Mike Bobo returns to run Georgia offense, Monken goes to NFL
Mike Bobo reclaimed the offensive coordinator job at Georgia on Tuesday, with Todd Monken leaving the two-time defending national champions for the NFL.
Bobo, a former Bulldogs quarterback and longtime assistant coach at his alma mater, also served as offensive coordinator under former coach Mark Richt.
The 48-year-old Bobo has some big shoes to fill. Monken accepted the offensive coordinator job with the Baltimore Ravens after serving on a staff that guided Georgia to back-to-back national titles.
The Bulldogs averaged 38.6 points per game in 2021 and 41.1 this past season while finishing 15-0, capped by a record-breaking 65-7 blowout of TCU in the national championship game.
Monken’s three-season stint with the Bulldogs will be remembered for the stunning rise of quarterback Stetson Bennett from walk-on to Heisman Trophy finalist.
“We are extremely thankful and appreciative of the three years Todd and his wife, Terri, have spent with our UGA family,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. “We wish them the best as he moves on to the Ravens organization.”
Bobo, who had head coaching stints at Colorado State and South Carolina after leaving Georgia following the 2014 season, returned to his alma mater a year ago as a quality control analyst for the offense.
“Mike was an excellent addition to our staff last year as an analyst, and we are looking forward to his expanded leadership on the offensive side of the ball,” Smart said.
Bobo takes over an offense with some major holes to fill, most notably at quarterback with Bennett’s departure. Carson Beck, who got limited playing time the last two years as a backup, is expected to take over the job. But he’ll have to beat out Brock Vandagriff, one of the top-rated QBs in the 2021 recruiting class, and Gunner Stockton, another touted prospect who has yet to play at the college level.
Whoever wins the job, the focus will be on Bobo to produce the same sort of development that Monken got from Bennett.
Smart said he’s confident that Bobo can handle the role. The two were teammates at Georgia in the 1990s and coached together in 2005 when Smart was an assistant on Richt’s staff.
Bobo worked under Richt for 14 seasons, starting out as the quarterback coach before his promotion to offensive coordinator, a tenure that included two SEC titles.
At Colorado State, Bobo’s team went 7-6 and played in a bowl game each of his first three seasons, but he was let go in 2019 after the Rams slumped to 7-17 over his final two years. He then returned to the Southeastern Conference, joining Will Muschamp’s staff as offensive coordinator for the 2020 season. When Muschamp was fired with three games left in the campaign, Bobo took over as interim coach. The Gamecocks lost all three contests to finish 2-8.
Bobo moved to Auburn in 2021 to serve as offensive coordinator for new coach Bryan Harsin, only to be fired after a four-overtime loss to Alabama in the regular-season finale; Harsin lasted less than two seasons.
Smart pointed to Bobo having a “decade of experience as a successful SEC play-caller and over 20 years spent at UGA, both as a player and coach.”
Georgia averaged 458.6 yards and 41.3 points per game in the final year of Bobo’s previous stint as offensive coordinator. The Bulldogs will be looking to get that same sort of production in 2023 as they go for a third straight national title.
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