It’s an uncommon concept, two co-defensive coordinators collaborating instead of one calling all the shots.
But given the staff that he collaborates with and the players he coaches at UGA, Will Muschamp loves his role, he said Tuesday on Day 6 of Georgia’s preseason camp.
“I told my wife the other day, I think I’ve got the best job in America,” Muschamp said.
Georgia’s defense faces a challenge this year, aiming to maintain its dominance despite returning only three starters from last season’s national championship team: junior outside linebacker Nolan Smith, sophomore defensive back Kelee Ringo and senior defensive back Christopher Smith. UGA finished the 2021 season ranked No. 1 in scoring defense (10.2 points per game).
The Bulldogs will have co-defensive coordinators leading the charge: Muschamp, who joined the staff in January 2021 as a senior analyst with the defense, started to work with special teams and the secondary early in the 2021 season and was named co-defensive coordinator in December 2021, and Glenn Schumann, named co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach in February 2019 (after three seasons in charge of only inside linebackers).
With some funny timing, Georgia will face former defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, now the coach at Oregon, Sept. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Muschamp spoke to the collaboration between him and Schumann, and said the duo have established a good rapport that will carry into the 2022 season.
“I knew of Glenn, but I didn’t really know Glenn until last year,” Muschamp said. “Had a wonderful working experience with he and Dan and (defensive line coach Tray Scott) and obviously (coach) Kirby Smart is on the defensive side of the ball a lot. But we had a really good rapport as far as what we needed to do to be successful and nothing’s going to change with that. We have a great working relationship. Glenn’s promotion in my opinion is very well-deserved. He’s an outstanding football coach. He’s extremely bright. He has a great rapport with his players. … His position has been very productive, he’s recruited extremely well at his position. He’s just an outstanding football coach. He has a very good understanding of what we do defensively, how we adjust things out, and he’s always looking for a better way to do it.
“... I really enjoy working with Glenn just because of the intelligence, the football intelligence he has and the passion he brings to the job every single day because those things are really important. And the players see that. And they understand how invested he is in them.”
Schumann said that he and Muschamp collaborate and share responsibility each day as co-defensive coordinators.
“When you are here, whether it’s Year 1 or Year 7, a lot of the stuff on a day-to-day basis, you really do cooperate,” Schumann said. “That’s why it’s a staff. Obviously, there are different roles within the staff, but when looking at the staff … full coaching staff, defensive staff and support staff, we want people who complement each other. You can’t have one person do everything. You have to be able to share responsibility. Titles, people and things of that nature change, but the thing that remains the same is when we go in that (meeting) room – full staff or defensive staff – we work to be on the same page and figure out what is best for our team. Obviously when you get to a time when responsibilities have to be set, you do that, but really what we do is cooperate on a day-to-day basis. No matter what the roles are.”
Schumann also pointed out the value in Muschamp’s experience (Muschamp served as head coach at Florida from 2011-14 and at South Carolina from 2016-20).
“Since he’s been here, last year and obviously moving into this year, he brings a wealth of experience,” Schumann said. “He’s a great staff guy. We really enjoy working together, not just him but our whole defensive staff, our whole staff in general, as much as we ever have. And so I think he brings a sense of camaraderie, professionalism, experience. He’s a great sounding board for ideas. For as much success he’s had in his career, he’s extremely humble at the same time, which I think humility says a lot about who a person is.”