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Georgia Tech Football: Coaching Candidates to Replace Geoff Collins

Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football

Geoff Collins was fired as Georgia Tech's coach on Sunday. Assistant head coach/offensive line coach Brent Key will serve as the interim coach for the team's final eight games. Collins was a highly regarded hire due to his background as an assistant and previous experience in the state as a Georgia native. However, after going 15-10 as Temple's coach from 2017-18, Collins went just 10-28 over four seasons with the Yellow Jackets. The program never won more than three games in a season with Collins at the helm.

Who could replace Collins at Georgia Tech? Here are some names to watch:

Georgia Tech Football: Coaching Candidates to Replace Geoff Collins

Alex Atkins, Offensive Coordinator, Florida State
Atkins is a rising star in the assistant ranks and has ACC experience after working at Florida State under coach Mike Norvell for the last three years. The Illinois native has no experience as a head coach but has been a successful assistant from stops at Chattanooga, Georgia Southern, Tulane and Charlotte. 

Jamey Chadwell, Head Coach, Coastal Carolina
Chadwell is a native of Tennessee and has spent most of his time coaching in the South. Although he’s never worked at a Power 5 program, Chadwell is 94-54 overall as a head coach from stints at four different stops. Coastal Carolina is 34-19 under Chadwell’s direction, which includes a 26-3 mark since 2020.

Willie Fritz, Head Coach, Tulane
Fritz doesn't seem to be in any hurry to leave Tulane, but Georgia Tech would be wise to inquire about his level of interest. The Kansas native has compiled a 188-113 record from stints at Central Missouri, Sam Houston State, Georgia Southern and Tulane. Fritz has just five losing seasons as a head coach (since 1997), and despite a challenging job at Tulane, continues to record winning seasons and lead the program to bowl trips.

Josh Gattis, Offensive Coordinator, Miami
Could Georgia Tech look within the ACC for a replacement for Collins? Gattis – a former Wake Forest defensive back – has been on a fast rise through the assistant ranks, working at Western Michigan (2011), Vanderbilt (2012-13), Penn State (2014-17), and Alabama (2018) before a stint at Michigan (2019-21). Gattis left Ann Arbor for Miami this offseason and is tasked with helping quarterback Tyler Van Dyke continue his development as one of the top passers in the nation. Through three games in ’22, the ‘Canes are averaging 36.3 points a game.

Tom Herman, Former Texas Head Coach
Herman currently works as an analyst for CBS Sports and is likely to be mentioned for Power 5 job openings this offseason. Although his tenure ended in a firing at Texas, Herman still went 32-18 over four seasons. Also, he previously went 22-4 at Houston from 2015-16. Herman does not have any ACC experience but has been a successful coordinator and is 54-22 overall as a head coach.

Mike Houston, Head Coach, East Carolina
Houston has been a successful coach in the Division II, FCS and FBS ranks and could be a coach who gets a look for a Power 5 job this offseason. Houston went 29-8 as the head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne from 2011-13 and recorded a 14-11 mark over The Citadel from 2014-15. He guided James Madison to an FCS Championship in 2016 and recorded 37 wins over three years with the Dukes. Houston is 16-21 at East Carolina, but the program has shown marked improvement since '19. The Pirates went 7-14 from 2019-20 and are 9-7 over the last two years.

Charles Huff, Head Coach, Marshall
Huff’s stock is on the rise after Marshall knocked off Notre Dame in Week 2, and his overall record with the Thundering Herd sits at 9-8 after two seasons. Prior to Marshall, Huff worked as an assistant at Alabama, Mississippi State, Penn State, Western Michigan, and in the NFL with the Bills.

Jeff Lebby, Offensive Coordinator, Oklahoma
Lebby does not have any experience as a head coach at the FBS level but is one of the rising stars in the assistant ranks. The Texas native has worked as an assistant at UCF, Baylor, Ole Miss, and now Oklahoma and emerged as one of the top play-callers in the nation.

Sean Lewis, Head Coach, Kent State
Lewis' wide-open offense and entertaining style of play would be a welcome change at Georgie Tech. The Wisconsin native is one of the youngest head coaches (36) and a rising star in the MAC. Dino Babers' protege went 2-10 in his debut (2018). However, the Golden Flashes – one of the MAC's toughest jobs – are 18-17 over the last three years and won the East Division in '21.

Dell McGee, Running Backs Coach, Georgia
Hiring a coach from Georgia wouldn’t necessarily be Georgia Tech’s first preference, but McGee has extensive ties to the state and is regarded as a top-notch recruiter. The former Auburn cornerback has spent time as an assistant at Georgia Southern (2014-15) and with the Bulldogs since ’16.

Bronco Mendenhall, Former Virginia Coach
Mendenhall stepped down at the end of the 2021 season at Virginia. Could he be lured back to the sidelines to lead another ACC program? He went 99-43 at BYU from 2005-15 and recorded a 36-38 mark at Virginia from 2016-21. Although Mendenhall had a losing mark with the Cavaliers, 10 of those defeats came in his first year and he guided the team to four bowl bids in the last five seasons. Considering the rebuilding effort needed in Atlanta, Mendenhall's experience in navigating jobs with some challenges (BYU and Virginia) could be valuable.

Todd Monken, Offensive Coordinator, Georgia
Hiring a coordinator from a rival might be an odd situation, but Monken is one of college football's top play-callers. Also, in addition to his standout tenure at Georgia now, he has previous experience as a head coach from a stint at Southern Miss (2013-15). After a 1-11 mark in his debut, the Golden Eagles showed marked improvement the next two years, leading to a 9-5 record in '15. Monken has a wealth of experience from stops as an assistant at Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State, LSU, and in the NFL with the Jaguars, Browns and Buccaneers. Don't be surprised if Monken's name pops up for various openings this year.

Dan Mullen, Former Florida Head Coach
Mullen’s tenure at Florida ended with a 5-6 disaster, but he’s likely to get another shot at an FBS program in the near future. He went 69-46 at Mississippi State from 2009-17 and accumulated a 34-15 mark at Florida from 2018-21. Mullen currently works as an analyst for ESPN and is likely to be mentioned for Power 5 job openings this season.

Bill O’Brien, Offensive Coordinator, Alabama
O’Brien has ties to Georgia Tech from a previous stint as an assistant at the program from 1998-2002. The Massachusetts native currently calls the plays for one of college football’s top offenses and has head-coaching experience from a successful stint at Penn State (15-9 from 2012-13). O’Brien went 52-48 as the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2014-20.

Matt Rhule, Head Coach, Carolina Panthers
Rhule sits squarely on the hot seat after the NFL’s third week. If things don’t work out in Carolina, a return to college is certainly possible, and Rhule will be mentioned for every Power 5 job that opens. The New York native went 28-23 at Temple from 2013-16 and guided Baylor to a 19-20 mark from 2017-20. Rhule is 11-25 as the coach of the Panthers.

Deion Sanders, Head Coach, Jackson State
This would be a homecoming of sorts as Sanders was drafted by the Falcons in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft and played there until ’93. Sanders does not have any experience as an assistant at the FBS level but is 16-5 as the head coach at Jackson State. Also, Sanders is an outstanding recruiter and would thrive in a talent-rich state like Georgia.

Ken Whisenhunt, Former NFL Head Coach
Whisenhunt is from Georgia and played his college ball at Georgia Tech, so there is plenty of familiarity and ties to the program. Although Whisenhunt is an experienced coach and had two different stints as a head coach in the NFL, he hasn't spent time as an on-field college coach since 1996. This seems like a longshot name in the search.

Kane Wommack, Head Coach, South Alabama
South Alabama is a program on the rise under Wommack's watch. After working as an assistant at Eastern Illinois, South Alabama and Indiana, the Missouri native was hired as the program's head coach in '21. The Jaguars just missed a bowl (5-7) in his debut but are off to a 3-1 start in '22. South Alabama was just a few plays away from beating UCLA in Week 3 and having a 4-0 mark at the end of September.