ATHENS –It’s not really a secret, nor is it official, but all indications are that Chris Wilson will become Georgia’s new defensive line coach in the coming days.
Wilson, who is currently defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Mississippi State, met with head coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham this past week and agreed in general terms to replacing Rodney Garner as the Bulldogs’ defensive line coach. But Wilson’s hiring cannot become official until the job opening has been posted for the minimum amount of time and Wilson has cleared UGA’s background check.
“Nothing is official and it won’t be until Georgia completes the background checks and their official deal,” said Wilson, reached by phone Sunday in Nashville, where he is attending the American Football Coaches Association national convention. “Once that’s done, I believe I’ll have the job. But nothing is actually official yet as far as posting and all the things that go along with that. I’m excited about the opportunity and I believe it’s going to be there for me.”
Wilson could not say if he would also absorb any of the other titles that Garner held, including assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator.
“We didn’t talk about that,” he said. “We didn’t get into particulars. We definitely don’t know what all it will entail at this point. But I’m just excited about the opportunity to work with Coach Richt and the University of Georgia and that’s what I’m looking forward to more than anything else.”
In Wilson, the Bulldogs will be getting an experienced coach with an impressive resume. He served Mississippi State as co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach the past three seasons. At $308,000, he was one of the highest-paid members of coach Dan Mullen’s staff, according to the Jackson-Clarion Ledger. He shared coordinator duties with Mississippi State’s Geoff Collins, who had took over defensive play-calling duties for the Gator Bowl matchup against Northwestern. They lost 34-20.
State finished 34th in the nation in scoring defense at 23.31 ppg, but gave up 33.6 in the last six games of the year during which it went 1-5.
Wilson also was defensive line coach and special teams coordinator under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, his alma mater. Wilson was a Butkus Award candidate as a linebacker for the Sooners and recorded 311 tackles as a four-year letterman (1988-91). Wilson also held defensive coaching positions at Colorado, Army, Illinois State and Indiana State, among others.
Garner had been Georgia’s recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach for the last 15 years and assistant head coach for the last six years. He left UGA on Dec. 22 to take the same job at Auburn, his alma mater.
Wilson, who turns 44 on Tuesday, and his wife Tina have two children, Caleb and Cody.
“I was excited just to get the interview,” Wilson said of Georgia. “We’ll see where it goes.”
CHRIS WILSON’S BIO
2011- Mississippi State (Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line)
2010: Mississippi State (Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line)
2007-09: Oklahoma (Special Teams Coordinator / Defensive Ends)
2005-06: Oklahoma (Defensive Ends)
2000-04: Colorado (Defensive Line)
2000 (Spr.): Army (Defensive Line)
1998-99: Illinois State (Defensive Line)
1997: Indiana State (Linebackers / Recruiting Coordinator)
1996: Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line)
1995: Northern Illinois (Linebackers)
1994: Indiana State (Linebackers)
1993: Indiana State (Graduate Assistant)