Tech loses recruiting coordinator — updated at 9:35 p.m.

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Days before Signing Day, Georgia Tech recruiting coordinator Giff Smith has accepted a job as outside linebackers coach with the NFL’s  Buffalo Bills.

Smith will be reunited with Chan Gailey, recently hired to be the Bills’ head coach a little more than two years after he was fired as the Yellow Jackets’ coach. A call to the Buffalo Bills hasn’t been returned. A text and call to Smith hasn’t been returned.

Signing Day is Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Tech’s class is ranked No. 44 by Rivals.com and No. 45 by Scout.com.

Giff Smith

Giff Smith

Smith has been Tech’s recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach for the past four seasons. Gailey hired him as the line coach in 2004, after Smith spent five seasons at Tulane.

A native of Mableton (Pebblebrook), Smith is a graduate of Georgia Southern (1991).

During Smith’s tenure as recruiting coordinator, the Jackets have signed several nationally ranked players, including Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett, whom are all expected to go in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft in April.

Smith was paid $189,000 at Tech.

Several Tech recruits said Smith’s decision won’t affect their commitments.

Northview defensive tackle Denzel McCoy said he was “mad” when he heard that Smith was leaving. But McCoy calmed down after talking over the phone with him.

“We were pretty tight,” McCoy said. “Smith called to tell me about the news. He said he was looking forward to watching me the next four years, and hopefully would get to coach me at the next level (NFL).”

McCoy said he and fellow Georgia Tech commitment Shawn Green of Grayson had visited with Smith for nearly eight hours. They talked about Tech’s defensive line of the future, and watch films of old NFC championship games, including the 1998 thriller between the Falcons and Vikings.

“It was a good day,” McCoy said. “(Smith) didn’t say anything about another job. We had big plans for next year. I was mad at first when I heard he was leaving, but it’s all good now. I’m moving forward.”

Tech head coach Paul Johnson also called McCoy on Tuesday. “(Johnson) said not to worry about it, that they were going to bring someone in highly capable to do the job,” McCoy said.

McCoy said Arkansas has been trying to sway him, but that he remains committed to Tech.

Union Grove defensive end Anthony Williams said his commitment is firm because of the relationships that he’s made with the rest of Tech’s coaches, as well as with the other commitments.

Central High (Phenix City, Ala.) running back Deon Hill said his commitment is firm because “of the program and the education I’ll get.”

What was the reaction of Blessed Trinity defensive back Jake Skole? “It stinks,” he said. “He was a good dude, and a good coach.”

“I was disappointed to hear about it. But I picked Georgia Tech for a lot of reasons, and I know (Johnson) knows what he’s going and will hire a good replacement. We’ll be all right.”

Skole said he remains committed to Tech.

Synjyn Days’ father, Calvin, said his son is committed to “coach Johnson and coach [Brian] Bohannon, the Institute and the things that are happening there.”

Synjyn, a quarterback at Hillgrove, said it’s hard to see Smith go because he said they had such a good connection. Synjyn said before the Georgia game, when the players were jumping around in the huddle, Smith walked over and asked: “You want to get in there, don’t you?”

Synjyn’s response: “You know me too well, coach.”

He hadn’t heard from any of Tech’s coaches on Tuesday, but he said he is “100-percent firm” in his commitment.

The Jackets have 16 players committed with two scholarships remaining. Offers have been made to two players: Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton and Roswell wide receiver Chris Boyd, who previously committed to Vanderbilt.

Commitments are non-binding until the players sign their letters of intent next week.

Tech’s 2010 commitments

Catlin Alford OL 6-4 275 Adairsville, GA

Jeremiah Attaochu LB 6-3 223 Washington, DC

Ryan Ayers DB 5-10 175 Douglasville, GA

Morgan Bailey OL 6-4 285 Loganville, GA

Barry Bostic ATH 5-10 156 Louisville, GA

Synjyn Days ATH 6-2 205 Powder Springs, GA

Shawn Green DT 6-2 275 Loganville, GA

Deon Hill RB 6-0 195 Phenix City, AL

Fred Holton DB 6-1 196 Thomasville, GA

Isaiah Johnson DB 6-2 175 Tyrone, GA

Denzel McCoy DT 6-4 275 Duluth, GA

Justin Moore K 5-10 160 Atlanta, GA

Quayshawn Nealy LB 6-0 215 Lakeland, FL

Charles Perkins RB 6-0 195 Suwanee, GA

Jake Skole DB 6-1 185 Roswell, GA

Anthony Williams DE 6-4 235 McDonough, GA

————–

Staff report Michael Carvell and correspondent Matt Winkeljohn contributed to this report.

89 comments Add your comment

westcobbstinger

January 26th, 2010
6:12 pm

He will be out of a job in 2 yars when Chan gets fired

westcobbstinger

January 26th, 2010
6:14 pm

years not yars
First and second.

GTFAN

January 26th, 2010
6:18 pm

Enter your comments here

Tech75

January 26th, 2010
6:19 pm

Congrats to the Giffer…

I presume he’ll join Gailey following signing day, but it’s possible CPJ didn’t think it was a big deal since the class is already cooked.

Danny G

January 26th, 2010
6:19 pm

School of Kiffin. What loyalty to the school.

GTFAN

January 26th, 2010
6:21 pm

Oh man this sucks! First we lose to ugay like always. Now we are losing coaches because we pay them crap because no one donates money and we cant even sell out our stadium.

TEE

January 26th, 2010
6:22 pm

Its Tech, who cares!!!

JJ

January 26th, 2010
6:25 pm

Commit to a school, not a coach.

superDawg

January 26th, 2010
6:27 pm

How bout them DAWGS.This just gives you tekies another excuse lord knows you need them.See you in the BIG house with a sold out crowd of Red and Black.

Tokyo jacket

January 26th, 2010
6:28 pm

West Cobb Stinger, that’s a bold prediction! You really think Gailey will last two full years?!?!

Mark

January 26th, 2010
6:34 pm

And then I told them “How bout them DAWGS.This just gives you tekies another excuse lord knows you need them.See you in the BIG house with a sold out crowd of Red and Black.”

“I was a big man on the Tech blog last night, you shoulda been there…”

- superDawg at his janitorial job

Mark

January 26th, 2010
6:37 pm

And then I said “DAWGNUTS

January 26th, 2010
6:31 pm
HA HA HA!!!

YOU STINK TECH LOSERS!!

EVERYONE HAS YOU FIGURED OUT!! NO RECRUITS!! NO COACHES!!!

BBBBBBBBBBWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHA”

“I was like, the greatest blogger ever!! I mean a big man!”

DAWGNUTS at his job at walmart tomorrow…

Tech fan

January 26th, 2010
6:42 pm

Do we really want to open up the comments sections on this one? This is going to be ugly.

Danny G

January 26th, 2010
6:45 pm

At least these guys have jobs Mark. Most Techsters with the big paper are on Monster.com scratching their heads and wondering why their Daddy blew all of his money on their degree when there is no where to work? Oh well, they can’t get a job, so I guess they will jump back onto their xbox 360 and play with their lint hair in their naval and dream of actually touching a Bulldog cheerleader.

reggie ball

January 26th, 2010
6:48 pm

Galley gave to me and just keeps giving to Tech. Gone 2 years and still looking after Tech’s needs. Good luck Giff. Keep your reseume up to date. You will need it in a short short.

THWG.

BamaNumber1

January 26th, 2010
6:49 pm

Good luck to Coach Smith. He will be at the Bills for a couple of years and then move on to another NFL team or college team as a defensive coordinator. He’s paid his dues. It is time to move on up.

superDawg

January 26th, 2010
6:50 pm

mark it really must be hard being a nerd.If that is the best you can do then you need to go back to preschool.

GTville

January 26th, 2010
6:54 pm

Congratulations Giff.

Good coaches will move around a lot to get experience, contacts, responsibility and pay raises…just like 20-30 year olds in the work place. Those who indicate this is a loyalty to GT issue don’t get it. Next step is a Coordinator role in the NFL, then HC. Maybe some of his GT recruits can play 4 years and join him in the NFL.

30-24 Dawgs - WE RUN THIS STATE!

January 26th, 2010
6:57 pm

Can’t blame Giff for jumping out of a sinking ship. We’ve seen that Coach Johnson can only win with Chan’s recruits and now they all bailed out too.

After 30-24 everybody’s making the jump.

Tech is soft

January 26th, 2010
6:58 pm

Giff Smith’s departure: It’s Chan-tastic!

Tyler

January 26th, 2010
6:58 pm

Good luck Giff. You will be missed.

GTI? Where are you?

January 26th, 2010
7:00 pm

Where was GTI on this bit of HOT (mess) NEWS? I though any insider would have heard this one coming like a freight train.

LET THE BIG DAWG EAT!

January 26th, 2010
7:01 pm

ARE ANY OF THESE GUYS TOP RECRUITS? NEVER HEARD OF ANY OF THEM.

JacketFan86

January 26th, 2010
7:02 pm

Gailey…still cant believe someone wanted to give him another head coaching chance after his “great” offense and kansas city! geez buffalo is in such turmoil. Giff will have wished he stayed when gailey is gone in 3 seasons or less. but 3 sounds about right. buffalo will make excuses for gailey for a few yrs then realize they were dead wrong hiring him. heres hoping all the recruits stick, im sure they will but it wouldve been nice if gailey picked up giff after signing day or in like march.

Tech75

January 26th, 2010
7:02 pm

I think we’re going to see a lot more Dawgs on here…. Home Depot laying off 1,000 people nationally

My condolences to those soon to be unemployed…

Jason

January 26th, 2010
7:03 pm

Tech75

January 26th, 2010
7:04 pm

Hey Danny G – you know nothing.

My son (current Tech student) just told me that according to the Placement people, they are placing 100% of the recent graduates.

Sucks to be you, huh?

TCW

January 26th, 2010
7:06 pm

Wherever Gailey is you know he’s laughing his azz off.

Jason

January 26th, 2010
7:06 pm

dawgfan, Here are the course requirements for all GT. At least Calculus I & II is required for all majors

http://www.admiss.gatech.edu/images/pdf/B10C2065_TransferViewbook_pg9.pdf

MachineCoOwner

January 26th, 2010
7:08 pm

Danny G. I just hired 2 recent GT grads to do CADS drawings. They’re making 12.50 an hour. So yes they are being placed in jobs.

Giff Smith

January 26th, 2010
7:08 pm

Remember what I said about Washaun Ealey (before he and Caleb King steamrolled our defense to the tune of 330+ rushing yards)…

”In my opinion, J.C. Lanier is the best player on ECI’s team,” says Giff Smith, drawing more applause as he put down Lanier’s HS teammate UGA’s Ealey.

Ealey came back to Run This State in the 30-24 UGA victory.

Ekim

January 26th, 2010
7:13 pm

Way to stay classy, UGA fans.
(And yeah, I’ll say the same thing about Tech fans in the UGA blogs.)

TECHKNUTTS

January 26th, 2010
7:14 pm

Actually depending on the hire I think we’ll be better off. A stroke of good fortune. Also makes Al Groh’s job easier. Best of luck to Giff though. Good man.

Danny G

January 26th, 2010
7:15 pm

So Tech75, all you are telling me is your son really believes the “head hunters” you call placement people that you have to pay to help him find a job. Good for him. Of course the school will tell you that. In the real world, it just isn’t true. I may know nothing, but I do know a good lie when I hear it. I give your Son the same advice I give mine. Stay in school as long as you can and get as much paper as you can until this economy gets better. Then, come on out and be successful at something you truly love. No, Tech75, it does not suck being me. I am one of the lucky ones out here that own a good business and has not been effected by this tale spin we are in. Good luck to your boy!

MachineCoOwner

January 26th, 2010
7:15 pm

Your point Jason? Some of the dumbest human beings I have ever known could knock some Calculus out but when it came to being functional in other areas they were total disasters. It is just another aptitude. Doesn’t make them any more intelligent or less intelligent than folks with other aptitudes.

Coach Paul Johnson

January 26th, 2010
7:18 pm

All 7 GT season ticket holders are invited to a FISH FRY to see Giff off on his way to rejoin Chan “the 51-7 man” Gailey.

We’ll watch replays of all of our victories over Jacksonville State & ACC teams and skip over the Miami, UGA and bowl losses. We had bigger fish to fry anyways than worrying about those little games.

collegeballfan

January 26th, 2010
7:20 pm

GTI? Where are you? January 26th, 2010 7:00 pm
“Where was GTI on this bit of HOT (mess) NEWS? I though any insider would have heard this one coming like a freight train.”

GTI was on this at 10:00 Am this morning. Read the Chip Towers blog fool.

Jason

January 26th, 2010
7:23 pm

My point is if you do not test into calculus then you will not play football at GT. I was correcting dawgfan who said “the calculus requirement is a myth and a lie. The management majors that make up the vast majority of Georgia Tech’s football team are not required to take calculus. Again, this is a bold faced Techie LIE.”

Danny G

January 26th, 2010
7:23 pm

Sounds like you got a deal MachineCoOwner. Two Techsters for the price of one 5 years ago. That is $26,000.00 a year, if they work 40 hrs a week. My boy made more than $12.50 an hour waiting on tables and parking cars at a Highlands Country Club during Summer break last year.

collegeballfan

January 26th, 2010
7:24 pm

Here is ther GTI comment from the Chip Towers blog.

“GA Tech Insider
January 26th, 2010
10:29 am
Yes, regarding Giff. Great for him, but we’ll be sad to see him go; he’s been great for all associated with the Jacket Nation. Also, assume Justin is off the table; he won’t be here on Saturday.”
———————

Look I do not know who this guy is but I have tracked him and he is ahead of everyone.

poopdawg

January 26th, 2010
7:30 pm

Has Smith ever been to Buffalo ? Love the colors red and blue but God help him. I am sure he’s making more money , but i feeled chilled just thinking about it.

Xihix

January 26th, 2010
7:41 pm

Actually, Management majors are required to take calculus, computer science, and other difficult science classes.

http://mgt.gatech.edu/programs/under/files/bsm_credit_sheet_side_1.pdf

GT Anchorage

January 26th, 2010
7:46 pm

Danny G, your first comment was pretty moronic, if you were comparing a Georgia Tech graduate, to a uga one. After junior college, most of my friends ended up going to Athens(either to go to uga or to Athens Tech), and after they finished college were not able to find a job. I can only think of one or two that are employed with something having to do with their major.
All of my friends that I graduated with, from Georgia Tech, are currently employed in areas affiliated with their major (Aerospace in this case).
So if you want poke at graduates not being able to find jobs, go to the uga blogs.

JacketFanTiliDie

January 26th, 2010
7:46 pm

Do any pf you UGA fans have anything better to do than comment on articles/blogs about our program? Get a freakin life!!!!!!!!!!!!

Morgan Burnett

January 26th, 2010
7:54 pm

I blame Giff Smith for Caleb King’s 75-yard UNTOUCHED TD run during the 30-24 UGA victory.

If Giff had recruited faster players like King for us to practice against I may have been able to close the gap on Caleb and perhaps lay a finger on him.

Instead I got toasted.

GT Anchorage

January 26th, 2010
7:54 pm

JacketFanTiliDie,
Its the only thing that they have…

MachineCoOwner

January 26th, 2010
8:03 pm

Jason GT is in the top 5 teams in this country in granting academic exception admission to football players. If you think those guys “tested into calculus” you’re delusional. Half of your football team takes their harder classes over at Morehouse as well.

CalculusMyAzz

January 26th, 2010
8:07 pm

Maybe Georgia Tech would be better served teaching their QBs to count to 4 huh Jason? I bet Reggie Ball couldn’t find the Calculus building with a GPS. It’s a myth and everybody knows it. Think all those ineligibles ever took Calculus? LMAO!

Eaaasssyy

January 26th, 2010
8:13 pm

i don’t see this as that big of a loss. IMHO, Tech’s softest spot on D last year was DLine.. Shouldn’t be hard to replace. Any names in the mix already?

BrokeBackJacket

January 26th, 2010
8:16 pm

Recruiting coordinator and DL coach at a program that claims to be “big time”….making $189,000 a year?

Means one of two things…EITHER there are no Tech alumini to speak of..except those in middle east and asia…OR they are lying big time about making the big bucks!

Maybe they really can’t afford to buy out CPH’s contract…….pitiful!