Thursday, December 20, 2007

Meet Georgia Tech's New Defensive Coordinator...

Make sure to vote in the new poll to the right on your opinion of this new hire.

Paul Johnson has hired Southern Miss LB Dave Wommack as our new DC. For the blindingly obvious fact of the day, that means our friend Jon Tenuta is moving on, and it means Giff Smith did not get the job even though he did interview for it. Now the question remains - will Giff remain on staff? Conventional wisdom is still a strong yes, but stay tuned.
From Wommack's biography:

"A veteran of 27 years of collegiate coaching, Dave Wommack returns to Southern Miss as the outside linebackers coach after serving the past two years at South Carolina, as the secondary coach in 2005 and last year as the outside linebackers coach. The Gamecocks finished with an 8-5 mark last season and defeated Houston, 44-36, in the Liberty Bowl and posted a 7-5 record his first year.

Wommack spent seven years at Southern Miss from 1994-2000, one of the most successful periods in Golden Eagle history. He was the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach in 1999 and 2000. He coached the outside linebackers in 2000, the middle and strong-side linebackers in 1999 and defensive backs from 1994-98.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity of returning to Southern Miss and working for an outstanding head football coach, Jeff Bower, again," Wommack said. "It's an honor for me to be back in the Southern Miss and Hattiesburg community. My family and I enjoyed it very much when we were here earlier in my career. I am familiar with the defensive staff and the scheme that they run so, it should make the transition a smooth one. I look forward to getting started."

Southern Miss was a founding member of Conference USA in 1996 and won three of the first four championships (1996, 1997 and 1999). The Golden Eagle made four-straight bowl appearances from 1997-00, winning the 1997 and 1999 Liberty Bowls and the 2000 GMAC Bowl. All-Americans Cedric Scott and Leo Barnes were the defensive leaders.

As defensive coordinator, the 2000 defense finished second in the nation in total defense, eighth in scoring defense, fifth in pass defense and fourth in pass efficiency defense. The Golden Eagles collected an 8-4 record that season and won the GMAC Bowl, 28-21, over No. 13 TCU.

His 1999 defense was No. 7 in the nation in turnover margin and No. 8 in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense. All-American Adalius Thomas and T.J. Slaughter were the defensive leaders. Southern Miss posted a 9-3 record that season and won its second Conference USA championship and won the Liberty Bowl, 23-17, over Colorado State.

The 1998 squad was No. 18 nationally in scoring defense and finished with a 7-5 record and made an appearance in the Humanitarian Bowl.

The 1997 Golden Eagle squad posted a 9-3 record and won the second Conference USA championship. Southern Miss defeated Pitt, 41-7, in the Liberty Bowl, the first bowl game for the Golden Eagles since 1990. All-American cornerback and Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Patrick Surtain was No. 10 in the nation in interceptions and was drafted No. 44 in the NFL Draft. Defensive back Jamaal Alexander was a sixth-round pick.

The 1996 defense was No. 3 in turnover margin and No. 8 in rushing defense. Southern Miss ranked No. 7 in interceptions with 18, led by Surtain. The Golden Eagles posted an 8-3 record and shared the conference title with Houston.

During his first season at Southern Miss in 1994, the Golden Eagle secondary ranked second in the nation with 25 interceptions. Those interceptions contributed to the Golden Eagles' national-best 41 takeaways.

Prior to South Carolina, he spent a four-year stint at Arkansas from 2001-04, including the last three years as the defensive coordinator. He also coached the secondary, free safeties, cornerbacks and inside linebackers. The Razorbacks made appearances in the Music City Bowl (2002) and the Cotton Bowl (2001).

He also coached at UNLV as defensive coordinator from 1992-93, Southwest Missouri State as defensive coordinator from 1986-91, Bemidji State as defensive coordinator in 1985, two years as defensive line coach at Missouri, 1983-84, and four years at Arkansas (1979-82) as a graduate assistant, assistant strength and conditioning coach and the last two years as the wide receivers coach.

While at Missouri, the Tigers made appearances in the Holiday Bowl (1983). The Razorbacks made four-straight bowl games while Wommack was on staff, the 1980 Sugar Bowl, 1980 Hall of Fame Bowl, 1981 Gator Bowl and the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl.

A 1974 graduate of Reeds Springs (Mo.) High School, Wommack was a three-year letterwinner (center) at Missouri Southern. He graduated with his bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern in 1978 and his master's degree from Arkansas in 1979.

The Kimberling City, Mo., native and his wife, the former Leslie Ann Wilkins, have two children, Kane and Hayley. "