What Georgia Tech firing of Geoff Collins potentially means for Georgia football
Geoff Collins never will get to make a trip to Athens it appears, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Ken Sugiura reports that Collins has been fired as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach.
The Yellow Jackets are off to a 1-3 start this season, continuing a trend of losing under Collins. The Yellow Jackets were 10-28 under Collins.
Two of those losses came against Georgia, with the combined score in those games being 97-7. Both of those games were played in Atlanta. The 2020 game against Georgia was called off due to scheduling issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Yellow Jackets are set to take on Georgia this season in Athens, with the game set for Nov. 26.
The Yellow Jackets began the season with a 41-10 loss to Clemson then followed it up with a 42-0 loss to Ole Miss last weekend. The last defeat for Collins came on Saturday, losing 27-10 to UCF.
The struggles for Georgia Tech under Collins look worse in comparison to what Kirby Smart has done at Georgia. The Bulldogs have come a long way since Smart’s first season in 2016, which was the last time Georgia Tech beat the Bulldogs.
Georgia Tech becomes the third Power 5 job to open this season, as Arizona State and Nebraska have also already moved on from their respective head coaches.
The Bulldogs have seen plenty of assistants leave for other coaching jobs, with Dan Lanning departing to take the Oregon job last offseason serving as the most recent example. Other Smart disciples working at Power 5 programs include Mel Tucker, Sam Pittman and Shane Beamer.
Given the start of the Georgia offense this year, Todd Monken has become a popular name in the coaching carousel. His name had come up as a possibility at Arizona State, though the Sun Devils are still early in their search process to replace Herm Edwards.
Related: As more Power 5 head coaching jobs open, Georgia football very happy to have Todd Monken
The Yellow Jackets owe Collins over $11 million in buyout money. Sugiura also reports that Georgia Tech could be parting ways with athletic director Todd Stansbury, who hired Collins from Temple to replace Paul Johnson.
That buyout money could make things difficult in terms of affording top candidates. Monken makes over $2 million after a recent raise this offseason. While Georgia Tech is a Power 5 job, would Monken have interest in making marginally more money to work at a much more difficult job?
Collins saw a number of key assistants and players depart the program prior to the start of this season, including current Ole Miss defensive end Jared Ivery and current Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. The writing very much seemed to be on the wall for Collins at the end of last season, when Georgia effortlessly walked to a 45-0 victory.
Monken is not the only assistant that Georgia Tech could look at from Georgia’s staff, as Dell McGee’s name is also worth watching. McGee has many ties to both the state of Georgia and the metro area of Atlanta. He’s long been one of Smart’s top assistants. Given the success of Pittman, who was Georgia’s offensive line coach prior to taking over at Arkansas, or Marshall’s Charles Huff, previously Alabama’s running backs coach, McGee could become a name to follow.
Prior to the start of the season, McGee spoke on the possibility of becoming a head coach at some point.
“Coach Smart has done everything as a mentor that you could do as a head coach and assistant coach,” McGee said in August. “He’s very, very positive when it comes to his assistants moving on. We’ve had several assistants who have moved on to become head coaches and being a part of his pedigree is very special to me. But my main job is being the best running backs coach I can here. I feel like I am a head coach every single day, because I am in charge of the running backs and the special teams areas I’m in charge of, and I take all my jobs seriously, just like a head coach.”
Other names to watch would be Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell and Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott.
Georgia Tech is expected to formally make the changes at an athletic board meeting on Monday morning. Brent Key is expected to take over as the interim coach for the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets play Pitt this weekend. Georgia meanwhile goes on the road to take on Missouri. Georgia Tech may not be the last coach Georgia faces that will have made a coaching change, as Bruce Feldman reported on Saturday that Auburn coach Bryan Harsin is on very thin ice. Auburn and Georgia meet in Athens on Oct. 8
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