Garner Stays with Dawgs

ATHENS - University of Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner, the first assistant coach hired by Mark Richt at Georgia, will remain with the Bulldog coaching staff after considering an offer from the University of Tennessee to coach on the offensive side of the ball.

"Certainly I'm flattered and am sincerely appreciative of the interest shown by Tennessee," said Garner. "But in the final analysis the positives at Georgia were the determining factors. My heart is coaching on the defensive side of the ball. I enjoy working with Coach Richt and the rest of the staff and our family loves being a part of the Athens community. And we have some really good defensive linemen returning next year along with some outstanding newcomers. Our family felt that we wanted to continue with the goals we had set when Coach Richt came in December of 2000 of helping build the Georgia program."

"Rodney has been an integral part of the success we've enjoyed over the past eight years," said Richt. "He's produced some outstanding defensive linemen and is nationally known as one of the country's very best recruiters. But he also has been instrumental in many areas of our football program in addition to coaching on the field and recruiting. He's done an outstanding job in all areas of his responsibility and we're excited about moving forward with Rodney, Kim and their daughters as part of our coaching family."

A native of Leeds, Alabama, and All-SEC offensive lineman at Auburn, Garner served as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator on Richt's first staff and added the title of Assistant Head Coach in 2005. He participated in the inaugural Minority Coaches Forum in 2006 and was selected one of ten coaches from throughout the country to participate in the 2004 NCAA Expert Coaching Academy in Indianapolis. Garner was also chosen in 2004 as one of 20 coaches selected for the NCAA Advanced Coaching Academy.

Prior to joining Richt's staff, Garner served two years with former Bulldog coach Jim Donnan after assistant coaching tenures at Auburn and Tennessee. Since coming to Georgia he has coached four NFL first round draft choices--Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud, Charles Grant, and Jonathan Sullivan.

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