Fox Named Head Coach in April
Mark Fox became the 21st head basketball coach in the history of the University of Georgia on April 3, 2009. The native Kansan arrived in Athens after five successful seasons in a similar capacity at the University of Nevada, which played in the postseason in each of those five years.
During Fox's five-year tenure as head coach, Nevada won at least 21 games each season, won or shared four straight Western Athletic Conference titles and played in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. He was named the WAC Don Haskins Coach of the Year three times.
In all, Fox spent nine seasons coaching basketball at the Reno school. His first four (2001-04) came as the Wolf Pack's associate head coach under Trent Johnson. When Johnson left Nevada for the head coaching job at Stanford, Fox assumed the lead chair, and the program kept its torrid pace.
Bulldogs Struggle Throughout 2009
That Fox had joined the Georgia family merely reflected the struggles the program saw all season. Not only was he the 21st head coach in the school's history, he was the third coach during the 2008-09 school year. Dennis Felton, who began the season in his sixth season as head coach, was relieved of his duties on Jan. 29, after the Bulldogs had fallen to a 9-10 overall record, 0-5 in SEC play. Associate Head Coach Pete Herrmann guided the team through the remaining 12 contests. Among that closing string of games included wins over SEC East rivals Florida and Vanderbilt, as well as a Senior Day victory at Kentucky.
Thompkins Earns SEC Rookie Honors
Georgia forward Howard "Trey" Thompkins, the third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder among all freshmen basketball players in the SEC last season, was named to the 8-man SEC All-Freshman team, as voted on by the league's 12 head coaches. It marked the second straight year a Bulldog earned the honor; Jeremy Price was named to the 2008 All-Freshman SEC team.
Thompkins, a native of Lithonia, started in 23 of 28 games this season for Georgia. After missing the team's first four games because of injury, he led the Bulldogs in rebounding all season and ranked second in scoring behind senior Terrance Woodbury. His final averages of 12.6 points and 7.4 rebounds were the best for a UGA first-year player since Jumaine Jones in the 1997-98 season.
Woodbury Shines in Bulldog Victories
Georgia's two brightest moments of the 2009 season came in high-scoring victories over SEC East rivals Florida and Kentucky. In both, senior Terrance Woodbury led the way with an offensive barrage rarely seen by Georgia in recent seasons. He scored a career-high 32 points in Georgia's 88-86 win against the Gators. Five games later he struck for 30 as the Bulldogs edged Kentucky 90-85 at Rupp Arena. In doing so, Woodbury became the first Georgia player in 14 years to score at least 30 points twice in the SEC schedule.
Woodbury ended his Georgia career with 1,073 points, good enough for 30th place on the school's list of all-time scorers.
Trio Named Captains for 2008-09
Seniors Terrance Woodbury and Corey Butler, as well as junior center Albert Jackson, were named tri-captains of the 2008-09 Georgia team just before the season began. Butler began his career as a walk-on but earned his way to an athletic scholarship after a productive season in 2008.