Mark Richt has completed the revamping of his defensive staff at Georgia with the hiring of Vanderbilt linebackers coach Warren Belin.
Earlier, Richt had hired Todd Grantham away from the Dallas Cowboys to be his defensive coordinator and Scott Lakatos away from Connecticut to be his secondary coach.
Belin was an original member of Bobby Johnson's staff at Vanderbilt and helped to develop some excellent linebackers, including Hunter Hillenmeyer, Moses Osemwegie, Jonathan Goff, Marcus Buggs and most recently Chris Marve and Patrick Benoist. Belin had also headed up recruiting for the Commodores the last two seasons.
The fact that Richt would come and get Belin is just another indication of the kind of staff Johnson has assembled at Vanderbilt. Florida wooed Kenny Carter away a couple of years ago, and Carter is now with Charlie Strong at Louisville.
Bowling Green's Dave Clawson tried to hire Vanderbilt secondary coach Jamie Bryant as his defensive coordinator last year. Oklahoma State came after Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bruce Fowler, and South Carolina has made a couple of different runs at Vanderbilt assistant head coach and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.
Fowler was promoted to assistant head coach for the defense prior to last season, while Bryant was promoted to defensive coordinator.
In Belin, Richt thinks he has the right fit.
"Warren has had some of the best linebackers and tacklers in the league for years,” Richt said. “I’ve always admired his work at Vandy, and people have been talking to me about him for quite a while. When Todd (Grantham) and I interviewed him, we were very impressed with his knowledge of the game, schemes and fundamentals. He’s going to be a perfect mentor for our players as well."
With the Bulldogs switching to a 3-4 defense, Grantham and Belin will share the linebacker coaching duties. Rodney Garner, the only holdover from the old defensive staff, will coach the defensive line.