10 things you didn’t know about Tech assistant David Walkosky

Georgia Tech special-teams coordinator David Walkosky tries to direct young males running around and wreaking havoc – and then he goes to work.

Walkosky is the father of four boys under the age of six, including twin two-year-olds.

“It’s 100 percent the same – controlled chaos,” he said.

Entering his first season at Tech, Walkosky holds the responsibility of fixing the Yellow Jackets’ subpar kicking game. The self-described “special-teams nerd” will attempt to do so with subject knowledge and deep wells of intensity and enthusiasm.

He recently sat for an interview, part of a series with Tech’s assistant coaches.

Honest living

Walkosky grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of a steel-mill worker and a flower-shop owner. He lived near family among neighbors he described as “close-knit.” When he was in college, for instance, his best friend’s parents gave him their old car so he could drive to and from school. He is the youngest of four brothers.

“You always had people to play with and people to beat up on you,” he said. Being last born did not mean getting spoiled. “It was always the opposite. (You) get something, they would always beat you up and take it away.”

Stayed in school

In high school, Walkosky worked at the post office and made deliveries for his mother’s flower shop. In college, he worked in a tin mill where his father and brothers also worked. He cleaned and stocked tin-plated steel coils and shoveled grease.

“That was always a good motivator to get my education,” he said.

Deer hunter

Walkosky is an avid bow hunter who started hunting deer with his father and brothers at the age of 8 (“our family was psychotically safe,” he said). He described with enthusiasm the peace of being in the woods.

“But I also love when the big buck comes, the intensity, your heart rate gets going, and staying calm and still making the shot,” he said.

Among his mentors…

Walkosky played at Toledo and got a new head coach when he was a senior – Nick Saban. It was Saban’s first job as a head coach. Walkosky said it was obvious that, due to his attention to detail, demand for perfection and knowledge of the game, he was destined for success beyond Toledo. Saban stayed one season before becoming defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, where he coached one season with Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh.

Said Walkosky of Saban, “I got him started, of course.”

Jack of all trades

Walkosky was head coach at Division II Tiffin (Ohio) University 2008-10. Given the limited resources and staff, Walkosky was also equipment manager, strength coach and study hall monitor.

“You just get the job done,” Walkosky said. “We demand, expect perfection from them, so you’ve got to make it conducive for them to have that opportunity. You can’t have them where they don’t have their shoestrings, they don’t have a belt.”

A couple times before games, the locker room was locked. Walkosky employed “my Steubenville techniques” to pick the lock with his driver’s license.

Said Walkosky wryly, “I only use it for emergency situations.”

The name game

Walkosky’s sons are named Paulo, Nicolo, Matteo and Giano, the last two of which are the twins. Their names are a compromise between Walkosky and his wife Wendy. Walkosky wanted what he calls “Midwestern, traditional names,” while Wendy, who grew up in California, wanted something a little more atypical.

“My wife’s friends are Peaches and Sunshine,” he said, meaning it literally.

The names are a nod to Walkosky’s full-blooded Italian mother, though coming up with Giano was difficult. Walkosky said Giano, born prematurely, was “Baby G” for three weeks until he left the hospital.

Likes the job

Despite a deep background in special teams, this is the first job Walkosky has held where his only responsibility is special teams. (Likewise, Walkosky is coach Paul Johnson’s first pure special-teams coach.) Having the time to devote only to breaking down opponents’ special teams is “awesome,” Walkosky said.

Walkosky said because he plans to use so many starters, his intent is to try to keep schemes as simple as possible and find small keys for players to use.

“I don’t want them thinking on special teams,” he said. “If I have them thinking, I’m just taking their talents away.”

Time to work

One benefit of being a pure special-teams coach is that Walkosky will be able to spend the entire practice with Tech’s kickers, punters and snappers. In the past, the specialists had a coach with them only during special-teams periods of practice. Walkosky is confident that extra time will pay off for kicker Justin Moore and punter Sean Poole, as well as the other specialists.

“They all have potential to be pretty good and do well and help us win, but they all have to be consistent,” he said.

Walkosky said all positions are open.

Likes his options

Walkosky said that if he could have the choice of any roster in the country for his special teams, he would pick Tech’s, “no question about it.” A-backs, B-backs, receivers, defensive backs and linebackers will make up the core of his special teams units.

“That’s the body type,” he said. “The guys that can run, are athletic and are strong and very intelligent, that’s the guys I want. And that’s the guys I have here.”

The opening act

Tech’s first game will be a trial for Walkosky, as Virginia Tech is known for coach Frank Beamer’s game-breaking special-teams units.

Asked if the matchup gets him a little more amped up, Walkosky said, “he’s nationally known as a special-teams guru, so to say no, I’d be nuts.”

Walkosky actually made several trips to Blacksburg, Va., as an assistant coach with Toledo to visit with the Hokies’ defensive coordinator Bud Foster and his staff.

Said Walkosky, “I don’t know if Coach Beamer has a clue who I am.”

Other “10 things”

Defensive coordinator Al Groh

Secondary coach Charles Kelly

Wide receivers coach Buzz Preston

59 comments Add your comment

GTKurt80

July 26th, 2012
12:31 am

I sure hope this pays dividends. Like how can spend 100% time with the special team’s specialist.
Ken,
Does Beamer coach his special teams himself or does he have a special teams coach?

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
1:05 am

Wow, Ken, you’re posting late tonight. Great article though and VERY interesting. Thanks

Hayseed Dixie

July 26th, 2012
1:10 am

Kam Chancellor, polytech safety, saying he’d ‘figured out’ the triple option at ACC Media days.

ESPN then gives a 60 second segment on Sportscenter highlighting how the Jackets cancelled him out (read: cleaned his clock) on key plays in the game.

Beamer, pausing, then mouthing the F-bomb as the closing seconds wane on national television.

GT Alum

July 26th, 2012
1:25 am

I like him. It’s easy to see how the guys are amped up by these guys. Hopefully, motivation will not be a problem this season. Sounds like the coaches and the players are hungry and excited to play.

yeller bug

July 26th, 2012
1:26 am

Well most of the people on this blog screamed for a special teams coach and now we have one. We needed something—Tech has been pathetic in most kicking categories. We lose a line coach so we’ll see what effect that has.

What is a little troubling is that we are going through all this and then CDW states that he is going to make things simple so it does not take too much thinking time from the starters. That kind of defeats the purpose does it not? We want something with depth—better execution first, but some cool tricks to get a blocked punt or return a kick-off for a TD which we haven’t done since the 1990s! Fortunately, we should see significant improvement in special teams this year—-this isn’t something that you have to build over time.

gtfan1951

July 26th, 2012
6:00 am

two more wins because of specail teams! 10-2

ToeMeetsLeather

July 26th, 2012
6:34 am

Can’t wait to see the 2012 Jackets. CPJ’s offense clicking on all cylinders with his recruits and probably the best OLine he has EVER had, Al’s defense in year three with his hand picked linebackers(still probably a year away on D), and an emphasis on special teams(where we could have not been any worse than we have looked the past few years). Thirty-nine days, right?

HighTech

July 26th, 2012
7:48 am

I hope Beamer has that deer in the headlights look after he sees our improved special teams on 9/3.

Birmingham Jacket

July 26th, 2012
8:19 am

Don’t expect a lot of improvement until if/when CPJ, et. al gets serious about recruiting, and we field players that are bigger, stronger and faster.

Players win football games, not coaches. Happy days in February lead to happy Saturdays in the fall, and vice-versa.

5150 UOAD

July 26th, 2012
8:22 am

His wife must be running crazy with all the kids.

GT Rich

July 26th, 2012
8:24 am

Last two years special teams easily cost us five games – Miami & Utah in 2011 — UGA, VT & Air Force in 2010 – and CPJ’s special teams have never won us a game. We don’t need a huge improvement on special teams to be better, just need to not suck as bad. It would be gravy if they did a 360 and started contributing to the scoreboard. Not worried about losing 1 of 2 O-line coaches — the O-line is already experienced two-deep at each spot. Now that we have upperclassmen, they’ll serve as de facto coaches to bring along the new guys.

buzzwax

July 26th, 2012
8:28 am

Bow hunter!! I bet he will love living in Georgia, I’d guess he will be a great recruiter!!

Tech Dropout

July 26th, 2012
8:47 am

“Said Walkosky, “I don’t know if Coach Beamer has a clue who I am.”

I’m hoping that around 11:30pm on 09-03-2012, Beamer will know who Walkosky is.

gt4ever

July 26th, 2012
9:07 am

Good article… This should help our special teams… The bottom line is personnel… If he can find a way to get scholarship players excited about playing special teams then it will get better. Finding a kicker that can kick in to the end zone and not have to pooch kick would be nice… A punter that punts longer than 35 yards… I mean, it’s not brain surgery…

wes

July 26th, 2012
9:23 am

So Mark Bradley complained very loudly then CPJ hires this guy?

j/k….I was simply surprised to see CPJ do a 180 on his stance…wasn’t expecting that!

ARdawg

July 26th, 2012
9:36 am

Seems like a pretty good guy. Congrats Tech fans

DesignerJacket

July 26th, 2012
9:48 am

I am so glad to see that CPJ is not the man the media makes him out to be – staunchly set in his ways and kind of mean about it. We all believed it, but he seems to be more than willing to shuffle his staff to make sure he has a better chance at wins. He fired the DC after a conference championship. Now he’s gone and gotten us a Special Teams Coach. And when the Strength coach leaves to train Navy SEALS, he finds us a guy with a totally different and high-energy style to fit the way he wants his players trained. And to top it all off, he practices these kids in a pistol formation from time to time (not sure if you’ve heard, but that is NOT the flexbone style he’s known for!)

CPJ is more than willing to adapt. He just seems to only take calculated risks, though. And I kind of respect that.

gt4ever

July 26th, 2012
9:51 am

@DesignerJacket

Here is hoping your right about CPJ…. Go Jackets!

dawgfan

July 26th, 2012
9:53 am

“Said Walkosky, “I don’t know if Coach Beamer has a clue who I am.”

Welcome to Georgia Tech football coach. Get used to it.

DesignerJacket

July 26th, 2012
9:55 am

gt4ever, I mean…everything I stated were real events that actually took place. He has made every one of those staff changes, and I saw an inside zone read from the pistol formation during one of the open practices leading up to T-Day (and we didn’t use it during T-Day). CPJ is far more willing to adapt than the media likes to portray.

SansWorld

July 26th, 2012
9:57 am

AJC post police are interesting. I just tried to post something about Julian Burnett being a “Finger in the d_ke” last year, plugging holes in other parts of the defense. I guess the AJC considered that to be inappropriate.

gt4ever

July 26th, 2012
10:00 am

@DesignerJacket

I guess I am just a little impatient… The only passing game I have seen since he has been here is very suspect, and the offense has not changed much…. This is just my observation. What they do in practice has never been implemented to games.. I hope your right, and here is to a good season! I can’t wait for football to start,even if it is the Triple option. :)

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
10:06 am

Birmingham, are you really that stupid? Do you really think that CPJ doesn’t take recruiting seriously? Do you think he just sits around and twiddles his thumbs wondering why he has to bother with it, or something like that? Good grief, man. I’m sure CPJ takes recruiting as seriously as any other coach in the country. The fact that he hasn’t signed the players that YOU think he should sign, doesn’t mean he hasn’t been trying to. If that were the case, then we wouldn’t have gotten Stephen Hill, or Uzzi, or Kallon, or Thomas, or (upcoming) Devine, and quite a few other VERY GOOD recruits. Do we need more of them? Of course we do, but do you seriously think that CPJ is not TRYING to get them? If so, then you are an effing idiot.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
10:08 am

@ gt4ever…..there are times when your posts really piss me off, but in spite of that, I am convinced that you are a true Tech fan and really want the best. Several of us from the blogs have started meeting before, during, or after games. Would love you to join us sometime this Fall, if you’re interested.

gt4ever

July 26th, 2012
10:11 am

@Super

I have eaten many pork chops at Juniors…. I am true GT through and through…. LOL..

5150 UOAD

July 26th, 2012
10:16 am

No more Junior and no more Jr Varsity but GT Football is going strong.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
10:17 am

gt4ever……I don’t think I ever ate at Juniors, except maybe once during my freshman year. That was enough. LOL

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
10:18 am

gt4ever…..did you ever see a “flik” at the “armpit”?

gt4ever

July 26th, 2012
10:19 am

and then there was 5150…… GT football hasn’t been strong since the 50’s and a brief 1990…. But I am optimistic that we will get there one day… Don’t hate me Super.. :)

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
10:20 am

For those too young to know, the “armpit” was the Techwood Movie theater, right across the street from Smith Dorm, and in the same building complex as Juniors. CHEAP movies there; I went many times before it was finally closed down

gt4ever

July 26th, 2012
10:20 am

No super never… I was too busy trying to pass math… lol

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
10:21 am

gt4ever…..I don’t hate you. I hate some of the things you say, but you convinced me a long time ago that you were a true Tech fan…….not just another WnE

5150 UOAD

July 26th, 2012
10:32 am

GT Football is going strong. Don’t care what your opinion is.
Good Coach.
Graduating players better.
Full 85 scholarships.
Kids not failing out.
Kids not transferring.
Kids not getting kicked off the team.
Kids getting in to the NFL.
Sounds good to me. Sounds like what an Institution of Higher Learning should be doing in Sports.

GT

July 26th, 2012
10:32 am

Field position and game clock are the two things Tech needs to have to win. Special teams may turn from a negative to a positive. A lot of this is concentration, one missed moment and Tech is behind.

T-man

July 26th, 2012
11:07 am

Sounds like a straight up guy…..I remember the glory days,been a fan since the great Bobby Dodd days,we should not always look at wins and loses as a measuring stick,clean program and graduating students should be just as high on the list,as wins(except against Ga)Maybe the Penn St disaster will bring a touch of sanity back to college football…..If the NFL needs farm teams,let them start a league of their own.let colleges stick to education.

gt4ever

July 26th, 2012
11:12 am

UOAD doesn’t care about my opinion Super… I’m shocked! What will I do… I am shamed forever…

Supersize that order, mutt

July 26th, 2012
11:31 am

LOL @ gt4ever. UOAD will come around in time. Give him a chance, and he will give you one. That’s why you should meet us at one or some of the games

spider

July 26th, 2012
11:45 am

well hope he gets the job done, special teams have been a disater the last few years so looking forward to a turn around in that department…go tech

1 4 GT

July 26th, 2012
12:02 pm

I like this guy Walkosky & what he has to say about special teams. Too much thinking gets in the way of good ST play. Kick off team runs down the field, staying in their lanes, eyes looking for the ball and potential blockers, pinching in on the return man. Not much thought in that, just good football instincts. If he can pick up on some small flaws in the kicker’s rhythm & help him correct it, ST play gets better. Anyway, he sounds like he will get the job done. And welcome to Georgia and good hunting. There is deer season after football season. And Georgia has good turkey hunting too. With a bow!!

1 4 GT

July 26th, 2012
12:07 pm

I’m beating gollum to the puch. I don’t how gollum’s psyche can handle being bombarded with so much negativity. I really am beginning to feel sorry for him. Having such a negative outlook about something he professes love for has be very stressful. Comparing gollum to the rest of the GT fans/supporters on the blog is as different as night & day. Those of us that are true GT guys are at worst guardedly hopeful. Then you have guys like me who are so happy that the season is close, we are almost giddy & overflowing with optimism & can hardly wait for Kick Off. Do we want GT to succeed? You bet! Do we get down if they don’t? You bet! Do we express our dissatisfaction? You bet! But come the next game, we are still 100% behind the team. Why? Because that’s what real,true fans do! Try it gollum! You might make some friends! You might even amaze yourself! All this negativity has to weigh you down

GIVE ME A BREAK

July 26th, 2012
12:24 pm

Ken, you have given us plenty of good articles to get us excited about the season. Thanks for all of your hard work. Can’t wait for VT. ” GO JACKETS “

GT fan

July 26th, 2012
12:32 pm

Just off the top of my head, here are a few times I remember GTs special teams stinking under PJ’s watch.
2008 – at UNC … Roddy Jones fumbles punt at GT’s 30 yd line, late 3rd qtr. UNC scores a minute into 4th for 14-0 lead.
2010 – NCST at BDS, late 1st, 0-0 game, NCST blocks GT punt and recovers for at TD.
2010 – at VT … 21-21, GT gives up game winning KO return TD.
2010 – at UGA … missed extra pt that would’ve tied score @ 35. Later meaning GT had to let UGA score TD in order to get anonther possession.
2010 – Bowl game vs. Air Force … 2 fumbled punts
2011 – at Miami … fumbled punt recovered by Canes for TD
2011 – vs UGA … 2nd half, short kick again, KO returned 60 yds by Dawgs
2011 – bowl game … 3 missed FG in regulation … GT loses in OT

Jerrad Tarrant was a great PR … hope DW finds another on the roster in 2012!

Ken Sugiura

July 26th, 2012
1:01 pm

give me a break – thanks. got a few more leading up to the start of camp next friday.

Paul in NH

July 26th, 2012
1:07 pm

GT’s special teams have not been good but if you are going to list games where GT had special teams issues don’t forget to add
2008 – Clemson at home – Tarrant 85 yard punt return for TD; Blair 34 yard TD pass off fake FG attempt; Blair 36 yard FG with <1 min to go to win game

1 4 GT

July 26th, 2012
1:15 pm

There have been good moments on ST’s, but generally, IMM, the bad plays have hurt more than the good plays have helped. (IMM=in my memory)

GT fan

July 26th, 2012
1:42 pm

Paul in NH …
I fully remember JT vs. Clemson in 2009 … 2008 was AT Clemson, Josh Nesbitt TD pass to DT.

But let’s also remember @ Clemson 2010. 1st drive of game, GT defense stops Clemson on 1st 3 plays. In fact, 3rd & 10 was only a couple inches from Jerrard Tarrant having pick-6. Then on 4th down, GT’s special teams roughs the punter, 1st & 10 Clemson. Next play …….. 55 yd TD run for A. Ellington.

Al Bundy

July 26th, 2012
1:51 pm

I wasn’t too thrilled when CPJ was hired and I’ve been very critical of him in several posts, but I am starting to come around. It sounds like we have a good group of coaches and some real talented football players. I still have serious doubts about CAG, but I’ll wait and see if there are improvements. I guess we’ll all know how good the team will be on September 3rd.

ARdawg

July 26th, 2012
3:06 pm

Al Bundy but, you still have that 2nd rate high school offense

5150 UOAD

July 26th, 2012
4:14 pm

ARdWag ….that 2nd rate high school offense is 34-19 where that Richt/Bobo high powered offense is 34-19 over the same time period.

GTFan

July 26th, 2012
10:44 pm

Still waiting on ARdawg’s response to 5150 UOAD. U there ARdawg?