Friday, February 17, 2006

Football - New Coaches Everywhere

Ok, a lot of this has been known, but many of the announcements are out and official.

1. We have a new tight ends coach - Johnson "Jeep" Hunter, who has been at U of Memphis the last few seasons coaching the nations leading rusher D'Angelo Williams. Nice resume and seems like an excellent get. He played ball at Catawba College before a knee-injury ended his career. He has a strong recruiting background in the southeast (GA and FL in particular) and we certainly need that.

2. Charles Kelly has been named as the new Special Teams Coordinator. He comes from Nicholls State, where he was the defensive coordinator. His defenses were in the top 20 in Div IAA, so he has some pretty strong credentials. He has an outstanding reputation as a recruiter. In case you were wondering, he is an Auburn grad, played football there and there are Patrick Nix ties here. They are both Auburn grads and they both coached together at Henderson State.

3. Geoff Collins has been named Director of Player Personnel. Collins is a familiar face to many Techsters as he coached the tight ends back in 1999-2001. Collins has a reputation as a fantastic recruiter with a strong attention to detail. He will direct Tech's coaching clinics, camps and events as well as manage on-campus recruiting efforts. Collins was the defensive coordinator at his alma mater Western Carolina. That program led the nation in pass defense last season and in the top 18 nationally overall in Div IAA. His defensive squads had tremendous success while he was there. He's a native of Conyers GA and understands recruiting and what Georgia Tech is all about. Just an outstanding get here.

4. Jon Tenuta has been named "Associate Head Coach". I guess when you make one of the top assistant coaching salaries in the nation with your newly inked deal, you need a better title. I have no problem with this.

4. Giff Smith will be the new "Recuiting Coordinator". Many of the hardcore followers of recruiting believe Smith is the staff's best recruiter, so this makes some sense.

So what grade do you give this new group? Well, based on resumes I would have to give a solid A-/B+. On recruiting, this should significantly improve the recruiting efforts. This group seems to all have strength in the recruiting arena, particularly in the southeast.. Coach Gailey has recognized the need to recruit stronger and has made changes to do just that. In fact, look for the national recruiting efforts to narrow down a bit as they focus in a stronger way in-state and on the surrounding states. In terms of on-the-field coaching, Gailey just brought in 2 defensive coordinators with top 20 IAA defenses and a running back coach who has worked with the nation's leading rusher. That's pretty strong if you ask me.

Overall this injects a good bit of hope for the future of Georgia Tech football. Nobody likes to end a season on a sour note, but this should add an extra level of excitement going into spring, not to mention the prospect of an entirely new offense. I'll have more on that later.