Ga. Southern candidates have connections to school

Several coaches with Georgia Southern connections have been mentioned as potential candidates to replace Jeff Monken, who took the Army job earlier this week.

Those include:

Giff Smith — Smith is a former Georgia Southern player and coach who most recently was DL coach for the Buffalo Bills. Smith is from Cobb County and also has coached at Georgia Tech.

Brent Pry — Pry was Georgia Southern’s defensive coordinator in 2010 and has been the co-defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt for the past three seasons.

Brent Davis — Davis, Georgia Southern’s offensive coordinator, is a triple-option expert who also was the offensive line coach for the Eagles from 2002-05. He’s from Athens and returned the school with Monken.

Mitch Ware – Ware is the QBs coach at Georgia Southern, who added assistant head coach to his title in 2012. He’s in his second stint at the school, also coaching there from 2002-05.

Mike Sewak — Georgia Tech’s offensive line coach went 35-14 as the Eagles’ coach from 2002-05. He was the offensive coordinator for five seasons, before replacing Paul Johnson, when he left for Navy.

Ivin Jasper — Jasper has been Navy’s offensive coordinator for seven seasons, but before that, was an assistant at Georgia Southern for a few years.

I saw Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon mentioned in one report, but he said he’s 100 percent committed to his current job. He’s also a former Georgia Southern assistant, but I would think he’s committed to starting the program at KSU, which begins play in 2015.

“The only rumor I haven’t heard is that I’m going to be the next coach at Georgia Southern,” school president Brooks Keel joked.

Athletic director Tom Kleinlein told the Statesboro Herald: “The option, the school buses, everything that we do, is something that person needs to understand and needs to embrace. Now, does that mean they need to come in here and do all of those things? I’m going to leave that up to him. I know, when I sit down and talk to him, that if we’re not doing some of those things, he better have a really good reason why.”

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31 comments Add your comment


December 30th, 2013
12:42 am

GATA Eagles!

GA SO Alum

December 29th, 2013
12:42 pm

What about Brad Almon? He starred for GASO during Erk Russell era. He has strong ties to the area and knows the state of Georgia better than any of the mentioned candidates. I would look him up ASAP if you are looking for guys with ties to the school. He is die hard GASO. GATA!!!!!!!!

Royal Country

December 28th, 2013
2:51 pm

Alabama finally learned that you don’t have to have someone with connections to Bear Bryant to win. GSU needs to take heed and not limit themselves to someone with achool connections or the triple option. Think outside the box or you’re just going to be another team trying to make it in a D1 mid-tier conference.

marietta eagle

December 28th, 2013
2:48 pm

Ga Southern fans how do you not have your coach locked up if you think he is the man to lead you in to D-1 foot ball ? I would like to see gif smith as defense coordintor and head of recruiting. He did a great job at tech with recruiting. I think the AD and Brooks Keel owe GSU fans a ansewer to my Question. With the doubling of parking fees and tickets going up. recruiting with no coaches. Poor planing and poor mangement of our Atl . dept. They drop the ball May be the fans neen to look at better mangers. From a 20 year box and season holder .


December 28th, 2013
10:39 am

Enter your comments here


December 28th, 2013
4:36 am

Stinger, we can afford any of them because becoming a head coach has a lure that leaving a well-paid assistant job can be overcome rather easily. Lots of top assistants become head coaches at lower schools that are aiming high. It isn’t like Geo Southern won’t be a football crazy school, it already is and will only get bigger. The job isn’t like a major conference gig, I get that, but it is probably one of the best after all the major conference teams are removed. Who wouldn’t want to take over a strong football school that has just moved up and resides smack in the middle of recruiting heaven?

Anyone on that list can be hired fairly easily, unless of course it is 100% about money (rarely is) where a major school might pay a few thousands more a season to keep one of them.


December 28th, 2013
4:31 am

Athletic director Tom Kleinlein:
“I know, when I sit down and talk to him, that if we’re not doing some of those things, he better have a really good reason why.”

That is EXACTLY what I hoped to hear from the AD. I am okay if we don’t run the option, but ONLY if they can explain how this other offense is setting the world on fire and show examples. We don’t need a ho-hum passing offense, no west coast crap. A form of the option should be offense (triple option, spread option, shotgun option, whatever).

As for the listed candidates, I would be more in favor of Pry or Davis, but all have some promising qualities. Sewak is mentioned as the OC under Johnson, but anyone that knows PJ head coaching runs knows he was the OC the whole time. Sewak didn’t fair as well when he followed PJ as the head coach, so I don’t think he has it in him, unless maybe he can explain what he learned and how he’d do it different (coaches hired, game plans, recruiting, etc).

One thing we DO need is a darn good recruiting staff, headed by a top notch recruiting coordinator that knows the state of Georgia or North Florida or South Carolina…we have to get solid talent to ramp up quickly into upper part of Sun Belt and even to crack the top 25 in the next few years.


December 28th, 2013
2:08 am

AD needs to do his home work. A lot of good coaches out there… get some new blood not X GS coach. Go Eagles!


December 27th, 2013
8:05 pm

Maybe they should bring Moobs back, his offense would be a better fit for FCS than Tech anyway.


December 27th, 2013
7:02 pm

Can’t afford Pry. Can’t afford Jasper. Probably not picking someone from the staff. Sewak got fired from Georgia Southern once before. The pool of candidates is very, very slim.

JB, Sewak fired Rusty Russell. That Rusty has had few opportunities since then may be an indicator of the esteem, or lack thereof, he is held in as a coach.

Glenn, Raymond hasn’t coached in a while. Was at Bethune-Cookman, then went to Howard for a season and I haven’t heard what he’s up to now. I understand he would very much like to coach at Southern.
What I heard was the AD went to Sewak about changes to the program, i.e., defensively, after the first round loss to Texas State in 2005 and when Sewak said no, he got shown the door.