"I'm just going to tell you that it's a private search," Richt said Wednesday during the football team's bowl game press conference. "I know you want to hear more as far as the process goes, but the bottom line is I am going to be the one making the final decision on it."
Beyond that, Richt offered some details on his thought process, but not many. He will hire a defensive coordinator before filling the other two coaching positions on his defensive staff, but the new defensive boss will not have the final say on those hires.
"He'll have say, suggestions, but it's got to be through my blessing, any hire," Richt said.
That first hire could come before the Bulldogs play Texas A&M in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl on Dec. 28 in Shreveport, La., but that's not the most likely scenario.
"I don't want to put a timetable on it, but I … would hate to think it goes much past the first week of January," Richt said.
Georgia's coaches will be able to go back on the road after a recruiting dead period in the first half of January.
"I'd like to hit the ground running at that point with a staff, but even then I'm not going to say 100 percent because we're not 100 percent sure what could happen," Richt said. "I think I'll know when the time is right. It's just so hard to predict."
Richt declined Wednesday to name any names that are on his mind for the position, but he said he's open to any type of defensive philosophy.
"I guess I'd have to say I'm open to championship level defense," he said. "I am not going to say I will not consider this scheme or that scheme or I have to have this scheme or that scheme. There are different ways of skinning it, and if you're really good at skinning it the way you skin it, that's fine with me."
If a defensive coordinator is not hired by the bowl game, the game plan and play-calling duties will be handled by Richt, defensive line coach Rodney Garner and graduate assistants Mitch Doolittle and Todd Hartley. In the limited bowl preparation the Bulldogs have had so far, that system has worked well, Richt said.
"The preparation for the bowl has been interesting on the defensive side of the ball of course," he said, "but I've really been encouraged by what we've put together and I think the players spirit is going to be right to be very cooperative and take it as a challenge that they have got to step up to. So I don't see an issue in that regard."
Richt will consider hiring a dedicated special teams coordinator for one of his three spots, but told reporters Wednesday he "wouldn't predict that."