VanGorder, a freshman walk-on on Georgia’s football team, is the oldest son of former Bulldogs defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who, as of Wednesday, is the new South Carolina defensive coordinator. Georgia will play the Gamecocks on Sept. 13 next year in Columbia, S.C.
“It’ll be weird,” Molloy VanGorder said. “That’ll be the first time in my life when I’ll have to root against my dad.”
Molloy VanGorder will remain in Athens with the Bulldogs, he said.
Brian VanGorder, who left the Bulldogs after the 2004 season, will be starting his fifth job in five years when he joins Steve Spurrier’s staff in January. He went to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars when he left Athens and is currently the Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach. He will lose that job at the end of the season because Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino left to take the Arkansas job.
“Anytime somebody loses their job, you like to see it when they get one,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “It doesn’t surprise me. If I was Coach Spurrier, I would have hired Brian, too. He’s a good coach. He’s a good friend.”
South Carolina, which lost defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix to Ole Miss, announced VanGorder’s hiring in a press release Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m really pleased to hire a proven defensive coordinator that has an outstanding record in the SEC,” Spurrier said in the release. “Brian will personally coach the linebackers, but will actually coach all the defensive players as we strive to improve our Gamecock defense.”
VanGorder came to Athens with Richt in 2001 and spent four seasons with the Bulldogs. In his last two seasons, the Bulldogs were in the top 10 in the nation in both scoring defense and total defense.
He first became a collegiate coach in 1989 when he was named the defensive coordinator at Grand Valley State, and the South Carolina job will be his 10th job since then.
Georgia was on the practice field when VanGorder’s hiring became official so his son didn’t learn the news until he was asked to speak to media members after practice.
“I heard rumors, but I really never talked to my dad about it,” he said. “I talked to my family last night and heard that it might be happening. I was supposed to wait until (Wednesday) and give them a call back and find out what was going on.”