Wheels turning for Tech coordinator hiring

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson expects to have a defensive coordinator hired before national signing day Feb. 6. Johnson said he has already begun speaking with candidates about the opening created with the midseason firing of coordinator Al Groh.

“I should know what I’m going to do here in the next couple of weeks when I get through” meeting with candidates, Johnson said. “I just want to be real thorough with it. I’m not going to rush into something and then regret it.”

Johnson told 790 the Zone Thursday that he had three or four candidates that he was committed to talking with before making a decision. Interim coordinator Charles Kelly, who replaced Groh, is a candidate. Tech’s defense finished strongly under Kelly, shutting out Florida State in the second half of the ACC Championship game loss and then holding USC to a touchdown in the Yellow Jackets’ 21-7 Sun Bowl win. Johnson told 790 that he spoke Thursday with Kelly about the position.

“I thought he did a good job,” Johnson said. “I thought all our defensive coaches did a good job.”

Johnson said his plan is for Kelly to remain on staff even if he isn’t made the full-time coordinator. Johnson deflected a question about the budget for the hire. Asked if the budget for the hire would be similar to Groh’s slot ($344,000), Johnson said, “We’ll see. It depends on what we have to do.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

75 comments Add your comment

Chris

January 7th, 2013
12:35 pm

Gotta B Kelly!

Tech Forever

January 7th, 2013
12:47 pm

Lance Thompson, Lance Thompson, a million times Lance Thompson.

Oman Jacket

January 7th, 2013
12:50 pm

I’m hoping for Giff Smith. No shot against Kelly – but I’d like a fresh start.

GT Fan

January 7th, 2013
12:51 pm

Let’s just hope Stephon Tuitt’s mom isn’t on the selection committee … don’t think she’s very smart.

Here’s a comment from her (via UGA-grad Mark Schlabach on ESPN.com) to help prove my point:’

“I liked Notre Dame,” Bartlett said. “I just felt like Notre Dame had more to offer him in the long run. I liked Georgia Tech, but I feel like it’s more regional. Notre Dame is internationally [known], and I thought it had more to offer him. I wanted him to branch out and learn life. I didn’t feel like he’d learn anything being so close to home.”

I never knew GT grads learned nothing and never “branched-out” after graduating……

GTJACKET

January 7th, 2013
12:59 pm

Ken, I have a question that might lead to a column. There seems to have been a large number of head coaches in the NFL and NCAA that have GT connections. Many coached or played under Rodgers, O’leary, Ross, Curry, Gailey and Johnson. I can think of: Marrone (O’leary), O’leary and Friedgen (under Ross), Spurrier (under Rodgers), Whisenhutt (played for Curry), Bill O’brien (under O’leary), Roof (played for Curry and coached under O’leary), Jeff Monken (Johnson), Glenn Sencer (played at Tech). I am sure there are many. It seemed that Ross had a lot of head coaches on that staff and so did O’leary. Any chance you could do some research on that connection of head coaches that have passed through Tech or Tech coaches? Thanks you do a great job.

Jim 70

January 7th, 2013
1:02 pm

Kelly would be good – hard to hold the first three or four games against him. But like the fact that cpj isn’t automatically giving him the job. Need to see who else is available, especially with all of the head coaching changes in both the pro’s and colleges. Many dc’s probably on the job hunt.

GT Fan

January 7th, 2013
1:02 pm

Whoever the next DC is let’s just hope the D plays like it did the past 6 qtrs on a far more consistent basis!

GT Fan

January 7th, 2013
1:08 pm

How well did the D play in the Sun Bowl w/o it’s leading tackler?
Has I.Johnson become a “Wally Pip”?
Has Jamal Golden become IJ’s “Lou Gehrig”?
Has Chris Milton earned a legit shot come Spring/Summer to replace IJ or another in the Dbackfield?

The D played extremely fast and hit hard the past 2 games.

ramblingbuzz

January 7th, 2013
1:13 pm

I figure Kelly has the inside track unless Johnson can hire an up and coming D coach.

KG

January 7th, 2013
1:14 pm

@Tech Forever
Lance would kill CPJ with his bare hands! I’d love to have LT but their personalities wouldn’t work.. LT is hands down the best recruiter in FB, it sucks it that it wouldn’t work due to CPJs arrogance.

ramblingbuzz

January 7th, 2013
1:14 pm

Don’t think GT has the budget to pay for a big name D coordinator.

GT Fan

January 7th, 2013
1:19 pm

Does GT need all the negative publicity surrounding this Lance Thompson guy? Didn’t he recently get stripped of all his Tour de France titles?

GTBob

January 7th, 2013
1:21 pm

I don’t see why in the world this is taking so long unless CPJ is considering an assistant pro coach for a team that is still playing or an Alabama or Notre Dame assistant. Getting a defensive coordinator shouldn’t be a task that takes months to accomplish.

4th and Long Gone

January 7th, 2013
1:26 pm

Lance Thompson, Ron Zook, or Gene Chizik ? Definitely need someone who can recruit as well as coach. I appreciate Kelly, but it is hard to tell how good the defense was vs the wind and the USC backup quarterback.

James Munlyn

January 7th, 2013
1:29 pm

Should have hired Ellis Johnson

4th and Long Gone

January 7th, 2013
1:29 pm

@ KG. Not sure why you say it wouldn’t work with Lance Thompson due to CPJ’s arrogance. One of the main criticisms of CPJ is that he wants a DC that he can just turn everything over to and he will worry just about his offense. Now, if Lance Thompson tries to tell him how to run his offense, then I might agree. But if the defense is working, I don’t think CPJ will bother him at all.

GT in GoldTown

January 7th, 2013
1:32 pm

Kelly did great, but we need fresh blood

4th and Long Gone

January 7th, 2013
1:36 pm

Perhaps Brian Jean-Mary? Previously at Tech, now at Louisville. Or Vance Bedford, DC at Louisville, but not sure he would leave right now, since Strong just re-upped.

Rezner74

January 7th, 2013
1:41 pm

Rezner74

January 7th, 2013
1:41 pm

Rezner74

January 7th, 2013
1:41 pm

crackbaby

January 7th, 2013
1:42 pm

A vote for Dave Aranda – proven record of + turnover margins with marginally talented teams. 2012 NCAA No. 8 defense at Utah State.

He is following Gary Anderson to Wisconsin so maybe reaching a little (weather sure is nicer in the south, Coach Dave :)

ignition

January 7th, 2013
1:56 pm

Tech’s rumored budget is around $400,000 so unless these candidates people are throwing around are willing to take a pay cut I don’t see a Lance Thompson, Brian Jean-Mary, or someone on another teams staff. That’s unrealistic anyway.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 7th, 2013
1:59 pm

Maybe I am naive, but I really don’t think budget is a problem. Yes, as a whole, the Tech athletic department is not doing that well financially right now, but there IS money out there; there are several wealthy alums who have in the past, and I would bet are now, willing to foot the bill. Taz Anderson comes to mind.

yeller bug

January 7th, 2013
2:00 pm

We actually have 2 needs—a DC and a great recruiting coach—actually think the recruiting aspect is more important than the DC slot as Kelly at least proved adequate as interim DC. Many have said Giff Smith is a great coach and recruiter, and above Tech forever said Lance Thompson…..don’t know him, but either find a great recruiter or a great DC….if the former then keep Kelly as DC, if the latter, then keep Kelly—perhaps asst head coach. Maybe there’s a candidate that fits both—that’s the gold nugget, but doubt we can discover that with perhaps the limited budget that we have.

The DC slot is a great opportunity as pointed out, CPJ wants to delegate it completely and not have problems with it—can’t ask for a better opportunity than that.

Paddy

January 7th, 2013
2:01 pm

No on Vangorder. His rep has taken a big hit w/ messes at Ga Southern, Falcons and AU.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 7th, 2013
2:02 pm

Groh couldn’t have asked for a better setup. He was given complete reigns over the D, and Johnson only stepped in at the end when it was obvious things were not going to improve. I would think any defensive coach would kill for a setup like that, assuming the money is there. Johnson DOES CARE about the D; he just wants somebody else to handle it for him, so he doesn’t have to worry about it.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 7th, 2013
2:04 pm

I guess that should have been complete REINS, not REIGNS, although if he has the reins, he reigns as well. lol

ignition

January 7th, 2013
2:10 pm

I would love to have Utah St.’s D coordinator (but he’s in a better position now)
Other realistic candidates in my opinion are Fresno St.’s D coordinator Nick Toth
Western Kentucky’s old coordinator Lance Guidry
Alabama’s D-Line coach Chris Rumph
ect.

Tech77

January 7th, 2013
2:14 pm

Hire Ed Orgeoron from USC. ;-) Hands down THE best recruiter out there.

Nativebird

January 7th, 2013
2:16 pm

Deck chairs on the Titanic. sad that such a great University and storied football program has to put up with yet another season of this idiot jerk In charge. I hope y’all are happy fellow jacket fans. Get ready for yet another 6-6 season and a suk-trash bowl game. Yippee.

GT = WIDE RECEIVER U

January 7th, 2013
2:21 pm

Chris Rumph to GT…..waiting on Bama to finish the season before offering him the job.

4th and Long Gone

January 7th, 2013
2:23 pm

@ignition: Even if $400k is the salary limit, do you really think coaches who are not already coordinators make more than that? Yes, thanks to UGA (not being able to get a coordinator and them having to keep upping the salary to get one to bite), defensive coordinators at top SEC schools now make $800k. But I don’t think the same holds true for the “regular” coaches. The last thing I saw on coaches salaries, they were in the $100k – $200k range. So while I understand that a coordinator at a major school might not want to swap, you don’t think a position coach wouldn’t jump at the chance to become a coordinator? Even it they viewed it as a stepping stone to one of the $800k jobs, I can’t imagine too many turning it down. (Neither Lance Thompson nor Brian Jean-Mary are coordinators at their current school…)

Supersize that order, mutt

January 7th, 2013
2:28 pm

@ Nativebird……if you don’t like it, then go somewhere else. Tech will be fine if Johnson finds the right DC.

Stinger 1

January 7th, 2013
2:53 pm

Nativebird needs to sign off and go take a powder. Useless as a GT fan if he is indeed one.

Hawkk

January 7th, 2013
3:05 pm

Is it too late to get a new Head Coach as well?

Is it too late to get a new Head Coach as well?

Al Groh

January 7th, 2013
3:26 pm

JM

January 7th, 2013
3:51 pm

glad to hear Coach Kelley is in consideration. I think he’d do a fine job. I’d love to know who the other 3-4 candidates are.

GT

January 7th, 2013
4:09 pm

Could you hire somebody like Gene Chizik without him having to give up his settlement to Auburn. A win win situation plus he recruited in the same area. I really like Kelly the last couple of games, but he must be talking to other people for a reason.

Home Crowd

January 7th, 2013
4:17 pm

CPJ is taking forever on this decision because this hire will make or break his tenure with GT. It’s that simple. This will be the most critical hire he’s ever had to make, so I don’t blame him for exhausting all options until he feels more than comfortable hiring someone.

www

January 7th, 2013
4:49 pm

how likely is it that kelly is made DC and tech brings in a young position coach that can recruit the state well?

www

January 7th, 2013
4:50 pm

ken, after the hire is made, i’d love to read about the search process and who else was considered.

fuzzybee78

January 7th, 2013
4:51 pm

Dave Womack- Strike one
Al Groh – Strike Two
This hire has to be a home run and we all know it. I believe CPJ will make a deliberate and thoughtful search for a guy who can coach up who we got, recruit who we dont got, and stick around hopefully more than 2 years.

Full Metal Jacket

January 7th, 2013
4:59 pm

CPJ is doing the right thing by actively interviewing and considering worthy applicants, even though it would seem that Kelly should have an inside line on the position since CPJ did nothing about the search during the critical holiday hiring / recruiting period. He had said he had someone, or at least an idea, in mind back in December when everyone else was settling their coaching staffs. I would like to see Kelly get it, since he is a stabilizing and apparently loyal presence on the staff. At the same time, if CPJ has some interesting alternatives in mind it would be good to consider the options.
With Attachou and several other quality starters returning next season, Kelly might represent the quickest route to improvement and success.

Robnole

January 7th, 2013
5:18 pm

Word out of FSU is that Charles Kelly has just accepted to coach our linebackers. Sounds like Paul Johnson has decided not to go with Kelly and he is moving on.

Jacket Man

January 7th, 2013
5:21 pm

Happened last week.

yellowfever

January 7th, 2013
5:39 pm

whoever we get I hope we go back to a 4-3 defense.

dry dirt road

January 7th, 2013
5:55 pm

Why pick from a Poole of non-Tech players when you can pick from the Best? Maxie was a Tech LB, and the Tech Topics alum mag just mentioned that he was elected into the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame. He played for the Rams too. He was LB coach in ‘71-2 seasons. Glanville was secondary coach, Carson head coach. Tech could pick from the Best, their own, such as Swilling, Perdoni, Flowers, Bourne, Coleman, Claybrooks, Rogers. All these fellas were damn good players on the D, all either on the line or LBs. They might be a little old, except Rogers, but Tech wants to avoid age discrimination. Besides, “Buzz” was not the yj in ‘71-2, “Buzz” had not been created yet. The T-club’s yj on their jackets in ‘71-2 had veined wings, symbolic of male veins sticking out of arms b/c of muscules pushing them out. “Buzz” is a feminine, veinless-winged yj in my opinion, and I wish they would revert to the 60’s-70’s yj and to 6 physical training courses again, of which they require only one semester of one now during the Junior year. When I was a Freshman and Sophomore in ‘69-71 we were required to take 6 quarter courses, and if you could’nt pass them, you had to drop out of Tech, maybe transfer somewhere else. BTW, I developed a center vein in my upper arm during ‘71-3. I don’t own any “Buzz” feminine Tech clothing since I’m a male.

Old Dog

January 7th, 2013
6:03 pm

To Hell with Tek, today,tomorrow and every other day!

Jacket Man

January 7th, 2013
6:06 pm

Kelley’s office is already cleaned out…