Geoff Collins had it all: money, a future and Georgia Tech. A Star Wars nerd, he planned to weaponize recruiting in the Atlanta region for little ol' Georgia Tech. Except ... none of it came to fruition. Instead, the Yellow Jackets floundered following the exit of 11-year stalwart Paul Johnson, and moving on from the triple option was only the least of Collins' problems as he attempted to turnaround the program.at
There was a time when Georgia Tech was considered prime expansion territory for the Big Ten. Not anymore. GT became punchless on offense, Collins never matched the promise he developed as a defensive coordinator at Mississippi State and Florida, and after a 1-3 start in his fourth season (10-28 overall) with no better than three wins in his prior campaigns, he got shown the door.
Let's take a look at the top candidates to replace Collins in Atlanta.
Deion Sanders, Jackson State coach: Coach Prime might actually work in a crowded media market where Deion was adored as a member of the Falcons and Braves. After a 4-3 record in his first COVID-19 shortened season with the Tigers, Coach Prime led Jackson State to an 11-2 record (9-0 SWAC) in his second campaign. The Tigers are 4-0 to start 2022 while outscoring opponents 190-37. It makes too much sense.
Shawn Clark, Appalachian State coach: Being a Sun Belt coach potentially stepping up to the Power Five level would be a concern as Scott Satterfield is already struggling at Louisville. But Clark's energy is undeniable, and it's clear he has the Mountaineers buying into his philosophy.
Todd Monken, Georgia offensive coordinator: Monken was last mentioned in this space when Arizona State fired Herm Edwards. He has developed Stetson Bennett, won a national championship and sure as heck knows what's wrong with Tech. He game plans against them each season.
Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky coach: This offensive mind is ready to make the leap to a moribund program. Clay's brother is 26-17 in four seasons leading the Hilltoppers. The Gainesville, Florida, product who has coached at UAB and Tennessee, he has a lot of experience in the surrounding area.
Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina coach: If Chadwell does not snag one of the top available jobs this cycle, it will be legitimate to ask whether he waited to long to make the jump. He's not Brent Venables, after all. His success with the Chanticleers is undeniable taking the program from 8-16 across his first two campaigns to 25-3 over his last three seasons.
Andy Kotelnicki, Kansas offensive coordinator: Lance Leipold is going to hate me for including him, but Kotelnicki is a chess master with innovative set pieces. He'd kill overseeing the whole show at a Power Five program in a recruiting hotbed.