Georgia will have a change on its football coaching staff after all.
Secondary coach Scott Lakatos has resigned for personal reasons, the school announced Thursday night.
Reached by phone, Lakatos didn’t want to elaborate.
“I’ll just leave it in the fact that it’s personal reasons,” he said. “That’s it. …There’s no story or anything.”
Lakatos, 48, said he hopes to coach elsewhere next season. “Oh, yeah,” he said.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement: “We are very appreciative of Scott’s contributions to our program over the last four years and I have a great amount of respect for him as a coach and as a person. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
The announcement came on the same day that Richt and athletic director Greg McGarity were scheduled to have their annual end-of-season meeting. Richt had said after the regular season that he expected all of his assistants to return and that “continuity is a good thing for Georgia.”
Georgia ranked ninth in the SEC in passing defense, allowing 227.4 yards per game and 108th nationally in interceptions with seven a year after losing Sanders Commings, Baccari Rambo and Shawn Williams to the NFL. The Bulldogs were second in pass defense in the SEC in 2012.
Georgia’s secondary gave up some high-profile, backbreaking big plays this season, including a 73-yard touchdown pass to Auburn when safeties Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews collided and Harvey-Clemons’ deflected the pass but did not knock it down.
Then the Bulldogs allowed a 99-yard touchdown in its Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska when safety Quincy Mauger and cornerback Shaq Wiggins were in coverage.
Lakatos, a native of Long Valley, N.J., was hired at Georgia in January 2010 after serving six years as the secondary coach at Connecticut and coached before that at Rutgers. He had coached at seven different schools in the Northeast.
The opening on the staff could allow Richt more flexibility to make a hire that could also address shoring up Georgia’s special teams. Georgia’s secondary relied on freshmen and first-time starters along with junior cornerback Damian Swann this season. It is expected to return Swann, Wiggins, Mauger, Matthews, Harvey-Clemons and Corey Moore.
Lakatos was the only remaining assistant who had worked with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for all four seasons at Georgia. Defensive line coach Rodney Garner left for Auburn in December, 2012 and was replaced by Chris Wilson.