New Georgia State football coach Trent Miles promised a surprising name would join his staff.
Former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski has agreed to become offensive coordinator, bringing with him a knowledge of Atlanta and a history of effective offenses. The latter is something Georgia State needs as it prepares to play in the Sun Belt next year.
Jagodzinski, who coached Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in 2007 when the two were with the Eagles, has been out of the upper-level college and traditional professional ranks for the past two years after being let go by the Tampa Bay Bucs in the preseason in 2009. He coached the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks in 2010 and this year was a volunteer coach at Ave Maria, an NAIA school in Florida.
It has been an odd few years for Jagodzinski compared to where he was.
Jagodzinski left his job as offensive coordinator with the Packers and took over at Boston College in 2007 after Tom O’Brien left for N.C. State. Jagodzinski led the Eagles to a 20-8 record, including consecutive appearances in the ACC championship game and a victory in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Despite his impressive start, he was fired after interviewing for the head coaching job with the New York Jets, which he was told by his boss at Boston College not to do.
But Jagodzinski’s offenses were productive at Boston College. Led by Ryan, Boston College averaged 28.3 points and 423.1 yards per game. In 2008, the Eagles averaged 24.7 points and 319.4 yards per game.
Before coaching the Eagles and being on the staff as the Packers’ offensive coordinator, Jagodzinski coached the tight ends and then offensive line in two years with the Falcons, making him familiar with the Atlanta market.
He came to Atlanta after his first stint with the Packers, where he coached tight ends and worked with Miles in 2000.
Georgia State’s offense struggled this year, averaging 17.4 points and 313.9 yards per game. The team will lose its most effective running back in Donald Russell, but returns two of his backups, both quarterbacks who played last year, most of the offensive line and the most productive wide receivers, led by Albert Wilson.
Miles has said he is going to try to bring in players from junior colleges and the military preparatory schools to improve the depth and talent on both sides of the ball and that if he could only bring in one player it would be a quarterback.
Jagodzinski could provide a boost to incumbents Ben McLane and Ronnie Bell, who had numerous issues this year, some of which can be traced to their inexperience as redshirt freshmen. McLane completed 50.7 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Bell completed 50.7 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Defensive coordinator: Jesse Minter
Linebackers: P.J. Volker
Defensive line: Shannon Jackson
Defensive backs: J.D. Williams
Offensive coordinator: Jeff Jagodzinski
Offensive line: Harold Etheridge