Archive for December, 2012

Jeff Jagodzinski agrees to become Georgia State’s offensive coordinator

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.

Surprise.

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 …

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Miles adds another member to Georgia State staff

J.D. Williams will be joining Trent Miles’ staff at Georgia State as defensive backs coach, completing the coaches on that side of the ball.

Williams comes to Georgia State after serving as defensive coordinator at UNLV this year. He and the Rebels’ offensive coordinator weren’t retained after the season.

He and Miles coached together at Washington. He has also coached defensive backs or the secondary at UNLV (2010-11), Utah (2009), Washington (2006-08), California (2002-05), Fresno State (2000-01), San Jose State (1999) and Cal Poly (1998).

Williams was a defensive back at Fresno State who was drafted in the first round by the Bills in 1990. He played in four Super Bowls.

He is the fifth coach Miles has hired and the first to not come with him from his previous job at Indiana State.

The new staff is:

Defensive coordinator: Jesse Minter

Linebackers: P.J. Volker

Defensive line: Shannon Jackson

Defensive backs: J.D. Williams

Offensive coordinator:

Offensive line: Harold …

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Part 2 of Q&A with Trent Miles

Georgia State introduced Trent Miles as its second football coach last week.

He is tasked with turning around a program that went 1-10 last year as it transitions to a FBS schedule this year.

Here’s the second part of an interview that took place last week:

Q: You mentioned on Monday recruiting players from junior colleges and military preparatory schools. What positions are you trying to strengthen?

A: If we can, it’s kind of late in the process, but if we can we need a big running back to help with the run game. Always need defensive players. Always need depth on the lines, and always need to look at quarterback. If you don’t have a quarterback and aren’t stout on the offensive and defensive lines you are in trouble. You have to have numbers and size on the offensive and defensive side and you have to have a quarterback.

Q: If you could get just one impact junior college player, which position?

A: Quarterback (without hesitation). Look at the Indianapolis Colts. You …

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Georgia State pulls away from Southern Poly

Continuing the trend of slow starts and strong finishes, Georgia State use its depth and defense to shake free of Southern Poly for a 86-58 victory on Saturday at the Sports Arena.

Whether mentally tired from a week’s worth of finals, or perhaps overlooking their NAIA-level opponent, the Panthers (5-4) had a two-point lead at the half and didn’t seem to become fully engaged in the game until the second half in which they held the Hornets to 23 points.

“The second half if the kind of energy and defense we should be playing,” coach Ron Hunter said. “We won’t make excuses for why we didn’t want to play in the first half defensively. We acted like we were still taking finals, which we are.”

R.J. Hunter and Devonta White led the Panthers on offense. Hunter scored 21 points, including eight in the decisive run. White added 16 points and four assists, including a no-look pass to James Vincent that led to a dunk that got the team and crowd fired up with 15:26 left in the second half. …

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Part I of Q&A with Trent Miles

Trent Miles introduced a few members of his new staff at Georgia State on Thursday.

Here’s the rest of what we talked about (some questions have been rearranged to be grouped by subject matter).

Q: What defensive system will you run?

A: It’s a 3-4, but it’s a 4-3. We will play with a rush end. He can drop or he can rush. He’ll be a big linebacker. It’s a very multiple-type defense. Personnel wise, it’s four linebackers, three down linemen.

If they are going to big, we will be more (of a) four-down line look. If they are going try to spread, we can be more (of a) three-down look.

Q: Will the multiple personnel packages that you talked about using on offense also apply to what you will do on defense?

A: Yes. We’ll match you on defense. If you are going five wideouts, we will go with five or six DBs.

All that’s predicated on what you have. We aren’t going to take one of our better players on the field off if there’s a big difference between the two just to match up. We are going …

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Miles talks about his first four hires at Georgia State

Trent Miles’ office is still empty three days after he was introduced as Georgia State’s new football coach.

But his calendar has been full.

Miles has spent most of the past 72 hours recruiting: from hiring four of his nine assistants, to talking to current players and selling Georgia State to high school coaches and future players. Miles planned to make his first home visit on Thursday and was practically bouncing in his chair with excitement as he discussed hitting the road to promote Georgia State.

Four of Miles’ staff members, all of whom worked with him at Indiana State, were officially introduced on Thursday: defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, offensive line coach Harold Etheridge, defensive line coach Shannon Jackson and linebackers coach P.J. Volker.

Miles said he hopes to complete the rest of the staff within the next week but declined to say who would join, citing the human resources process. He also declined to comment on reports that Jeff Jagodzinski will be the …

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Becker, Levick react to Sun Belt changes

Georgia State’s leaders say they have some concerns about the Sun Belt, which recently lost two schools to a rival conference, but seem confident that the conference will emerge at least as good as it was when they joined just a few months ago.

“We are concerned anytime teams leave the conference and we have significant change,” Georgia State president Mark Becker said. “We will be working with the commissioner (Karl Benson) to ensure the Sun Belt is well-positioned as a competitive conference.”

Benson said he plans on replacing Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic, which recently resigned from the Sun Belt and will join Conference USA in 2014. But Benson declined to offer any specifics because he said he has yet to begin the process. He said it may start as early as Friday.

“I have faith in commissioner Benson,” Georgia State athletic director Cheryl Levick said. “We will figure out the right plan. I still feel that we are in the right conference. I still feel that we …

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Miles’ staff at Georgia State coming together quickly

New Georgia State football coach Trent Miles has wasted little time putting together a part of his nine-man staff during this crucial high school recruiting period.

Miles, who was introduced as Georgia State’s coach on Monday, will bring at least four assistants with him from Indiana State: Shannon Jackson, Harold Etheridge, PJ Volker and Jesse Minter.

Minter, who was Miles’ defensive coordinator with the Sycamores in 2011 and ‘12, will lead Georgia State’s defense. Indiana State  had one of the best defenses in FCS this year, allowing less than 300 yards per game. Minter worked four years at Indiana State, the first two as an assistant, after spending two years as a graduate assistant at Cincinnati. Miles said on Monday that the defense will attack.

Georgia State’s defense allowed 35.6 points and 446.8 yards per game during last year’s 1-10 campaign.

Etheridge was Indiana State’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. He will coach the Panthers’ offensive line. The …

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Details of the contract between Trent Miles and Georgia State

Trent Miles will receive an annual base salary of $450,000 to coach Georgia State’s football team, according a to a copy of his contract obtained by the AJC through an Open Records Request.

The contract extends through Dec. 31, 2017, but a good faith review will be done on or before Dec. 31, 2014 that grants Georgia State the right to extend the deal by two years.

Base salaries for coaches in the Sun Belt range from $250,000 (Louisiana-Monroe) to $856,210 (Arkansas State), according to USA Today’s database.

There is the boilerplate in Miles’ contract that calls for bonuses on on-field and off-field achievements, some of which shouldn’t be difficult to achieve. But there are also provisions that partially reflect the strained economic conditions the university is navigating.

• Miles won’t receive an annual raise unless state employees receive raises;

• Miles will not be compensated during periods in which university employees are furloughed. This is standard language that has …

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Trent Miles has a plan for Georgia State

New Georgia State football coach Trent Miles has a plan.

If you don’t believe him, you can look at the spiral-bound booklet that he wrote and brought with him, CEO style, to his interviews.

The end result of that plan is to turn Georgia State into a national power.

“Eventually we want to win a BCS game or in the new format get into a playoff,” he said, perhaps jolting to attention anyone who watched Georgia State go 1-10 last year.

Miles was introduced as Georgia State’s second football coach on Monday at the Sports Arena. He was hired last week, agreeing to a five-year contract that will pay him $450,000 per year.

With a marching band playing, his wife and four children sitting in the front row and a hundred or so fans in attendance, Miles spoke with the enthusiasm of someone who is unburdened by the past. The Panthers suffered their second consecutive losing season last year, dropping their three-year record to 10-23. Attendance declined to less than 12,500 a game, making …

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