I’m not exactly sure how many people know about this little factoid, but Tammy Mettenberger is an administrative assistant for the Georgia football program.
Mrs. Mettenberger has actually been a trusted assistant for many years for Mark Richt, and for years even before he became the head coach more than a decade ago. She also happens to be the mother of LSU’s starting quarterback, Zach Mettenberger.
With Georgia facing LSU this weekend, there might be a bit of a conflict of interest there. And, likely mutually, that conflict of interest will be removed from the building.
Sunday night, Richt told reporters that Tammy Mettenberger has been given the week off from her normal duties ahead of a Saturday matchup with LSU dripping with both SEC and BCS implications. Gracious as always, Richt seemed to indicate it was not a hard decision to reach and one that would be beneficial on all fronts.
“She loves her son, obviously, and it would be awkward for her to be hanging around all week,” Richt said on Sunday night. “I told her enjoy it, go have fun, do some things you wouldn’t normally do this time of year, and enjoy it.”
As familiar as Richt is with Tammy Mettenberger, he’s almost as familiar with her son.
Zach Mettenberger began his collegiate career with the Bulldogs, coming to Athens as a four-star member of UGA’s 2009 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, Mettenberger was in line to win the starting job in the spring of 2010 before off-field legal issues led to his dismissal and, after a season at the JUCO level, a landing spot at LSU in December of 2010.
Biding his time the past two seasons, Mettenberger has come into his own as the starting quarterback and given the Tigers its first real, viable threat in the passing game in years.
Ever classy, Richt says he continues to root for his administrative assistant’s son — except this week.
“We’ve been knowing Zach since he was a very young kid,” Richt said. “We all really like Zach and want the best for him, but just don’t want him to win the game this weekend. That’s the only thing that’s different from normal, is we’re competing against him this week.”