On the heels of Rodrigo Blankenship's Lou Groza Award and a consensus all American performance left tackle by Andrew Thomas, University of Georgia Offensive Coordinator James Coley has gotten into the 2019 award season act. Coley won second prize in this year's Mitch Murray Mission of Mercy Continued Employment Award.
Unique among major college football awards, the "Four M" identifies coaches who for reasons of under performance, player injury, or fan opinions as measured by late night twitter, are presumptively fired at the beginning of the season. UGA's offensive coordinator is generally nominated for the award ex oficio along with Auburn's head coach.
Second prize for the award contains a set of brass footballs on a string, a set of steak knives. When asked about the award Coley says he is honored, even if the master of ceremonies, Mitch Murray's guy from downtown, can be a little rough around the edges. "It's a tough speech," Coley says, "the part where he said, 'you're a good father? Go play with your kids' kind of got to me, I mean I haven't seen my kids in three months, but it's nothing I haven't heard from the Athens fans so I wasn't totally unprepared."
Multiple Four M recipient Mike Bobo, who, as the third place winner, was fired, agrees. "It's a tough business" he said, "a few years I got nominated it was when they said I couldn't close a lead, and fair enough, but Willie Martinez was running our defense, I think if I could have gotten the good leads, the Glen Schuman and Kirby Leads, I probably could have closed out those games, but turns out you can't get the GlenKirby leads in Colorado, or Atlanta. Seems like it would be nice though."
Both Coley and Bobo noted, the only thing they would really change about the award ceremony was the food and beverage selection. "They hold the thing in a conference room at the airport Howard Johnson at 7AM and they kind of make a thing about not drinking the coffee," said Bobo.
Coley agreed, "he told me to put it down. That the coffee was for the air raid guys, I don't think Lincoln Riley is coming this year but whatever, I caught up with some Florida State guys who pointed me towards a Dunkin Donuts."
Georgia finished 11-2 this year.