Georgia will go up against two former assistants under Mark Richt when it plays at Tennessee.
AJ Reynolds/Staff, @ajreynoldsphoto
Tony Ball gives instructions to Michael Bennett, left, and Malcolm Mitchell, right, on the field during the first day of the University of Georgia football practice in Athens, Ga., August 1, 2013.
It could have been three.
Wide receivers coach Tony Ball, who has been on staff with the Bulldogs since 2006, interviewed in late February to be Tennessee’s running backs coach, a position he coached for three seasons at Georgia.
“The opportunity was there,” Ball said. “I went up and visited. I’m very appreciative of the fact that they were interested and they gave me an opportunity to come up and visit with them, and so I’m very appreciative of that. Obviously, with Willie (Martinez) and (John) Jancek being there and our prior relationships here, that had a contributing factor.”
Ball got a $50,000 raise to bring his annual salary to $260,000.
“Tennessee’s obviously a top-tier program, everybody knows that,” Ball said. “It warranted my attention.”
Georgia’s receivers haven’t missed a beat after top wideout Malcolm Mitchell went down with a torn ACL in the opener. Georgia’s receiving corps also withstood season-ending knee injuries to Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown last season.
“Tony’s done a great job,” Richt said. “He’s a great teacher. They all run good routes and they know what to do, and we’re in a cycle where we’ve had guys around for a while. … It’s just so nice to have the same coordinator, the same receivers coach for all that time.”