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Mark Richt won't replace Rodney Garner until after bowl game

Mark Richt's first priority after the Capital One Bowl will be replacing Rodney Garner.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Bulldogs coach Mark Richt has a big opening to fill on his staff, after assistant head coach Rodney Garner left for SEC rival Auburn. But the coach isn't going to worry about who will be his new defensive line coach, as The Telegraph out of Macon, Ga., writes.

Richt said after the team's New Year's Day date with Nebraska in the Capital One bowl, finding a replacement for Garner will be priority No. 1:

"We'll be excited about who's next," Richt said. "I'm getting bombarded by a lot of people who are very interested in the opportunity. So we won't have any trouble hiring a very quality person where Rodney was."

Todd Grantham has been coaching the defensive line in Garner's stead, and will continue to do so through bowl practice. Richt said with Grantham's experience, he isn't worried about Garner's departure affecting the team's bowl preparation.

Garner's departure means more to Richt than just replacing a coach. Garner has been with Richt through his entire tenure at Georgia. He said he understood Garner's decision to leave the university he had been a part of for 15 years:

"He was the first guy I hired when I got here to Georgia, and he's done great things for us. I really appreciate everything he's done for us," Richt said.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.