Hope you’re well. I spoke with Georgia Tech assistant coach Buzz Preston about the opening at Hawaii. He said he was encouraged to apply, but that even if he hadn’t been, he would have applied anyway.
“That kind of situation, opportunity, opens itself, you definitely are going to try to get yourself involved with it,” he said.
He makes a pretty good case to be considered.
First, the school is dear to him. He played there, graduated from there, met his wife Audrey there, coached there and returns there almost annually with his three children.
He’s coached at nine different schools over a 32-year coaching career, largely on offense but also defense and special teams. It has given him exposure to a variety of offensive and defensive schemes.
He describes the offense that he would coach as “hybrid, that you can exploit running and passing the ball and doing some things that would have West Coast concepts, run and shoot concepts and a little bit of the spread of what we’re doing here.” He coached at Hawaii (1987-93) at a time when it was highly successful. He helped Hawaii win the school’s first WAC title in 1992, helped Washington State win the Pac-10 in 1997, helped Stanford win the Pac-10 in 1999 and helped Tech win the ACC in 2009. That’s a little different than, for example, helping Ohio State win the Big Ten.
“I feel like at this point in my life and in my career, I’m more than ready to lead a program because I’ve been a part of programs that have won and won big,” he said.
Obviously, it won’t help him that he’s only been an offensive coordinator for one season (he was special teams coordinator for three seasons at Notre Dame). It may help him that he knows Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan (who played at Hawaii when Preston was a grad assistant) and others in the athletic department.
I can say this: Coaching wide receivers at Tech is probably not for everyone given how infrequently the Jackets pass. But Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton, as well as Demaryius Thomas before them, block hard and well, which is a credit to Preston, and generally take advantage of their opportunities. I can also say that Preston is demanding, but also personable and enthusiastic with a positive personality.
Simply from a numbers standpoint, the odds are against him, in that 30 coaches have applied for the job, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. But it seems like he’d be worth strong consideration.
“I just really feel like I can bring a lot, especially understanding Hawaii and how Hawaii is and enjoying being there,” he said. “It would be a dream job for me.”
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog