Georgia football's tag-team DC duo trying to maintain standard after national title

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Georgia co-defensive coordinators Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp speak to the media before UGA footballÕs first practice in full pads in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.
Georgia co-defensive coordinators Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp speak to the media before UGA footballÕs first practice in full pads in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.

Will Muschamp’s more than 25 years as a college football coach has included twice leading an SEC program, five previous stints as defensive coordinator and time as a position coach.

Having a title as co-anything is a first for the now co-defensive coordinator at Georgia.

“I’ve been called a lot of things,” Muschamp, the former South Carolina and Florida coach, cracked Tuesday.

On the annual day when Georgia’s defensive coordinator met the media in the preseason, there was not one but two to take their turns.

Before Muschamp entered the room in a Georgia polo, Glenn Schumann stood at the same podium in a UGA quarter zip sweatshirt.

Muschamp wasn’t quite coach Coach Boom at the mic—the nickname he earned earlier in his coaching career--but he was much louder than Schumann.

Schumann apologized for that because he said five preseason practices took a toll on his voice.

It was Schumann’s first formal press conference at Georgia. Muschamp has done hundreds in his career and seemed at ease.

Georgia’s previous defensive coordinators under Kirby Smart are now power five coaches with Mel Tucker at Michigan State and Dan Lanning at Oregon.

So how might this co-coordinator thing work out with the 51-year old Muschamp and 32-year old Schumann?

“I knew of Glenn, but I didn’t really know Glenn until last year,” Muschamp said. “Had a wonderful working experience with he and Dan and (defensive line) Tray Scott and obviously Coach Smart is on the defensive side of the ball a lot. We had a really good rapport in terms of what we needed to do to be successful and there’s nothing going to change with that. We have a great working relationship.”

More: 'They’re going to hold it down': On what Georgia's new defensive coordinator duo will bring

Schumann said during his time at Georgia—he’s entering year seven on staff—there’s been a culture of cooperation and shared responsibility. It worked quite well last season when Georgia had the best defense in college football and one of the best this century.

“Titles and people and things of that nature change,” Schumann said, “but the thing that remains the same, when we go in that room whether it’s a full staff or a defensive staff, we’re working to get on the same page and figure out what’s best for our team. Obviously, when you get to the time when certain responsibilities have to be separate, you do that. The majority of what we do is cooperative on a day-to- day basis no matter what the roles are.”

After being fired by South Carolina in 2020, Muschamp joined good friend Smart’s Georgia staff in an analyst position. He moved into an on-field coaching role months later, overseeing special teams and working with safeties and stars when Scott Cochran left to work on getting sober.

Smart quickly named Schumann and Muschamp to run the defense last December when Lanning got the Oregon job. Schumann said of younger players “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough,” sounding just like Lanning.

“Glenn’s promotion in my opinion is very well deserved,” Muschamp said. “He’s an outstanding football coach. Extremely bright. He has a great rapport with his players. …His position has been very productive. He’s recruited extremely well at his position. He’s just an outstanding football coach. He has a very good understanding of what we do defensively, how we adjust things out and is always looking for a better way to do it.”

Schumann called Muschamp “a great staff guy. …I think he brings a sense of camaraderie, professionalism, experience. He’s a great sounding board for ideas. As much success he’s had in his career, he’s extremely humble.”

Both Muschamp and Schumann worked with Smart earlier in their careers.

More: How much are UGA coaches and athletic staff paid? Check our full salary database

Schumann served in various off-field positions at Alabama when Smart was defensive coordinator.

“It’s been a couple,” Schumann joked about his time with Smart.

Smart was a position coach for a season at Valdosta State when Muschamp was defensive coordinator and they later were on staff together at LSU.

“We almost got in several fights,” Muschamp said of noontime basketball at Valdosta State. “We’ve matured since then.”

Muschamp rose up from walk-on to starting safety at Georgia just like current player Dan Jackson.

“He’s the second best walk-on safety in Georgia history,” Muschamp said, drawing laughter.

Muschamp sees a synergy working under Smart from the practice structure to the type of players to recruit.

“How you want to play middle field coverage, how you want to play split safety coverage, how you want to play pattern match,” he said. “Not to say we agree on everything. We don’t, but that’s healthy to not agree.”

Schumann said no matter who coaches the defense or the players that come and go “the goal has been to create a defense that can create problems for offenses and answer the challenges that they present. Every year it will look a little bit different. Our top calls every year are a little bit different. The way we use our personnel is a little bit different.”

Schumann said Georgia has played great defense going back to the Erk Russell days. Just because the defense lost five first-round draft picks won’t change that.

“We understand what good looks like around here,” Muschamp said. “We also understand what elite looks like around here. The standard doesn’t change. The standard is the standard that has been set by the head football coach and our players and our staff understand that.”

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Will Muschamp, Glenn Schumann try to keep UGA football defense stout