ATLANTA – Geoff Collins is out as Georgia Tech’s soccer coach, fired Monday within the midst of his fourth season after failing to make headway with a brash plan to show the Yellow Jackets right into a nationwide powerhouse by means of branding and selling Atlanta’s big-city tradition.
Collins was formally dumped throughout a gathering of the athletic affiliation board two days after a 27-10 loss to Central Florida left him with a document of 10-28 at Georgia Tech.
Brent Key, the assistant head coach beneath Collins, was appointed interim head coach. He doesn’t have a lot time to settle in: The Yellow Jackets are at No. 24 Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Collins, whose staff is 1-3 this season, completed with a profitable proportion of simply .263 – the bottom of 13 full-time coaches within the college’s historical past. Invoice Lewis had been the one Yellow Jackets coach to lose his job throughout a season. He resigned after a 1-7 begin in 1994 when it turned clear he can be fired.
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Collins was the third Soccer Bowl Subdivision coach to be let go within the opening month of this season, following Scott Frost at Nebraska and Herm Edwards at Arizona State.
Georgia Tech additionally dismissed athletic director Todd Stansbury, who employed Collins and supplied steadfast assist even because the losses mounted. Frank Neville, chief of employees to school President Ángel Cabrera, will take over as interim AD whereas the varsity begins a search this week to fill each positions.
Collins is due a buyout of a minimum of $10.5 million, the total quantity remaining on the ultimate three years of the seven-year contract that introduced him to Georgia Tech from Temple forward of the 2019 season.
After main Temple to a 15-10 document and a pair of bowl berths in his first head teaching job, the previous Mississippi State and Florida defensive coordinator landed what he referred to as his dream job.
A local of suburban Atlanta, Collins mentioned Georgia Tech had the potential to compete with the nation’s prime applications, regardless that he confronted a tricky transition away from the run-oriented possibility offense utilized by his predecessor.
Paul Johnson’s quirky scheme had helped produce 9 bowl appearances in 11 seasons, together with a pair of Orange Bowl journeys, and an Atlantic Coast Convention championship that was later vacated as a consequence of NCAA sanctions. He additionally managed to beat rival Georgia thrice.
Collins didn’t come near that degree of success, and ultimately his persistent references to the “404” tradition – Atlanta’s space code – and love of the South’s iconic Waffle Home diners earned him a derisive nickname: Coach Catchphrase.
Georgia Tech struggled to a 3-9 mark in 2019, which was largely dismissed to the troublesome process of switching to a pro-style offense. It by no means obtained any higher.
The Yellow Jackets completed 3-7 throughout his season season, which was in the course of the pandemic, adopted by one other 3-9 debacle in 2021 that ended with shutout losses to Notre Dame and Georgia by a mixed rating of 100-0.
Collins went into his fourth season going through a brutal early schedule and little indication he might flip issues round, particularly after maybe probably the most touted recruit of his regime, operating again Jahmyr Gibbs, transferred to Alabama.
The pessimism surrounding this system was obvious as Collins toned down his incessant promotion and conceded in the beginning of preseason observe that “we’re all bored with dropping.”
The Yellow Jackets opened with a 41-10 loss to Clemson, obtained a quick respite with a victory over lower-division Western Carolina, and just about sealed Collins’ destiny with an embarrassing 42-0 residence loss to Ole Miss.
“That was exhausting,” the 51-year-old Collins, his gravelly voice breaking. “It was lower than the usual of Georgia Tech soccer.”
Sadly for Collins, it was just about the usual the Yellow Jackets displayed all through his tenure.
He by no means solved the rash of false begins and different pre-snap penalties that plagued the offense. The protection failed to indicate indicators of enchancment, regardless of Collins taking a extra hands-on function. And, in maybe probably the most troubling growth, Georgia Tech gave up a staggering 4 blocked punts within the first 4 video games – displaying an nearly comedian ineptitude on particular groups.
In fact, it was no laughing matter to the varsity’s big-money donors and disgruntled fan base. Their dissatisfaction solely grew once they seemed longingly on the success of the state rival, the Georgia Bulldogs, who gained the nationwide championship in January and are ranked No. 1 this season.
Against this, Georgia Tech has misplaced 9 straight video games to Soccer Bowl Subdivision opponents, unable to even be aggressive in opposition to top-level groups.
Beneath Collins, the Yellow Jackets misplaced their final 5 video games in opposition to FBS applications by a mixed rating of 210-20. They had been 1-10 in opposition to ranked opponents and 7-19 within the ACC.
In what turned out to be Collins’ ultimate recreation, the Yellow Jackets outgained UCF 452-333 and allowed solely eight completions, however threw away any shot on the upset with one other sloppy displaying.
There was a blocked punt, which was scooped up for a landing simply earlier than halftime. Jeff Sims was sacked 4 instances. Linebacker Charlie Thomas was ejected for the second time this season for concentrating on. Eight penalties proved to be crucial.
Stansbury, a former Georgia Tech soccer participant, was employed from Oregon State in 2016 to guide his alma mater’s athletic program.
Stansbury handled attendance woes and a decent finances that solely obtained extra restrictive with the COVID-19 pandemic. However his regime was largely marred by the hiring of Collins and insistence that this system was headed in the appropriate path.
The 61-year-old Stansbury turned the primary athletic director in Georgia Tech historical past to be fired from the put up, having misplaced the boldness of the administration and influential donors who didn’t need him concerned within the hiring of the following soccer coach.