Dawg Post Defensive Coordinator Hot List v3

ATHENS - Dawg Post's quick list of candidates who Georgia should or may look at for the 2014 defensive coordinators job.

Jeremy Pruitt
Current Position: Florida State defensive coordinator
Contract: Runs though 2016
Pay: $503,450 ($90,833 in possible bonuses)

Legge's Thoughts: Pruitt just won the national title at Florida State with one of the top overall defenses in the country. The competition the Noles played this season in the ACC isn't what the rough and tumble SEC is like week in and week out, but the skill of the Noles isn't in doubt – neither is the final result of the season or the statistics that back up the perfect year Florida State had.

CBS's Jeremy Folwer tweeted Monday morning that the Bulldogs have shown interest in talking with Pruitt.

Pruitt went to Tallahassee after a stint at Alabama where he was the defensive backs coach and named one of the top recruiter in the country. Those are the two major, major things to consider. Georgia's group in the secondary is very talented, but very, very young. No doubt, Pruitt has made a name for himself after graduating from West Alabama in 1999. He played at Alabama and Middle Tennessee in college – moving around a lot in those days. But he settled down in the Birmingham area after college and eventually got on at Bama as "Director of Player Development" in 2007.

Pruitt, if interested in Georgia, would almost certainly get a massive raise from his $500k salary at Florida State. An article in the Tallahassee Democrat on January 4th reported that the Noles planned on offering an overall 17% raise to their staff members following the trip to the BCS National Title Game. But a move to Georgia would probably get Pruitt much more than an $85,000 raise.

Pruitt's buyout from Florida State only kicks in if he is named a college head coach or goes to the NFL. If he left to go to Georgia, his contract calls for a $75,000 buyout after the first year of the contract - a nominal amount if interest was mutual between him and the Dawgs.

Grantham made $825,000 – and didn't make more because he had yet to win a national title, according to Georgia AD Greg McGarity. Pruitt doesn't have that problem, and therefore is likely one of the top choices for the position right now.

Kirk Olivadotti
Current Position: Georgia inside linebackers coach
Contract: One-year contract
Pay: $294,000

Legge's Thoughts: Production has been no problem with Georgia's inside linebackers since Kirk Olivadotti took over in 2011. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday night that he would like to be the defensive coordinator at Georgia "at some point."

Olivadotti confirmed with multiple outlets that he will not be leaving Georgia with Todd Grantham to go to Louisville.

If Mark Richt wants to elevate one of the two current defensive staff members on staff to defensive coordinator, Olivadotti would have professional experience on his side, but he's never been a coordinator before – so that would go against him.

David Gibbs
Current Position: Houston defensive coordinator
Contract: One-year Contract
Pay: $300,000 ($81,000 bonus possible)

Legge's Thoughts: CBS college football reporter Bruce Fieldman reported Sunday night that Georgia "has contacted" Gibbs about the defensive coordinator position.

Under Gibbs, Houston's defense led the country with an amazing 43 turnovers gained. He was Tommy Tommy Tuberville's defensive coordinator in 2005 when the Tigers allowed 15.5 ppg on the way to a 9-3 season. He left Auburn to be the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006-08. He was Denver Broncos' defensive backs coach before heading to Auburn from 2001-04.

He was also the defensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota from 1997-2000.

A former letterman at Colorado, Gibbs has served primarily as a defensive backs coach, but he was also the special teams coordinator in Norman from 2007-09.

Chris Wilson
Current Position: Georgia defensive line coach
Contract: One-year Contract
Pay: $250,000

Interviewed with Alabama for DL position on 01/13; turned down USC for DL position on 01/13 according to coachingsearch.com

Legge's Thoughts: Probably one of the favorites to get the job, Wilson was the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State in 2011 before being demoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2012. He was pushed out after the 2012 season.

It won't be hard for Georgia fans to figure out if Wilson can coach or not – his defensive line unit performed well all season long. Players like Ray Drew and Sterling Bailey, who took time to flourish under previous defensive line coach Rodney Garner, showed promised and potential in 2013 under Wilson.

A former letterman and coach at Oklahoma, Wilson is passionate, fiery and energetic. He has served primarily as a defensive line or ends coach, but he was also the special teams coordinator in Norman from 2007-09.

Kirby Smart
Current Position: Alabama Defensive Coordinator
Contract: Three-year Contract
Pay: $1.15 million

Legge's Thoughts: Stop me if you have heard this one before. But this is a different time than in 2010 for a few different reasons: Georgia's head coaching spot seems very secure. Smart, two more BCS titles later, fancies himself a head-coaching candidate rather than a defensive coordinator at another SEC school.

But the head coaching move hasn't happened yet for Smart, and Georgia's defensive coordinator position is open once more in Athens. That means there will always be Smart-to-Georgia chatter. This time, however, if Smart were to take the job in Athens one would think that head-coach-in-waiting status might have to be part of the equation – and that might not be something the powers that be in Athens would be interested in right now. Head coach in waiting has worked at some places (Florida State) and not well in others (Texas).

Bud Foster
Current Position: Virginia Tech Defensive Coordinator
Contract: Has one-time annuity payment after 2014 season
Pay: $471,762

Legge's Thoughts: Bud Foster, in the end, recommended Todd Grantham to Mark Richt and Georgia in 2010. But will the long-time defensive coordinator be interested in leaving his home in Blacksburg in order to take over the defensive duties in Athens?

That seems a little unlikely.

Foster would forfeit $800,000 in deferred compensation if he stays employed at Virginia Tech through next fall. Still, money is flowing all over the place in college football these days, and $800k isn't what it used to be – even four year later.

Would Foster get the Virginia Tech job if Frank Beamer left? Would Georgia be willing to pay any penalties to Blacksburg (if those were necessary to get Foster)? Louisville just ate up about $400k in contract money to get Todd Grantham – would Georgia pay up to get Foster? Would he even listen?

Read More inside scoop at the Porch
Grantham Gone: Recruits React
What Went Right, and What Went Wrong
Polls: Dawgs Will Bounce Back


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