3 worst head coach hires in Georgia football history

Georgia may have its best head coach of all time, but things weren't always running so smoothly in Athens.
RAY GOFF GEORGIA / Doug Pensinger/GettyImages
1 of 3

For the past eight years, Georgia has had its best head coach in program history. With all due respect to Vince Dooley’s national title and incredible longevity in Athens, there hasn’t been a run in Georgia history better than Kirby’s first eight seasons. 

Now, after Nick Saban’s retirement, Georgia has the best head coach in the entire country. Georgia’s roster is loaded and is favored to win a third national championship in four seasons. 

However, it hasn’t always been this great to be a Georgia fan. The Dawgs have had their share of rough patches and in college football, nearly every rough patch starts with hiring the wrong head coach. Georgia doesn’t have to worry about taking a ride on the coaching carousel anytime soon, but let’s look back at the times that it went wrong for the Dawgs. 

. 1996-2000. Record: 40-19. . Jim Donnan. Jim Donnan. Jim Donnan. 527. 3. player

Jim Donnan was far from a disaster across his five-year tenure in Athens, he made four bowl games and went a perfect 4-0 with wins in the Outback Bowl (twice), Peach Bowl, and Oahu Classic. Donnan even mixed in a 10-win season in 1997 and was awarded SEC Coach of the Year that season, but he could never beat Georgia’s biggest rivals. 

Over his five-year tenure, Georgia won its first two against Georgia Tech but lost three straight from 1998-2000. Donnan’s only win over Florida came in ‘97, he went 0-5 against Tennessee, and he finished 2-3 against Auburn. 

A branch off the Barry Switzer coaching tree, Donnan got the job in Athens after five years and one Division I-AA national championship at Marshall. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 for his coaching career, but a 5-15 record against his school’s four biggest rivals was unacceptable.