A Change in Staff

A Change in Staff

ATHENS - After spending nearly a decade as Georgia's strength and conditioning coach, Dave Van Halanger will not return next season.

Dave Van Halanger came to Georgia from Florida State along with head coach Mark Richt in 2001.

Van Halenger, who will remain on staff as the Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach, is often credited by former Bulldogs' players for bringing about a new mentality to the program upon his arrival.

"You have the coaches who are on you and are always on your side," said former quarterback D.J. Shockley. "You could always go to him and get a straight answer. He'd been through it. I think it was great to have a guy around to be a motivator. If you needed a kick in a butt - he would kick you in the butt, too."

Georgia was 96-33 during Van Halenger's term as strength and conditioning coach, winning two SEC championships.

"Coach Van was a great motivator. I know that he was an inspiration for a lot of guys on the team. He really taught a lot of guys about being a good person. He was in charge of character education with the freshmen. He would talk about being a model citizen, husband and father," former quarterback Joe Cox said.

"I think a big part of Coach Van was motivation," former offensive lineman Kevin Perez said. "He got you where you needed to be mentally. I just remember the early-morning workouts. Folks had a hard time with enthusiasm in the morning - but he didn't have a problem getting to where we needed to be. You could never guess what Coach Van would say. He knew when to keep things light, and how to get us going when we needed to get going."

Van Halenger met with Georgia's current players Thursday afternoon to inform them 2010 will be his last season in his current capacity.

Van Halanger will oversee with programs that will include character education, a new mentor program, former student-athlete development, and community service initiatives.

"Dave has made immeasurable contributions to our football program and been a major factor in our 96 victories over the last ten years," Richt said. "This role for Dave will allow us to tap into many of his strengths that will be of great benefit to Georgia, to me, and most of all to our student-athletes in a very unique way. He will be outstanding in working with and motivating our young people in these many areas that will bring strong guidance to them in their daily lives."

Joe Tereshinksi, long-time strength and conditioning assistant and video coordinator, will take over as director of the strength program effective January 1, 2011.

"Joe has had a hand in Georgia's strength and conditioning program for nearly 30 years," said Richt. "I'm excited about what he can bring to our program in this capacity and the direction he'll set as we move forward."

--Dean Legge contributed to this report.

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