Happy election day. Here’s your chance to vote.
I’ve lived in Atlanta for more than 25 years. As much as the professional and college sports scene can turn the area into an emotional train wreck, I can’t recall a time like this when it seemed like almost every major coach was on the firing line.
There was that time in December of 2002 when the Hawks and Thrashers (rest in peace) fired their respective coaches on the same day. Never before had the teams’ president, Stan Kasten, so closely resembled Darth Vader.
So I thought I would conduct a little experiment (and probably blow up the laboratory in the process). A simple question: What coach/manager do you want to keep?
Obviously, the Braves have already decided to keep Fredi Gonzalez. I don’t believe Georgia coach Mark Richt is in trouble, despite last week’s loss to Florida. The Falcons’ Mike Smith obviously is in trouble and is coaching for his job the rest of the season. The Hawks’ Mike Budenholzer, who was impressive in his first season, clearly is safe, although impending new ownership always leaves a degree of uncertainty. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s status is uncertain. Georgia State’s Trent Miles is losing but he’s in an impossible situation right now.
There are six polls. Just click “Keep” or “Fire” next to the six coaches and list your reasons below for your vote. The college basketball season is about to start, so I’ve chosen to exclude Georgia’s Mark Fox and Georgia Tech’s Brian Gregory from this poll. No worries. There will be plenty of time for you to weigh in during our spring “election.”
And now, to “Speakers’ Corner” . . .
•Recent tunes on digital Jukebox
— MyAJC: Georgia blows it all with inexcusable performance — AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s stunning loss to Florida — AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley (oooh, scary); but Dogs over Gators — AJC: Rules are dumb but that’s no excuse for Todd Gurley — MyAJC: Mark Richt deserves credit for holding Georgia together — AJC: NCAA mum but Muschamp expects Gurley to play vs. Florida — AJC: Will Arthur Blank make move with Mike Smith (and reader poll)? — MyAJC: Georgia Tech takes advantage of Pitt’s fumble-fest — AJC: Short takes: Georgia Tech 56 (points), Pittsburgh 6 (lost fumbles) — AJC: LIVE: Tech’s defense must improve vs. Pitt — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons lose, Jackets pull upset, Dogs in prayer circle — AJC: Will a fresh perspective elude Braves? — MyAJC: Todd Gurley’s return would raise Georgia’s ceiling again — AJC: Why did NCAA say yes to Mo’ne Davis but no to Todd Gurley? — MyAJC: Why playoff picture looks good for SEC (and Georgia) — MyAJC: Here’s good news: Falcons are leaving country — MyAJC: Georgia Tech continues to stomp on hope — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, Jameis enabled — AJC: Georgia dealing with reality, FSU avoiding it — MyAJC: Does NCAA care that public sentiment favors Gurley, athletes? — MyAJC: Georgia’s response heard loud and clear — MyAJC: NCAA needs to realize amateurism is dead — AJC: Minus Gurley, Dogs must overcome flaws — AJC: With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done? — MyAJC: If Gurley broke rules, that’s on him — AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley, no Dogs, no kidding — AJC: Blank stands by Smith, Dimitroff. What say you? — MyAJC: Arthur Blank won’t give Falcons’ mandates, speculate on future