At some point, you knew the day was coming. Fans like Kensington Dawg have wished for this day for a few years.
In a sport like SEC baseball, you are judged against your peers in the now, not the past. And David Perno’s past wasn’t enough to keep his job in the present.
As for his replacement? Greg McGarity should have little trouble attracting a strong field of candidates. You are an hour and change from one of the most fertile recruiting grounds on baseball and compete in the premiere conference in college baseball.
But what about the one who this coach replaces? What is Perno’s legacy?
To me, Perno is a lot like Ray Goff with a bit better circumstances and without coming up with ways to use the word ‘adversity and character’ frequently when describing his team.
Both coaches are what can be very accurately described as DGDs. Neither were the top choice when they were hired, but stepped into the roles and did as best they could.
Getting quality players, at times, helped both coaches.
While Perno’s teams made a handful of trips to Omaha and would have won a national title had a few breaks gone Georgia’s way, Goff nearly won an SEC East title in 1992 – who knows where things would have turned if that would have happened?
And then there was Tech. When it mattered most, Perno’s teams got the best of more talented teams at Georgia Tech. Goff, for his part, knew how important it was to beat Georgia Tech, and it showed.
In the end, Perno met a similar fate as Goff. The league in which he was in moved forward, and through various factors, he was unable to keep pace.
Perno’s legacy? To me, he is and will forever be a true and loyal Bulldog. That’s a fine approach to be a head coach at a mid-level high school somewhere. But in the SEC, it does not hold water.
To compete for championships at the level of play in the SEC today, though, you need something more than a loyalist who loves the program. Georgia saw some good times, off and on, under David Perno. But it has the potential to see some great times depending on who Perno’s replacement is.
To whom much is given, much is expected.