So You Want Jonas Hayes to Be the Head Coach…

Jonas Hayes for Head Coach is a proposition many have made.  

How important is Jonas Hayes to Georgia Men’s Basketball?  Jonas Hayes is at a point in his career where he has to make some tough decisions and decision that Greg McGarity makes will impact his future.  There could be a future where Jonas Hayes is the Head Coach at Georgia, however this proposition only happens in a certain amount of scenarios where Hayes is not directly named the Head Coach this offseason.

Jonas Hayes as the Direct Hire Right Now

Hayes would probably be a cost-effective option, but it allows for the ability to spend a bit more for Assistant Coaches.  The Assistant Coaches would help dictate the style of play that is to be run.  Word is that Hayes would favor the UCLA High Post Offense that Jim Harrick and Mark Gottfried are known for running.  Hayes would need a former Head Coach who can instill an aggressive defensive style and knows the territory well.  Hayes needs a mentor and former Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell would be an excellent addition to Hayes’ staff.  Hayes would need a fellow recruiter and poaching Sharman White from Georgia State would be a very good choice.  Philip Pearson could still be an option, but it seems unlikely.  Pearson knows the UCLA High Post Offense quite well given his years as an Assistant Coach with Gottfried, but he could be ready for something bigger even though he loves being in Athens.  The other option is to bring back former Georgia Assistant Coach James Holland.  Who knows?  Maybe Jarvis Hayes joins the staff.

In this scenario, you’re getting the highly efficient Georgia Offense from yesteryear, a very popular Dawg as Head Coach and the entertaining pressing defense that Clemson used to employ when Littlejohn Coliseum was blaring Naughty by Nature.

Thad Matta is the Head Coach or…

Naming Matta as Head Coach at Georgia would be a bit of a risky proposition as health issues may once again crop up.  Matta’s shelf-life as a Head Coach is hard to determine, but he can serve as a mentor for Jonas Hayes so that Hayes could eventually become the Head Coach at Georgia.

Hayes could help Matta with bringing in a staff that would fit what Matta is looking to accomplish in this next chapter of his coaching career.

Hayes is 36 and he could presumably start as a Head Coach in his 40s.  Georgia gets the loyal Dawg as Head Coach much like Kirby Smart and the flight risk becomes zero.

Basically, any situation where Georgia chooses an established coach who is over the age of 50 puts Georgia in a good position to have a healthy succession in coaches.  Bob Marlin, Steve Alford, Tim Cluess, Eric Musselman, Joe Dooley and Mark Turgeon would provide this opportunity as well.

Choosing a Young Head Coach Carries Risks for Hayes

If you want Jonas Hayes to be Georgia’s Head Coach now or in the future, this is complicated by the hire of a younger coach.  So if Earl Grant is named Head Coach, he’s five years older than Hayes.  What is Jonas Hayes’ trajectory at Georgia?  Rather limited.  Hayes’ future as a Head Coach is elsewhere.  Young coaches are hired in the power conferences with the hope that they will succeed and stay.

Nate Oats is 43 years old, Kevin Willard is 42, Danny Hurley is 45, Bobby Hurley is 46 and Wes Miller is 35.

What is Hayes’ trajectory in these situations?  Serve shortly, hope to win quick and become a Head Coach elsewhere.  He’ll likely never be the Head Coach at Georgia with a coach under the age of 50.

It’s simple:  If you want Jonas Hayes to possibly unite with his brother on the bench at Georgia at some point, you’re rooting for an experienced coach who is over the age of 50 or for Greg McGarity to roll the dice on Hayes.


  1. Nothing against Jonas, but he’s not ready to be head coach at Georgia. If he gets an opportunity to become a head coach at a mid-major (Western Carolina?), he should take it. if/when he proves he can handle that, then he would become a viable head coaching candidate at a power conference program.

    If you’re going to promote from within, at least do it when your head coach has had sustained success and moved on to greener pastures, not when your head coach has been terminated for never being anything more than mediocre.

  2. Jonas is a DGD but at this point in his career he would make Ron Jirsa look competent. I like Matta(if he’s healthy).

  3. Has anyone heard anything about how he meeting with Motta went today? I personally would love to have this guy if he were healthy enough to give it a go. I have seen Musselman’s team at Nevada play a couple of games and this guy knows how to coach. I don’t know if any of his players are NBA worthy but they play together well.

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