Former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was hired as Georgia State’s offensive coordinator on Tuesday. It was a surprising move for Georgia State, a third-year program that is making the move to the Sun Belt Conference next year. Jagodzinski led Boston College to two appearances in the ACC championship game, and helped Matt Ryan become the No. 2 player selected in the NFL draft.
New Coach Trent Miles took a few minutes between recruiting visits to talk about his new hire and how Jagodzinski will fit into the staff.
Q: How did this hire come about?
A: Jags and I worked together at Green Bay (in 2000). He’s a heck of a football coach. With all the experience he has …
We’ve always kept in touch. When I got this position I asked if he was interested. He said he would think about it. When it came true, it picked up from there.
Q: Will he also coach QBs?
A: Right now, he’s going to work with quarterbacks. We want to see how the staff will sort out. He will have input on the staff on that side of the ball.
He’s such a good coach he can do what he needs to do from any position.
Q: What are his strengths?
A: His knowledge of the system that he runs. It’s the same system we run. It’s the same he ran with Matt Ryan at Boston College. He knows the system. He knows how to relate to players and is a great guy to have in the staff room.
Plus, here’s another guy who was a successful head coach in the ACC. There are things he can help me with when I need to bounced (ideas) off him.
Q: How do you and he work together? How do you complement each other?
A: We think alike as far as the way we want to be in meeting room with other staff members. Part of putting staff together is having the right personalities and right type of guys. He gets along with anyone. If we have younger coaches he can help them and older coaches know where he’s coming from.
He’s good at being able to manage and delegate to get the most out of everyone’s ability. He’s really good at that. He and I really work well together. I have a good idea knowing what he wants to do and how to go about doing that.
I’ve always gotten along well with him. When we talk on the phone we see eye to eye when we’ve seen games on TV.
Q: Any concern about how the BC job and Bucs jobs ended?
A: None whatsoever. Here’s a guy that the Jets wanted to interview for a head coaching job. I wasn’t in the room, but it had nothing to do with Jags the football coach or person.
I just can’t tell you what happened in the room. I know they both have great respect for each other. It wasn’t a reflection on the coach.
I don’t know a lot of what happened in Tampa Bay. I don’t think it has anything what we can do or his ability as a football coach and as a person.
Q: Any concern that he could be a one-and-done?
A: When you hire a staff that we are putting together, there’s always that concern. When you get a guy like J.D. Williams and Jags, and Harold Etheridge and Jesse Minter, these are all guys that people are going to look at. You know you’ve got the right guy when other people are calling to talk to them. That’s just the nature of the business.
I understand that Georgia State needs continuity. At Indiana State, I lost some coaches, but I had the same base with defense so the philosophy’s not going to change and the scheme’s not going to change.
When you hire good people, there’s always the chance that people will try to hire them. That’s not the goal. The goal is continuity on the staff.
But the schemes won’t change. The only time I changed something at Indiana State, I changed the defensive scheme one time because I didn’t like the direction. I wanted to do what the Minters were doing, and we got better and better until we finished No. 3 this year.
Q: When will rest of staff be completed?
A: Very shortly. I have a great idea, just waiting for the right time. (It could be) Finalized between now and next week.
Q: What about J.D. Williams? What are his strengths? What area will he recruit?
A: He’s going to recruit a section of Atlanta. He’ll have some (junior colleges) and a section of Florida. J.D. is a very, very strong recruiter. Once he gets a kid on campus and can coach them, he’s a very strong technique coach. I’ve seen him, coached with him at Washington and Fresno State. Guys are going to learn the techniques and fundamentals of the position. And he fits on the staff. These are good men that relate well with people.
That’s what J.D. brings.
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