McCollum excited to get started at Tech

Andy McCollum remembers going to Georgia Tech games when he was a boy growing up in Marietta. He remembers waking up on Thanksgiving excited about going to watch the “Bullpups” and the Yellow Jackets play each year.

Now, after recently being hired as Tech’s defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, he said he’s excited about making some new memories.

“It’s an honor,” McCollum said on Thursday as he was driving from Raleigh to Atlanta with a car full of clothes.

McCollum and Tech coach Paul Johnson have known each other since the mid-1980s when McCollum was an assistant at Middle Tennessee State and Johnson an assistant at Georgia Southern.

The respect runs deep for the expertise that the other brings to that side of the ball.

When the two became head coaches at their schools, McCollum was in the process of leading the Blue Raiders from the I-AA to I-A level. As he was scheduling Georgia and Florida, he said Johnson called him and asked if he needed a game.

“I told him I didn’t just fall off the truck,” McCollum said. “I’m not  playing Georgia Southern and I ‘m not  playing you.”

That, more than anything, he said shows how much faith that he has in Johnson’s spread-option offense, which some still question, and his ability to lead a football team.

“That’s one of the exciting things for me,” McCollum said. “All I’ve got to do is practice against it and not defend it. Survey the country and ask any coach in the country, ask them if they want to defend it. It would be unbelievable.

“It’s proven. It’s not like it’s a one- and two-year deal at Navy. He whipped people there more than once.”

McCollum said most of his people still live in or around the Marietta area, including his 76-year-old father, his brother and his sister. After he gets settled in at Tech, he’s going to start looking for a high school for his son, who plays catcher.

Leaving N.C. State to come to Tech was a tough decision, he said. Mostly because when he arrived in Raleigh, the Wolfpack didn’t have any players from Georgia. When he resigned, they had 17.

“When you’ve got a relationship with your kids it makes it tough to leave,” McCollum said. “That’s the toughest part of our profession. You truly have a relationahip. I do and I believe that. Somebody’s family turned them over to you. That’s a dadgum responsibility.

“But I think there are a lot of parents that are exciting about turning over their kids to Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech.”

55 comments Add your comment

nickj0321

February 11th, 2010
1:41 pm

“bullpups” gotta love it…

JB

February 11th, 2010
1:41 pm

JB

February 11th, 2010
1:41 pm

dangit. glad to see he’s excited though.

nickj0321

February 11th, 2010
1:42 pm

haha jb this is the first time ive ever been first on anything…not that i care

Mr. Phoenix

February 11th, 2010
1:54 pm

I think Johnson is putting together a great coaching staff with years of combined experience. We all know that our defense has been our weakness and I believe Groh and McCollum will coach these young men up. Can’t wait for Sept.

Burdell

February 11th, 2010
1:55 pm

They were called “Bullpups” because it was the Freshman or JV game on Thanksgiving…not Varsity. Not sure if the Jackets had a special name for their Freshman/JV team.

Burdell

February 11th, 2010
1:56 pm

Oh, and welcome to the Flats coach!

Old Gold Britches

February 11th, 2010
1:56 pm

Welcome back to Atlanta, and welcome to Georgia Tech Andy!

Vick=Dog killing Thug

February 11th, 2010
2:09 pm

Dear Coach Andy

I’n case no one told you???

We run this state. Go Dawgs !!

BigTimeTechFan

February 11th, 2010
2:13 pm

Bull Pups = equals Scottish Rite Childrens Game, Freshman team used to play on Thanksgiving. I went to many. My Grandfather played for them, grew up season ticket holder all my life, used to love those games.
Drew Hill, Jimmy Robinson, LUCIUS!, Salt and Pepper, Eddie Lee Ivory, David Sims…..

Saint Simon

February 11th, 2010
2:16 pm

Glad to see McCollum is excited to get “punched” in the face by the Bulldog offense.

See you in November

UGA 30 – GT 24!!

WE RUN THIS STATE!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 11th, 2010
2:16 pm

Burdell, I think the freshman team was called the “Baby Jackets,” but that’s been so long ago, I wouldn’t bet on that being right.

Ozzy

February 11th, 2010
2:22 pm

Does McCollum know anything about basketball?

Sorry, just thinking…………………..

Thank you to GT

February 11th, 2010
2:23 pm

Just wanted to say thank you to the GT defense in last year’s game against UGA.

Our “Bullpups”, Ealey and King, became Bulldogs by shredding your lame defense for 339 yards on the ground. Next year we expect to see our “Bullpups”, QB Aaron Murray, to light you up for 400 yards.

WE RUN THIS STATE!!!

UGA 30 – GT 24!!!!

Ozzy

February 11th, 2010
2:25 pm

I said I was taking that bulldog picture out of the bottom of my toilet but I changed my mind.

wesleywhatwhat

February 11th, 2010
2:28 pm

these “we run this state” morons are pretty lame, aren’t they?

but i suppose they can have their QUOTE FROM A RIHANNA SONG if it makes them feel better, lol

tech fans will simply have to be content with a ranking of 13th in the nation for their up-and-coming program.

Clint Castleberry

February 11th, 2010
2:32 pm

It was the bullpups vs. the baby jackets. The freshman football game for the Scottish Rite Hospital. Probably stopped by the late 70’s or whenever freshman became eligible to play on varsity.

Clint Castleberry

February 11th, 2010
2:33 pm

wesleywhatwhat,

It is the same guy Posting under several differnet handles.

WE RUiN THIS STATE

February 11th, 2010
2:38 pm

JB

February 11th, 2010
3:17 pm

Groh took him to dinner last night about 4:30 to the Picadilly on Piedmont Road.

JB

February 11th, 2010
3:19 pm

WE RUN THIS STATE will wear out when “THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN” DOES. GEEZ.
Does m or St. Simmons ever come to the TECH blog?

79

February 11th, 2010
3:25 pm

Last true Freshman-only game was 1973. It became a Junior Varsity game in 1974 and then faded away several years later. Thought I’d point out to BigTime Tech Fan that he never saw Drew or Eddie Lee or Lucius play in a Scottish Rite game. They all were on the varsity from the moment they arrived at Tech……Jimmy Robinson and David Sims certainly played in the game but Sims was playing tight end, not running back, at the time ……

collegeballfan

February 11th, 2010
3:26 pm

Wow! He recruited 17 players from Georgia in just 3 years? He may not be able to coach, we shall see, but he can flat out recruit.

To: Thank you to GT at 2:23 pm. You are welcome. We were just returning the favor you gave us the year before. What was it 45 points? This year it is your turn. OK?

Jon Heisman

February 11th, 2010
3:31 pm

Can’t wait to tear up some more hedges the Saturday after Thanksgiving!

UGA FAN "NOT REALLY"

February 11th, 2010
3:55 pm

Funny how some uga fans seem to forget that GT had a lousy defense and brag about the 09 win and forget all about their preseason #1 team having 45 hung on them. Either way I wish UGA luck next year and hope we start meeting each other when the game has national title consideration behind it.

BIG BEE

February 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

Hey Coach McCollum, read a few blogs(don’t look for the UGA bloggs, you can find all their idiots right here), and you can see the type “fans” that try to lure young men to UGA. Hopefully, when schooling is over, they can read some of the bloggs and think what a bunch of idiots claim to bu UGA grads.

Perk

February 11th, 2010
4:15 pm

the annual thanksgiving game between the bullpups and the babyjackets was a tradition unmatched. Congrats to GT on a good hire as a recruiting coordinator. With 2 new defenses by both GT and the Dawgs, optimism is sky high. See you between the hedges next fall.

Hack

February 11th, 2010
4:17 pm

Congrats on the Tech job coach, but we know you’d rather be at UGA! Wish they would’ve hired you. Oh well…

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
4:24 pm

saw sts on CT, same lame post, endemic to these sites…our new lb coach eerily similar to daug’s same..

Hal

February 11th, 2010
4:33 pm

I loved those Tech/UGA freshman games. You would have just as many fans in the stands for that game as you would for the varsity game on Saturday. After a great game we would all go home and have some turkey.

We Run This State

February 11th, 2010
4:40 pm

We Run This State,,,is a term I hear the KY & TN fans talking all over the state of GA also. Run your puke spouts UGAy fans you know CPJ, Gators, KY, TN & SC all have your numbers. 2nd tier SEC East is where the Doggies are destined.

Tokyo jacket

February 11th, 2010
4:43 pm

First, let me say I loved what Giff Smith did for Tech recruiting. Now, it is apparent that CAM is an upgrade when it comes to developing players and probably a break even or slight decline when it comes to recruiting. Definitely an overall upgrade though. I think CPJ has built a great defensive staff in the offseason this year.

I think the new, tough approach to our defense will definitely translate into wins late in the year. I really don’t see any reason we can’t be 8-0 heading up to Blacksburg (though at least 6-2 is likely). That means those wins at the end of the year will be critical.

Tokyo jacket

February 11th, 2010
4:45 pm

Meant to say that 6-2 is the minimum.

Hey Dogtards

February 11th, 2010
5:58 pm

I love how a lot of people seemingly talk about what a great recruiter Giff Smith was, without really understanding what makes a great recruiter.

What a great recruiter is NOT: a car salesman. Very little in being a good recruiting coordinator involves going into a kids living room and selling the $#@& out of him. Everyone can do that.

What primarily makes a great recruiter are two things: a great knowledge of the recruiting base and great organizational skills.

On the former – the most critical asset in recruiting is having someone who knows every high school in the state/region, and knows the coach at each school. For example, I could sell the bejesus out of GT, but I don’t know a single high school coach in Georgia.

This serves a number of purposes. First, the coaches call you when they have a player they think you should look at. If they know you (the recruiter) its even better because they know who will be good fits. Second, the coaches know their players best and have their interest at heart, they will sell a player on a particular school if they really believe that school is best. How would they know that? Forming a relationship with the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator. Third, knowing the region helps player scouting. HS coaches will keep recruiting developers apprised of prospects when they are Freshmen/Sophomores. The coordinators can assign coaches to review game film or watch the kid play live and determine if he merits recruiting. That way, relationships are formed early in a players career – probably one of the biggest aids to recruiting.

This brings me to the second skill asset, organization. There are hundreds of high schools in the state alone – 160 teams alone made the state playoffs. Even if only a fraction of the players on those teams merit attention, you are still talking about hundreds and hundreds of players to scout and form relationships with. A recruiting coordinator has to divide up those responsibilities to all of the other coaches on the staff, and stay on top of the school’s recruiting efforts for all of those players. It’s not just about being able to persuade a single 18 year old to come to the school, its about managing and overseeing all of the coaches relationships with hundreds of 18 years olds in order to determine 1) who is good enough to come and 2) who is interested in the school.

GT

February 11th, 2010
6:41 pm

Didn’t NC State have two first rounders on the defensive side a couple of years ago?

GT Fan...

February 11th, 2010
6:56 pm

Thank you to GT wrote: “blah, blah, blah …….. Next year we expect to see our “Bullpups”, QB Aaron Murray, to light you up for 400 yards.”

T-y-t-GT, I seem to recall one Matt Stafford (and Massoqua) having their career best games in the 2008 game against GT. MS – 407yds 5 tds, MM – 190 yds 3 tds …. how’d the “bullpups” fair in that game???

GT had a porous D that last 2 seasons (under Wommack), and yet PJ was still able to manage the Yellow Jackets to a win over the mighty mighty “bullpups”. With the upgrade to the D, I like PJ’s chances the last Saturday in November as long as he’s running the show at GT.

Defending ACC Champions

February 11th, 2010
8:00 pm

The only thing UGA runs,
……………………………….is the City of Shreveport !

Stumpknocker

February 11th, 2010
9:51 pm

The only thing UGaY runs is their mouth. We’ve got some Round-Up for that hedge problem in Atttthhhhhinnnns.

Wicked Willie

February 11th, 2010
10:21 pm

Too bad they can’t go back to the rule of no Frosh on Varsity.But most are looking for the big bucks from NFL and don’t or can’t graduate.Sad. GO JACKETS!

GT Fan

February 11th, 2010
10:29 pm

If you run this State you better run fast because we’re coming after your a@@.

Bill

February 11th, 2010
10:37 pm

Did you say “we run this state?” No damn wonder the States broke.

Tony Shumpert

February 12th, 2010
12:35 am

Doug, you KNOW not to write an article on Andy and NOT post pictures of him. Even though there are no pics, he at least has a cute name.

old Tech fan in NC

February 12th, 2010
7:27 am

NCSU hired Jon Tenuta as linebackers coach…one door closes, another opens…

Eassyy

February 12th, 2010
8:38 am

Tech still hasn’t won a bowl game since ‘04. WOW!

Alabama Jack

February 12th, 2010
9:07 am

Burdell

February 11th, 2010
1:55 pm

They were called “Bullpups” because it was the Freshman or JV game on Thanksgiving…not Varsity. Not sure if the Jackets had a special name for their Freshman/JV team.

When I was there the Tech team was called them WINNERS.

SlickWillie

February 12th, 2010
9:41 am

All you so called dog fans know the Urban Meyer and the Gators OWN the State of georgia. Your stupid governor should just give the land to Florida.

wow

February 12th, 2010
10:33 am

WOW…..Doug Roberson really looks like a tech fan……LOL….priceless

wow

February 12th, 2010
10:34 am

8 0f 9 you sissy jackets…eat it….30-24…………………..we run the state….go get your own state and GET OUT OF OURS

sillydoggie

February 12th, 2010
3:17 pm

Hey UGA fans, maybe you should start worrying about being a threat in your division before claiming to run a thing. UGA won because GT had a horrible defense, not because UGA did anything special.

sillylittlebee

February 13th, 2010
7:54 am

Didn’t UGA have an absolutely horrible defense as well sillydoggie? What does it say about your offense when your clueless coach is heaving bombs from inside UGA’s 50 with plenty of time on the clock to run that vaunted TO? The UGA and Iowa games showed once again that GT football is impotent outside the ACC and Paul John son can’t find his fat butt with both hands against decent OOC teams. GT football is an absolute joke.