The Geoff Collins era in Atlanta began with plenty of pomp and circumstance on 2019. It has now ended with a whimper.
Georgia Tech fired its head football coach on Sunday after just over three seasons with the program. Collins posted a 10-28 record with the Yellow Jackets during his run on the Flats, failing to elevate the quality of the team and keep them competitive against top opponents. It also appears athletic director Todd Stansbury will leave Atlanta as well.
Geoff Collins out as Georgia Tech coach, Todd Stansbury likely out as AD https://t.co/IGOmelklvv— Zachary J. Irwin (@zachirwin) September 25, 2022
With longtime Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson retiring following the 2018 season, the program brought Collins down from Temple as his successor. An Atlanta area native, Collins was tasked with: 1. overhauling Tech’s identity as a flexbone team under Johnson and 2. increasing the program’s recruiting profile within the city of Atlanta. As soon as he arrived, he was aggressive with intertwining the Jackets’ market with the city. He had marketing gimmicks like bringing a Waffle House truck to spring practices and pushed #404Takeover on Twitter.
The initial buzz that he generated didn’t translate on the field as Collins quickly learned the difficulty of flipping a program from the option. Tech finished 3-9 in his first season in 2019 before going 3-7 during the 2020 pandemic year. The 2021 team lost its final six games to finish 3-9, including brutal shutout losses to Notre Dame and hated rival Georgia to end the season. By this point, the head coach had dramatically tamped down the marketing campaigns from earlier and effectively left his social media accounts dormant.
Georgia Tech showed some promise for two-and-a-half quarters in the 2022 season opener against Clemson, eventually falling 41-10 to the Tigers. But after an embarrassing 42-0 shutout loss to Ole Miss two weeks later, Collins’ days of roaming the sidelines of Bobby Dodd Stadium were officially numbered. His final outing was Saturday’s 27-10 loss at UCF.
Georgia Tech will now look for a candidate that can elevate the program back to respectability. The Jackets are galaxies behind juggernaut rival UGA and they have an extra roadblock to clear with the limitations on recruiting due to academics. We will see who steps up to the challenge.