Candidates to Replace Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech

Former Georgia Tech Head Coach, Geoff Collins talking to his players during a home game against Duke in November, 2020. Brett Davis/USA Today Sports.

The Georgia Tech Yellowjackets have decided to part ways with Head Coach, Geoff Collins and Athletic Director, Todd Stansbury.

Stansbury was hired on as the AD at Georgia Tech in 2016. Two years later, he hired Collins to replace long time head coach, Paul Johnson and transition from the triple option to a more modern offense.

As the head coach of the Yellowjackets, Collins went 25-38 through four different seasons in Atlanta.

In the interim, Offensive Line Coach and Run Game, Brent Key takes over as the head coach at his alma mater.

Georgia Tech is a program that has been down for a while and located right in Georgia’s recruiting backyard. This might not be the most attractive job available in the offseason. Even still, there will still be candidates knocking on the door for a Power Five job with Georgia Tech.

The Up and Comers

Coastal Carolina Head Coach, Jamey Chadwell, on the field during a team practice. Josh Bell/The Sun News.

Jamey Chadwell: As the head man at Coastal Carolina (AKA Mullet U), has an overall record of 34-19. This includes an undefeated season in 2020 before losing to Liberty in their bowl game. His overall record, (between FCS and FBS) is 94-54 with three conference championships.

Chadwell has a deep background as an offensive mastermind and has groomed his quarterback, Grayson McCall, into a borderline draft prospect. His Chanticleers have averaged over 36 points per game during his four years as Head Coach.

Mike Houston:

As the head coach of then-FCS, James Madison, Mike Houston helped build the Dukes into a juggernaut. As the head honcho at JMU from 2016 to 2018, Houston went 37-6 with an FCS Championship and a Championship appearance.

In his three years at East Carolina, Houston has helped bring ECU back to respectability. Last year, in year three, the Pirates got to their first bowl game since 2014 under Ruffin McNeil.

Houston has helped develop an outstanding offense at ECU. Led by quarterback, Holton Ahlers, the Pirates have averaged a very solid 31 points and 433 yards per game over the past three seasons.

Charles Huff:

Currently in his second year at Marshall, Huff is 9-8 with the Thundering Herd. This includes a marquee win over Notre Dame. Huff’s most valuable experience as a lead recruiter in the SEC for three years, two years at Alabama and one at Mississippi St.

In his two years at Alabama, he oversaw two recruiting classes, they were both ranked in the top two. His lone recruiting class at Mississippi St was ranked 24th in the nation.

Huff’s prowess as a recruiter could prove to be an extremely valuable asset in the talent-rich state of Georgia.

The Retreads

Hugh Freeze:

Hugh Freeze calling time out during a game, November 2021. Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Perhaps best known for his time at Ole Miss, Freeze has once again made a name for himself at Liberty University.

Freeze was at Ole Miss for five years before getting fired due to scandal. Freeze got caught providing impermissible benefits to players and placing calls to escort services.

Despite the allegations, Freeze was pretty successful at Ole Miss was 39-25 over five seasons with a victory in The Sugar Bowl in 2015.

At Liberty, Freeze has gone 29-12 in four seasons with their best season coming in 2020 when they went 10-1. With star quarterback Malik Willis at the helm until this season, the Flames averaged 35 point per game under Freeze.

Gary Patterson:

After 22 seasons at TCU, Gary Patterson was let go last year. During his time there, Patterson went 181-79 overall. In 2010, Patterson guided TCU to a 13-0 season with a very memorable win over Wisconsin in The Rose Bowl. Patterson also transitioned the Frogs to the Power Five level from the Group of Five.

Currently, an analyst under Steve Sarkisian at Texas, Patterson is known for his teams’ punishing 4-2-5 defenses which are very good against both the pass and the run.

Gary Patterson would bring a good deal of experience, professionalism, and relevance to program that desperately needs it.

Bill O’Brien:

Currently in his second season at the Nick Saban coaching rehabilitation clinic, Bill O’Brien has enjoyed great success as the offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Led by Bryce Young, Bill O’Brien helped guide in Alabama to the National Championship Game in 2021. O’Brien achieved this with a roster that was supposed to be in a rebuild, by Alabama standards. During his time at ‘Bama, O’Brien’s offense has averaged 44.1 points per game and over 500 yards per contest.

Before his time with the Tide, Bill O’Brien was the head coach and de facto General Manager of the Houston Texans. During seven turbulent seasons, O’Brien had a record of 52-48 with the Texans.

O’Brien also had a short stint with Penn St as the successor for Joe Paterno. In two seasons, O’Brien accrued a record of 15-9.

The Longshots

Urban Meyer on the set of Fox Big Noon Kickoff at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images.

Urban Meyer:

After a horrific NFL stint, on and off the field, the legendary three-time champion coach might be itching to get back on the sidelines.

In 13 seasons combined between Florida and Ohio St, Urban Meyer went 148-24. During that time, Meyer won five conference titles, three national championships, and went to the playoff twice.

If Urban does decide to put the headset back on once again, he would be giving up a cushy gig on Big Noon Saturday with Fox. With that being said, his comeback to coach would almost undoubtedly come with a higher profile school than Georgia Tech, but you never know.

Matt Campbell:

Matt Campbell is a name who’s been rumored to leave Ames for years. Could this finally be the year it happens?

Matt Campbell enjoyed great success in Toledo as the Head Coach of the Rockets from 2011 to 2016. During that time Campbell went 35-15 with two co-division championships.

After the 2016 season, Matt Campbell got hired on as the head man for a struggling Iowa State program. Since taking that job, the Cyclones are 45-35 in seven seasons including a Fiesta Bowl win in 2020 over Oregon.

I can’t see Matt Campbell leaving the Cyclones any time soon but the idea of conference stability in the ACC make this an attractive move for him.

Luke Fickell:

As head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats, Luke Fickell made history last season. Fickell and his Bearcats became the first Group of Five teams to make the playoff. Overall, Fickell has gone 51-16 at Cincinnati.

Before his time at UC, Fickell was the defensive coordinator for Ohio State from 2012 to 2016. Fickell served as the interim Head Coach in 2011 after Jim Tressell got fired, he went 6-7.

However, with Cincinnati going to the Big 12 next season and having just gone to the playoff, I really don’t see a reason for Fickell to make a move.

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