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June 4, 2012

Damon Evans' Legacy

It was pointed out to me recently that only two of Damon Evans' hires are still around: Mark Fox and head soccer coach Steve Holeman.  (h/t to Royorbisondawg)

Damon Evans
Think about that. He was AD for six years and five days. As of today, he has exactly two hires left. I run hot and cold about one and only know that the Soccer Dawgs made the NCAA tourney to lose the regionals in Durham to National Runner-Up Duke. It is stunning that only two of his hires are still around. Having said that, it is not hard to use hindsight to say the Damon Evans effect might also have been one of the contributory causes for the late '00's swoon in football.
Greg McGarity (Image: Red and Black)

I'm not willing to lay all of that on Evans, because the coaching staff has to want it, too. However, when the your boss is...busy...and not pressing excellence in the same way other ADs are, it isn't hard to get complacent. It also isn't hard to say the football program got very complacent, especially in recruiting, in the last year of Damon's tenure.

This didn't start out as an anti-Damon thing or a pro-McGarity thing. Other than McGarity's quick trigger retaining Perno this season, I haven't really questioned his moves (not that I explicitly question that move, but how quickly McGarity made the decision was interesting), as they all made sense in the context of the sport it happened in. In that regard, I dig the current AD's every year evaluation of the sport and the direction that sport is taking.

As for the current downward trend of Director's Cup Standings, that is something McGarity is going to have to take up with the new President if that doesn't change.



Anonymous said...

I do not recall all of Damon Evans hires, so the comment that only two remain on staff does not represent a significant commentary on his job performance. The football, baseball, swimming, M/W tennis, W basketball and track coaches were all holdovers from Dooley. Replacing S. Youclan was an impossible task with expecting a drop off. That leave only a few sports were changes were made. Mark Fox was certainly an upgrade for the basketball program. It can be argued that overall we had more National Championships teams during his tenure than we have experienced before or since.

Anonymous said...

I thought the future would be so bright with Damon. I also felt like he made strides in both scheduling and facilities .....especially basketball.

But I do think that both he and Richt fell asleep at the wheel. Damon should've challenged Richt on his Durham-like complacency.

I also remember how Damon handled, or didn't handle, things like how bad SEC officiating had gotten. There was little public response to what almost everyone outside of LSU thought was blatant game changing call in the 2009 game. And also when a minor SEC league official publicly trying to embarass Felton when he said he didn't know what he was supposed to do with a tape Felton sent to Birmingham on officiating mistakes ...a standard practice amongst coaches.

Also remember the SEC baseball tournament in which SEC officials forced UGA to start a game pitching in a down pour? Damon was there and should've given permission to Perno to pull the team off the field.

Damon was a nice guy. Too nice to operate in a shark tank like the SEC.

Anonymous said...

How many hires did he make?

Anonymous said...

Until Mark Fox at minimum win the SEC tournament he was not an upgrade. McGarrity has not been impressive either. Those generous outs he gave CTG will come back to haunt and he paid that new gymnastic coach way too much.

Anonymous said...

Yoculan (and by default, Leeburn) are still pulling the strings on the Gymnastics team.

Anonymous said...

Evans set the dept back 10 years. He refused to spent the dollars necessary to compete. UGA has added training table, nutritionist, speed coach etc. since Evans left. Other teams in the SEC have had these for years. Senior banquet/fund raising auction is gone. We do not need coaches focused on raising 200k at an auction. Richt can coach now instead of doing ad' s job.

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