Georgia Tech will hire a coach from the Canadian Football League to be its new special teams coordinator. Dave Walkosky will fill the vacancy on the Yellow Jackets’ staff, the Calgary Stampeders announced in a Wednesday news release.
The hire was first reported by Canadian sports network TSN. Tech spokesman Dean Buchan wouldn’t confirm the hire but said the school hopes to make an announcement on the hire by early next week.
The move is an intriguing one by coach Paul Johnson. The coach has not had a titled special teams coordinator since arriving at Tech in 2008 and has gone to great lengths to defend and explain his rationale for not having one in the face of sub-par special-teams play.
“Our special teams were not very good again,” Johnson said Tuesday. “We may make a change there, we may look at doing it differently. I don’t necessarily think it’s scheme, but maybe it’s the way we’re approaching it or whatever. So we’ll take a look at that.”
There is also the matter that Walkosky, 42, doesn’t have the typical résumé of an ACC coach. Prior to coaching linebackers for the Stampeders last season, he was the head coach at Division II Tiffin University in Ohio for three seasons. He did coach at Washington State and Toledo previously. It might be said Johnson doesn’t always hew to convention.
While at Toledo, seven of his special-teams units were ranked in the top 15 nationally. The Rockets blocked 24 kicks in his eight seasons at Toledo.
“He’s an outstanding football coach, has a lot of energy, excellent recruiter and just a tremendous colleague,” said former Toledo coach Tom Amstutz. “I worked with him for quite a few years. Very loyal, very hard worker, will have a great relationship with the players and he’ll get the best out of his players.”
Amstutz said Walkosky had an aggressive style, which led to the blocks. He called him fiery and passionate. He remembered him spending time in the offseason studying with NFL special-teams coaches to stay current on new trends in the game.
“He’ll have high expectations for his players and his players will love to make plays for him because he’s so fired up,” he said.