Tech hires special teams coordinator

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.

108 comments Add your comment

Ronald

February 29th, 2012
2:40 pm

juvenal

February 29th, 2012
2:40 pm

Enter your comments here

swarmi

February 29th, 2012
2:45 pm

Could catching punts be a special need to be addressed?

David from Athens, AL

February 29th, 2012
2:46 pm

Finally, i think it will help!!! GO JACKETS!!!!!

juvenal

February 29th, 2012
2:47 pm

would have been first if i can figure out how to keep the screen from dropping every time i click this box-a little better if i hit enter first, have to multi-click…..

Tokyo jacket

February 29th, 2012
2:49 pm

I hope this move helps!

Hey, juvenal...

February 29th, 2012
2:49 pm

…your comment is so, well, juvenile…

Tokyo jacket

February 29th, 2012
2:52 pm

Ken, can you elaborate on “7 of his special teams were in the top 15″? How many years was he at Toledo? What categories are we talking about – kick coverage, punt coverage, net punting yards, starting field position, etc?

South GA Jacket

February 29th, 2012
2:52 pm

“typical résumé”? What qualifies as typical for a special teams coach? I think it’s a good hire.

FL Jacket

February 29th, 2012
2:52 pm

I think CPJ was willing to give the ST coach idea a try. I will argue that we’ve lacked the playmakers and specialists to have consistently good ST units.

Anyway, CDW also has extensive experience as a defensive coach and could move to that side specifically if needed…

Bobby Cremins

February 29th, 2012
2:53 pm

Should help us in recruiting the Canadian provinces.

FL Jacket

February 29th, 2012
2:53 pm

Ken…

How ticked off were Dean Buchan and CPJ that this was leaked? And who might have leaked it? Walkosky or the Calgary Stampede?

juvenal

February 29th, 2012
2:54 pm

wow, that’s original-what it has to do with the ajc program bouncing the screen like an italian cruise ship escapes me……..nzaa?

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 29th, 2012
2:59 pm

Why the delay in making the announcement?

WnE

February 29th, 2012
3:01 pm

Recruits from Australia………..Coaches from Canada.

Damn if he ain’t trying!

Dude’s scouring the EARTH to try and make GT FB decent.

DesignerJacket

February 29th, 2012
3:04 pm

Delay in making the announcement = still negotiating contract details

GTGreg

February 29th, 2012
3:10 pm

Wrecktum effect… or WnE… whatever you go by nowadays… go be a “fan” of some other program, and stalk their recruits instead of ours. It’s just creepy.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 29th, 2012
3:11 pm

DJ, probably, his former school announced several hours ago. Sounds like a good coach. A step in the right direction.

Buzz 2011

February 29th, 2012
3:11 pm

Good for CPJ as he is showing some flexability..
Go Jackets.. Let’s take the ACC title back this year..

BigTimeTechFan

February 29th, 2012
3:12 pm

WnE

coach who left the CFL to coach in America
Tom Coughlin Super Bowl winner NY Giants
Also read, he has coached in NCAA before.

DesignerJacket

February 29th, 2012
3:14 pm

Not trying to be a jerk, GMAB, but just pointing out that “his former school” is the CFL team Calgary Stampeders. This guys is also supposedly a skilled Defensive Coordinator, not just a special teams guru. Maybe we’re hedging against Groh taking too long to pan out?

D

February 29th, 2012
3:16 pm

CDW will have but one mortal enemy in Atlanta… Fry’s.

Please feel free to ignore this stab at humor.

FL Jacket

February 29th, 2012
3:18 pm

D…

I know you’re a Tech alum. A uGA grad couldn’t find Fry’s even if they had a GPS…

collegeballfan

February 29th, 2012
3:20 pm

Works for me.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

DJ, I got you now. Thanks.

GT Grad

February 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

Now lets get a offensive coordinator who uses the spread offense like Oregon.

Ken Sugiura

February 29th, 2012
3:25 pm

i think the school has to do the standard human resources clearance and make sure he’s signed and sealed. i don’t think they were too bothered by it coming out prior to that.
South GA – a more typical hire might be the special teams guy at a lower-tier FBS team (which, it bears mention, Walkosky was several years ago) or someone with considerable experience at a BCS conference school. He has one year at Washington State. that doesn’t make it a bad hire, just not typical.
Ronald – congratulations
Bobby Cremins – well done.

FL Jacket

February 29th, 2012
3:26 pm

GT Grad…

Wouldn’t that be the shotgun spread option offense? You know, the one most “high schools” use?

Techmate

February 29th, 2012
3:26 pm

Good hire for Tech and CPJ. Welcome aboard, Coach Walkosky. Now CPJ can concentrate a bit more on throwing the football and running the ball down hill.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 29th, 2012
3:27 pm

Jumping across the border confused me. lol

Ken Sugiura

February 29th, 2012
3:27 pm

Tokyo Jacket – sorry to miss you. it was in his bio. i’m trying to figure it out, also. it would be things like field-goal accuracy, punt net, kickoff return, etc. i can tell you in 2003, toledo was third in the country in punt returns (16.1 yards per return) and fifth in net punting (42.3 yards)

GTJason

February 29th, 2012
3:29 pm

The whole CFL rules on kicking whenever you want (I’m by no means an expert on their rules) could provide the basis for some trick plays, and good ST defense (since you have to be ready for a kick at all times.) Hopefully we’ll get some decent production, or at least not negative production

FL Jacket

February 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

Ken…

Walkosky also has a defensive coaching background. I’m guessing he’s flexible enough to move to another coaching position (maybe somehow this is part of an eventual succession plan to CAG).

gtfanfrom1951

February 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

I hope he can help the kickers put in the endzone. Maybe it will help defense if the special teams can pin the other team back.

John

February 29th, 2012
3:46 pm

George Stein

February 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

In Johnson’s defense, nothing about him is conventional.

Boot Licking Toadie

February 29th, 2012
3:50 pm

I’m glad they hired a ST coach. Hope he can recruit!

Buzzed

February 29th, 2012
3:52 pm

Moving the kickers up 5 yards this year will help.

Alabama Jack

February 29th, 2012
3:59 pm

At least he doesn’t put hash browns in his pants like the UGA soccer gals.

Jacket Man

February 29th, 2012
3:59 pm

We hired him before VA Tech could – Beamer was also trying to get him on his staff; does THAT make everyone feel a bit better?

go42

February 29th, 2012
4:02 pm

Good move. Also another Asst with HC experience. Solid addition to the staff.

FL Jacket

February 29th, 2012
4:09 pm

Jacket Man…

Of course it won’t make those feel better who call CPJ names like “Moobs McFish Fry”

QB/DB

February 29th, 2012
4:12 pm

Thank you CPJ at least you are willing to try and improve. I appreciate it. I hope he can recruit and can get GT into the Ohio and Midwest area.

GT Alum

February 29th, 2012
4:24 pm

I will argue that we’ve lacked the playmakers and specialists to have consistently good ST units.

That could explain the lack of big returns, the short kickoffs and the mediocre FG conversions, but you don’t have to be CJ Spiller or Devin Hester to catch the dang ball on a kick (given that was much improved last year), and even a marginal punter shouldn’t have multiple punts that unintentionally go about 20 yards. Not to mention the lapses in kick coverage.

Mr. Snuffleupagus

February 29th, 2012
4:25 pm

When your team is the 2nd youngest in all of college football and special teams are always made up of your 2nd and 3rd stringers, you have to expect them to be bad. Special teams play is a direct function of your team’s age. Don’t look for improvement until you have a team of veterans.

www

February 29th, 2012
4:35 pm

Willard Romney

February 29th, 2012
4:40 pm

Only way I would have done this is hire Mark Bradley or Colin Cowhurd, proven winners!

Ken Sugiura

February 29th, 2012
4:40 pm

FL Jacket – it wouldn’t surprise me if he has some defensive responsibilities.

Big Ol Stinger

February 29th, 2012
4:56 pm

The hot potatoe dish normally served at breakfast is apparently being filtered from the comments.

juvenal

February 29th, 2012
4:57 pm

ncaa taking as long as the guvmint courts……