Tereshinski's dad stays out of QB race

Joe Tereshinski

ATHENS – From the very beginning, Joe Tereshinski Jr. made it clear to his sons that they should not expect him to fight their football battles for them.

Every time they started a season, the message was the same: "When they got out of the car the very first time I'd say, ‘The coach is the boss; the coach is right; I support the coach,'" Tereshinski Jr. said.

That message hasn't changed now that his oldest son, Joe Tereshinski III, is competing to be the starting quarterback at Georgia. The fact that Tereshinski Jr. is a Bulldog letterman and an assistant coach on the team makes no difference at all. "I've disassociated myself that Joe T is my son, and I look at it strictly as a professional," he said. "When I come to work, it's work, and every one of these kids is my kids."

Tereshinski Jr., an assistant strength coach at Georgia as well as the team's video coordinator, was a two-year starter at center for the Bulldogs in the ‘70s. His father Joe was one of the school's all-time greats. But that doesn't buy Joe Tereshinski III one bit of traction in the quarterback race.

"He can't be biased in that way," Tereshinski III said. "He does a great job maintaining a level head like that. He's not putting any pressure on any of the other coaches. He's got a job to do, and he realizes that."

Bulldog head coach Mark Richt appreciates the whole family's approach to the situation.

"I think Coach T knows that we're going to try to play who we think gives us the best chance to win," Richt said. "There's no doubt he hopes it's his son Joe, that's just natural, but he's also been in this coaching business long enough to know that I've got to try to make the best decision for our football team."

Tereshinski Jr. has prepared himself for this since it became clear his son was going to sign a scholarship with the Bulldogs, he said.

"It's all about winning and losing," he said. "What's going to give us our best chance to win? If Joe T wins the job, he wins the job. If he doesn't, he doesn't. He's got to go out there and compete. I just want the best one out there to give Georgia a chance to win.

Cathy Tereshinski isn't burdened by that professionalism.

"My wife will call, ‘How'd he do today? How'd he do today?'" Tereshinski Jr. said. "I'll say, ‘Cathy, he did fine.' ‘How'd the other boys do?' ‘They did fine.' Let's move on. Like all women, she's hungry for information."

Tereshinski Jr. has tried to remain hands-off with his son's football career all along. In fact, he tried to keep both of his boys out of the sport to protect their long-term health. (That strategy worked poorly. Younger son Jon will start for Wake Forest at tight end this year.)

"He doesn't put a lot of pressure on me, but at the same time I can go talk to him," Tereshinski III said.

When the quarterback went to talk to his dad about his college selections, Tereshinski Jr. tried to talk to his son out of becoming a third-generation Bulldog. Tereshinski Jr. knew the competition that would await his son in Athens – David Greene and D.J. Shockley.

"I tried to scare him away from here," Tereshinski Jr. said. "You have to pick a spot where you're going to get an opportunity, but he always wanted to come to Georgia. I said, ‘It may be one year that you play.' I told him that going in, but he chose it."

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