When Rodney Garner announced after last season that he would be leaving Georgia after more than a decade to join Gus Malzahn’s new staff at Auburn, most SEC fans were shocked. The defensive line coach is known as one of the league’s best recruiters and he’d put down some serious roots in Athens.
More surprising than the move, it turns out, is where Garner and Malzahn first got together to discuss a job switch. According to Garner, Auburn’s coach flew to Athens and went out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant:
“To me it was shocking that he could fly in here and we could go out and meet for three hours and it not get out. Gus was a little nervous about us going out to eat in public. I was nervous about it, but the place we went to, we sat in the corner. Nobody knew who he was, nobody it seemed like they knew who I was. It was great. We were able to pull it off…
That was the first time I ever met Gus Malzahn in my life. And that was the first time I had ever been in that restaurant, too.”
In this day of omnipresent cell phone cameras it’s hard to believe two coaches could spend three hours talking about a job offer in a public setting without anyone finding out about it. A tip to anyone looking to do something on the sly in Athens, Georgia… try a corner table at Dos Palmas.