Anthony Midget has been promoted to Georgia State’s defensive coordinator.
Midget, who played at Virginia Tech, has been in charge of defensive backs and the special teams since Georgia State began playing. Coach Bill Curry said he tabbed Midget to replace John Thompson, who resigned to accept a job at Arkansas State, because Midget brings quality experience at all levels of football and understands the complexities of modern offenses.
Curry said he tested Midget in a variety of ways during the past two weeks, asking him to put together practice plans, situational defensive schemes and other organizational activities.
“Some have been surprise things and he’s done well and I’m not surprised at that,” Curry said.
Midget said he tried to demonstrate to Curry that he has the work ethic and knowledge to help a program that went 3-8 last season.
“I’ve been here since day one,” he said. “I’ve been working hard and doing things we need to do to be successful. Coach Curry knows what I can bring to the table. That’s what coach saw when he made the defensive coordinator.”
Midget said the team will install the 4-2-5 base defense, which is very similar to what he played while with the Hokies, when spring practice starts on Wednesday. The Panthers gave up an average of 31.2 points and 403.3 yards per game last season. Thompson was going to install that defense before he left, replacing the variety of schemes the team tried last year. Midget said he plans on keeping things simple during the spring to build the players’ confidence while they learn the new system.
“It’s going to allow us to utilize our speed and get more speed on the field,” Midget said. “It will fit our personnel. We are looking for guy to make plays and be fast.
“We want to develop an identity, play for 60-plus minutes. Demand it from the players and the coaching staff.”
With Midget’s promotion another opening has been created. Midget said the defensive staff may be reshuffled after that position is filled, which Curry said will likely be for defensive ends or linebackers.
Before joining Georgia State in 2008, Midget spent the 2007 season as a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech. The Hokies won the ACC and played in the Orange Bowl that year. Prior to that he coached at Lake Worth (Fla.) High School for five seasons. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1999, helping them to four consecutive bowl games, including the national championship game during his senior year. He was drafted by the Falcons in the fifth round in 2000.
He credited Bud Foster, the Hokies’ longtime defensive coordinator who is considered one of the best in college football, as a big influence on the type of defense he hopes to run.
“I love what they do,” Midget said. “They are built around defense.”
Like Curry, Foster said Midget will be a success because of his experience at every level of football.
“Anthony is a future star in this business,” Foster said. “He’s very intelligent, very articulate, and was a great player and even better person when he played for me. He’s very knowledgeable about the game. Great football IQ.”
Foster said he would advise Midget to have some poise, trust his assistants and his beliefs as he embarks on the next step in his career.
“I’m really excited for him,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity. He’s ready for it. He’s in an up-and-coming program with great potential.”
Midget said he will coach with passion and will be very demanding.
“I will coach with great energy and we will play with great energy,” he said. “We will hold each other accountable.”
Thompson said Curry made a great choice in Midget, describing him as a good Xs and Os guy whose familiarity with the staff and players will be a benefit.
“He’s really smart and understands the big picture,” Thompson said. “Coach made a great choice and I’m happy for him.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu