18th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia Bulldogs UGA logo

Georgia is having to replace its entire defensive staff, and that is a rarity.

Not since Vince Dooley got to Georgia in 1964 and hired defensive assistants Erk Russell, Hootie Ingram and Jim Pyburn have the Bulldogs had to undergo a complete overhaul on that side of the ball. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, secondary coach Scott Lakatos and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti left the staff in recent days, and defensive line coach Chris Wilson left Friday for the same job with new Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian.

"I'm extremely excited to join Coach Sarkisian's staff and to have the opportunity to be at a university with the tradition of USC," Wilson said in a release. "I believe we can be as good as any team in the country."

Grantham is now defensive coordinator at Louisville, while Olivadotti is inside linebackers coach with the Washington Redskins. Lakatos said his resignation was for personal reasons.

Georgia's stability on the defensive staff began with Dooley winning 201 games in 25 years before being replaced after the 1988 season by running backs coach Ray Goff. Jim Donnan retained defensive coordinator Joe Kines when he was hired to replace Goff after the 1995 season, and defensive line coach Rodney Garner was retained by current coach Mark Richt when he replaced Donnan after the 2000 season.

Richt hired Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to the same position with the Bulldogs on Tuesday, and the Athens Banner-Herald reported Friday that it will be a three-year deal at $850,000 annually. Pruitt will coach Georgia's safeties, leaving three vacancies among the defensive front and linebackers.

Kamara leaving Tide

Alabama tailback Alvin Kamara has been granted his release following just one season with the Crimson Tide.

Kamara, Derrick Henry, Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones were top-100 national prospects when they signed with Alabama last winter, instantly crowding the Tide's tailback position. Kamara and Jones redshirted, and Kamara made off-the-field news by getting suspended for the Sugar Bowl and by not practicing with the team the week of the LSU game for what coach Nick Saban called behavioral reasons.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.