ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has named former Florida secondary coach Charlton Warren as the Bulldogs’ defensive backs coach after crossing paths with him earlier this week.
“Charlton is from Atlanta and has a wide range of experience coaching defensive football at several universities and conferences around the country,” Smart said in a UGA release issued Saturday.
“His entire coaching career has been on the defensive side of the ball and especially defensive backs,” Smart said. “He has developed an outstanding record and reputation in the coaching profession and he’ll bring great knowledge and energy to our staff.”
Warren is also considered a top recruiter. Warren was previously competing with Georgia for the services of Kaiir Elam, the 2019 class’ No. 7 cornerback.
Elam is believed to have narrowed his choices to the Bulldogs and the Gator. Elam was in Athens on Saturday on his official visit.
Georgia has gone more than six weeks without a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator.
Mel Tucker had previously held both roles before accepting the Colorado head coaching job on Dec. 5.
Smart has yet to name a defensive coordinator.
Warren’s hire would seem to make it more likely the position could be filled from within.
Linebackers coaches Dan Lanning and Glenn Schumann have each been considered strong candidates, and there’s also the possibility of a co-coordinator role.
Warren played his college football at Air Force and helped lead the Falcons to consecutive 10-win seasons in 1997 and 1998. His coaching stops also include Nebraska and North Carolina.
Florida hired Warren after the Tennessee staff dissolved following the 2017 firing of Butch Jones.
The Gators defense made considerable improvement with Warren on board last season.
Florida went from being tied for 81s in the nation in takeways (17) to tied for 11h (26).
The Gators’ pass efficiency defense also picked up, ranking 17th in the nation, while the scoring defense improved to 20th (20 points per game)
Warren’s fit at Georgia was such that premature reports surfaced that he interviewed for the job last weekend, when LSU secondary coach Cory Raymond was in discussions with the Bulldogs.
Sources with direct knowledge of the hiring process in the Georgia and Florida athletic departments said there was no interview involving Warren and the Bulldogs last weekend.
Georgia also replaced its offensive coordinator this offseason, adding playcaller duties to James Coley’s role after Jim Chaney made a lateral move to become Tennessee’s offensive coordinator.
Coley was previously the co-offensive coordinator, and he coached the Bulldogs’ quarterbacks last season while Chaney coached the tight ends.
Smart hired Todd Hartley off Mark Richt’s previous Miami staff to coach the Georgia tight ends.