It is great to see your friends succeed at what they love the most. While surely Kirby Smart, Will Muschamp and Mike Bobo loved to follow along to their former Georgia teammate Hines Ward's illustrious playing career in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ward is absolutely loving what his former teammates are doing on the coaching staff at their beloved alma mater. These are his guys!
I spoke with Ward on behalf of Fairfield by Marriott ahead of the Georgia-Missouri game last week in Athens. Ward may be better known nationally for winning two Super Bowls in Pittsburgh, but we do not forget where he came from. Georgia was a decent program when Ward was in school from 1994 to 1997, but the Dawgs are now the team to beat across all of college football as national champions.
When I asked him about his thoughts on this unique Georgia coaching staff, Ward offered me this.
"It's definitely a blessing to have Coach Kirby Smart and (Will) Muschamp and (Mike) Bobo. Those guys made a commitment whey they signed on to come here to the University of Georgia. They want to turn things (around), be the guys that turn things around for this great state, which is known as rich in tradition and football, and everything that goes with it."
Ward understands fully the sacrifices and the commitment these men all made to come to Georgia.
"So to see them at this level, having the success that they're having, you know, me being a former player and those guys being my teammates, man, I've got nothing but love for them. We all took a vow to come here to the University of Georgia to turn things around, and to see the success that they're having, man. It's just like, you couldn't be happier to be a Georgia Bulldog."
Ask yourself this: How many times have you ever seen three former college teammates go back to work at their alma mater with one as the head coach, another as the offensive coordinator and the third as the co-defensive coordinator? Not only that, but all have head-coaching experience and they have been part of national championship teams back at their alma mater. This is truly amazing stuff!
Hines Ward loves seeing former Georgia Bulldogs teammates have success coaching
While Ward is too a coach himself, he is a fan of our alma mater's team like I am. Even though I never played, I think anybody who went to Georgia, or even attended a game Between the Hedges as a fan, feels a connection to the school and The Classic City of Athens, Georgia. Bobo, Mushamp, Smart and Ward are all peers, but even those from a younger generation experienced similar stuff while at UGA.
When you go to a big state school like we did, you come across a lot of people during your time in college, many of whom go on to achieve extraordinary things, personally and professionally. What makes this different for Ward, and I guess the rest of us UGA alums, is that we are always drawn back to the football program. It is our greatest unifier as Bulldogs. Smart and his staff gives us great pride.
It is sappy, I know, but sometimes you have to take a step back and enjoy the moment. We are never going to see something like happen this again. Three former college teammates back at their alma mater and kicking some serious ass as coaches. Bobo, Muschamp and Smart are all professionals, but you cannot put a price on working for your alma mater, let alone one that is truly dynastic today.
No matter what happens going forward, we all saw our own come together to achieve the impossible.
Hines Ward spoke with FanSided on behalf of Fairfield by Marriott and The Home Field Advantage.
The former First-team All-SEC receiver teamed up with Fairfield by Marriott to bring The Home Field Advantage - a tailgate party for students, parents, athletes and alumni – to UGA before the Bulldogs took on Mizzou at Sanford Stadium.
As the newly announced Official Hotel of the NCAA, Fairfield believes all athletes and fans alike should enjoy the home field advantage wherever their team takes them – and that starts with a warm welcome at check-in.