ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Colorado State.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said Wednesday that Bobo visited Fort Collins but was expected back in time for an evening practice in Athens. It was No. 13 Georgia's first workout in preparation for the Dec. 30 Belk Bowl against 20th-ranked Louisville.
Colorado State was seeking a replacement for Jim McElwain, who left this month to become the new coach at Florida. Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost and Mississippi State co-offensive coordinator Billy Gonzalez have also been mentioned as candidates for the job.
The 40-year-old Bobo is a former Georgia quarterback who has been on the coaching staff since Richt was hired in 2001. Bobo was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007, taking over the play-calling duties from Richt.
Bobo has gotten feelers before from other schools, according to Richt, but this is the first time he's shown serious interest.
"A couple of days ago, we found out that Mike had this opportunity," Richt said. "Obviously, that's a very good job. It's a very good opportunity for a guy to become a head coach. Mike has taken advantage of that opportunity to go visit. But right at this minute, he's our offensive coordinator."
A fiery presence who can often be heard screaming in the coaching booth adjacent to the press box at Sanford Stadium, Bobo is the son of a coach and has made no secret of his desire to move up to a head job someday.
But, given that he has Richt's full confidence and is running the offense at a top-level program, Bobo can afford to be a bit selective about his opportunities.
Colorado State is certainly intriguing. In three seasons under McElwain, the Rams engineered a quick turnaround after going 3-9 for three consecutive years in the Mountain West Conference. They went 8-6 in 2013 and improved to 10-2 this season, with wins over rival Colorado and Boston College, earning a spot in the Dec. 20 Las Vegas Bowl against Utah. Their offense ranks 12th nationally, averaging 498 yards a game.
Georgia also has one of the nation's most prolific offenses. Averaging nearly 42 points per game, the Bulldogs are poised to become the highest-scoring team in school history, one year after posting a Georgia record with a 484-yard average. The offense has dropped off slightly to 455 yards this season, which would still go down as the fourth-highest total in school history.
"Coach Bobo is one of the most under-appreciated coaches in the SEC," quarterback Hutson Mason said. "We just seem to keep the ball rolling in terms of points per game and those statistical categories. He's a heck of a recruiter. He has those goals and aspirations to be a head coach. It's probably just a matter of time before he finds the right fit."
Richt, too, said he has no doubt Bobo will eventually be a head coach, even if it doesn't happen with Colorado State.
"He understands the game extremely well. He's an old-school ball coach as far getting after it. He has a good edge about him as far as being demanding and things of that nature," Richt said. "But he sees the big picture, too. He's got all the ingredients. I'm not shocked that this is happening."
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963