Georgia Tech is officially on the market and looking for a new head coach after firing Geoff Collins. Collins was 10-28 over three and a half seasons where he never won more than three games in a season. The Georgia Tech program is an interesting case because they are located in a hot bed for recruiting but they resemble Vanderbilt, Northwestern or Stanford in regards to academics. Paul Johnson found success running the triple option but the Yellow Jackets are unlikely seek a similar offensive philosophy. The next coach will need to be given adequate time as Georgia Tech will be entering a full rebuild. Georgia Tech currently has limited talent where the next coach will need to recruit well and utilize the transfer portal. The administration will review plenty of candidates but who will actually consider taking the job?
Deion Sanders (Jackson State Head Coach) – Deion Sanders is going to be one of the hottest names in this coaching search. He played for the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves so he is familiar with the territory. Sanders has proven his coaching ability leading Jackson State to a 15-2 record since the start of the 2021 season. Recruiting has not been an issue for Sanders as he landed Travis Hunter, arguably the top player in the 2022 recruiting class. Sanders will make the jump to FBS at some point in his career but would he actually consider taking the head coaching job at Georgia Tech?
Todd Monken (Georgia Offensive Coordinator) – Georgia will likely be looking for a coach who is familiar with the territory. What better option than hiring a coach from their instate rival? Monken helped lead Georgia to a National Championship with Stetson Bennett at the help. He has creative play calling to utilize his playmakers by getting them into space. Monken will be tabbed for a head coaching job in the near future and staying in the state of Georgia would be a logical choice.
Jamey Chadwell (Coastal Carolina Head Coach) – Jamey Chadwell has turned Coastal Carolina into a respectable program over the past few seasons. Chadwell owns a 26-3 record over the past three seasons. He has spent the entirety of his career coaching in the southeast. Chadwell will have opportunities to move to larger programs but he is likely to stay in territory he has familiarity. His salary is still under $1 million per season which makes his contract affordable for Georgia Tech. Chadwell should be one of the first calls for Georgia Tech since he has been successful at almost every stop in his coaching career.
Jeff Grimes (Baylor Offensive Coordinator) – Jeff Grimes has become one of the hottest names in college football because of his past few seasons as an offensive coordinator. Grimes spent 2020 as the BYU offensive coordinator. He helped orchestrate the offense led by Zach Wilson. BYU finished the season averaging 43.5 points per game which ranked third in the country. Grimes accepted the offensive coordinator job at Baylor prior to the 2021 season. Baylor’s rushing attack finished 10th in the country averaging over 219 yards per game. Grimes has spent time all over the country including stints at Auburn and Virginia Tech.
Curt Cignetti (James Madison Head Coach) – Curt Cignetti is one of the least likely candidates on this list but still one Georgia Tech should consider. Cignetti is 36-5 since taking over as the James Madison head coach. He is also 3-0 in the Dukes first season at the FBS level. Cignetti was also a head coach at Elon and Indiana University of Pennsylvania before becoming the head coach at James Madison. Prior to being a head coach, Cignetti was part of Nick Saban’s initial staff at Alabama. He was the wide receiver coach where he coached Julio Jones. Cignetti is 61 years old so if he may only have a few opportunities remaining to move to a power five program before his retirement.
Tyson Helton (Western Kentucky Head Coach) – Tyson Helton is in the midst of his fourth season as the Western Kentucky head coach. He owns a 26-17 record and has made a bowl game in each of his first three seasons. The Hilltoppers are currently 3-1 with their only loss coming in overtime to Indiana. Western Kentucky is currently averaging 508 yards per game which ranks 11th in the country. Georgia Tech has experienced offensive struggles while under Collins and could look to hire a young offensive mind as their next coach. Helton fits this mold and is destined for a larger job in the next few seasons.
Mike Tressel (Cincinnati Defensive Coordinator) – Mike Tressel is easily the biggest stretch on this list. Tressel is one of the best minds in college football and has learned from some of the top defensive head coaches in the country. He worked with Mark Dantonio from 2007 until his retirement in 2020. Tressel spent one season with Mel Tucker before accepting a job on Luke Fickell’s staff at Cincinnati. He took over as defensive coordinator after Marcus Freeman left for Notre Dame. The 2021 Bearcats defense was one of the best in the country led by defensive backs Coby Bryant and Sauce Gardner. Tressel may still need a few more years before he is seasoned to take a head coaching job. Georgia Tech should look at Tressel if they want a coach who is considered up and coming.
Shawn Clark (Appalachian State Head Coach) – Shawn Clark is in his third full season as the Appalachian State. Clark owns a career 22-9 record as the Mountaineers head coach. Clark helped Appalachian State to a 10 win season in 2021. He started off the season on a high note nearly beating North Carolina and then defeated Texas A&M in the following week. Appalachian State is likely to win at least eight games again in 2022. Clark is an alum of Appalachian State so he is less likely to leave. Georgia Tech can raise his salary to a level the Mountaineers cannot match. How much additional money would Clark need to consider Georgia Tech as a legitimate option?