Kirby Smart retains Rocker, Sherrer; Brown to The U


Kirby Smart announced Tuesday morning that he will keep DL coach Tracy Rocker and OLB coach Kevin Sherrer in Athens. RB Coach Thomas Brown heads to Miami.

Tuesday morning, incoming Georgia Bulldogs head football coach Kirby Smart announced that his new staff in Athens in 2016 will keep defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer. Both coaches joined former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s staff in 2014 and Smart chooses wisely to keep both defensive coaches at the University of Georgia.

Rocker was reportedly going to stay in Athens immediately after the hiring of Kirby Smart, though this announcement makes it official. The defensive line coach got great play out of Chris Mayes and James DeLoach in 2015. His legendary status in the SEC as a former Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winner while at Auburn continues to stand as a big get in UGA recruitment.

-= Related: Kevin Sherrer: Three great options for UGA OLB coach =-

Sherrer was one of the most coveted members of former head coach Mark Richt‘s staff. Many thought that Sherrer would stay in Athens as part of Kirby Smart’s staff or would either follow Pruitt back to Tuscaloosa or Richt to Coral Gables.

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Since Sherrer is coordinating the defense in the TaxSlayer Bowl, perhaps he could get promoted to full-time defensive coordinator under Smart in 2015. UGA has yet to name a defensive coordinator and Sherrer was the former defensive coordinator for the South Alabama Jaguars before coming to Athens in 2014.

While Georgia officially names two more coaches to the 2016 football coaching staff in Tracy Rocker and Kevin Sherrer, the Dawgs do lose another coach in the process. Running backs coach Thomas Brown will leave his alma mater to go the University of Miami to become a co-offensive coordinator of sorts for Mark Richt.

Brown who was a former UGA running back under Kirby Smart in 2005, will receive likely a pay increase and a new title with his new role in Coral Gables. This will be the third team Brown has worked for in three years (Wisconsin, Georgia, Miami).

Originally Brown was going to stay at Georgia, as he was recruiting for the Dawgs after Kirby Smart’s hire. While he was never officially announced as a retained member of Richt’s staff, this move to The U does come as a shock to Dawg Nation.

What this could mean for Georgia is that it has a better shot of keeping wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon, who I thought would assume the role Brown now has with Richt’s staff in Miami.

McClendon is the interim head coach at Georgia, but won’t become the new UGA offensive coordinator after Smart hired former Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. Coach McClendon could stay in Athens and either be the wide receivers or the running backs coach, as he has done both as a part of Richt’s staff.

Kirby Smart’s staff is coming together, but there are still a few vacancies that need filling on both sides of the ball. With this press release by Smart via the University of Georgia, we can expect that any hires would come from outside of the UGA football program, not including McClendon. That could come at a later date, probably after the January 2nd bowl game versus Penn State.

As of now, Kirby Smart has officially five members of his coaching staff: offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jim Chaney, offensive line coach Sam Pittman, defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, and defensive specialist Glenn Schumann.

Next: Georgia Bulldogs: Should they be favorite over Penn State?

With only Bryan McClendon’s coaching future uncertain, it seems that we now know who will stick with the Georgia Bulldogs football program as a part of Kirby Smart’s coaching staff in 2016. Go Dawgs!