A-Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
A-Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
Lamar Owens is in his 11th season overall at Georgia Tech and his ninth season as the Yellow Jackets’ A-backs coach. He added special teams coordinator to his responsibilities in 2016 and was tabbed as the program’s recruiting coordinator in 2017.
Under Owens’ tutelage, Georgia Tech’s three returning A-backs in 2018 — junior Nathan Cottrell and seniors Clinton Lynch and Qua Searcy — have combined to total 3,088 yards from scrimmage (1,924 rushing, 1,164 receiving) on just 289 touches (242 rushes, 47 receptions) over the past three seasons, good for a gaudy 10.7 yards per touch.
In particular, Lynch and Searcy have developed into two of the most prolific slot backs of head coach Paul Johnson’s 11-year tenure at Georgia Tech. Lynch, who became the 47th student-athlete in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in his career when he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark as a junior last season, led Georgia Tech in both yards per reception (30.6) and yards per rush (11.2) as a sophomore in 2016. Searcy also made a name for himself as a sophomore when he turned in two of the Yellow Jackets’ biggest plays of the 2016 season — a 22-yard reception on fourth-and-19 with less than three minutes to go that extended what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown drive in a 17-14 win over Boston College in the season opener and a six-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds left on the clock that provided the winning points in a 28-27 triumph over archrival Georgia in the regular-season finale.
Lynch and Searcy are emblematic of the dynamic ball-carriers and receivers that Owens has developed at the A-back position since his arrival on The Flats in 2008.
In 2014, Owens’ senior-laden A-backs group of B.J. Bostic, Deon Hill, Charles Perkins and Tony Zenon combined for more than 2,100 yards and 14 touchdowns, en route to the ACC Coastal Division title and a FedEx Orange Bowl victory.
Owens’ most notable pupils at Georgia Tech also include Robert Godhigh and Orwin Smith. Godhigh led the Yellow Jackets in touchdown receptions in 2012 and 2013 and became the only player in Tech history with 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game when he totaled 126 yards on the ground and 105 yards through the air against Clemson on Nov. 14, 2012. Smith set an ACC record with a career average of 9.3 yards per rush from 2009-12 (Godhigh’s 9.1-yard career average ranks second in ACC history among rushers with at least 1,000 career yards).
Owens also coached Embry Peeples and Roddy Jones — a pair of 1,000-yard career rushers — for their final two seasons at Tech (2010 and 2011).
The Yellow Jackets’ special teams have also enjoyed success since Owens began overseeing the units in 2016. In his first season at the helm of Tech’s special teams, the Jackets led the ACC in field-goal percentage (.882) and PAT percentage (1.000) behind place kicker Harrison Butker, who was picked by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2017, true freshman Pressley Harvin III was named a freshman all-American and third-team all-conference honoree after leading all NCAA Division I FBS true freshmen and ranking 16th overall nationally in punting with a 44.1-yard average. Additionally, the Jackets have returned two kickoffs for touchdowns over the past two seasons after not scoring on a kickoff return in any of the three campaigns that preceded Owens taking over as special teams coordinator.
Owens came to The Flats in 2008 and served two seasons as a staff assistant before moving into his current role as an assistant coach.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Maryland in 2008 after completing his football playing career as a quarterback at the U.S. Naval Academy under head coach Paul Johnson.
In 2005, Owens directed a Navy offense that averaged 34.2 points and an NCAA Division I-A-best 319.3 rushing yards per game. He racked up 2,109 yards of total offense (1,229 passing, 880 rushing — both team highs) and accounted for 17 touchdowns (11 rushing, six passing) en route to being named to the ECAC all-East team. Behind Owens, who broke four school records for total offense, passing yards per attempt and passing yards per completion, the Midshipmen went 8-4 in 2005, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy and beat Colorado State, 51-30, in the Poinsettia Bowl. The triumph over CSU gave Navy consecutive bowl wins for the first time in program history.
In 2018, Owens was invited to participate in the American Football Coaches Association’s 35 Under 35 Coaches’ Leadership Institute and the National Football League’s prestigious Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. As part of the Walsh Fellowship, he was immersed with the San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff for two weeks during offseason training activities and mandatory minicamp.
A native of Savannah, Ga., Owens is married to the former Lindsey Vincent and they have a daughter, Lennox. He holds a Lean Six Sigma black belt and has used the techniques and tools for process improvement asserted by Six Sigma doctrine to analyze and improve recruiting processes.
|THE LAMAR OWENS FILE|
|Birthdate||September 6, 1983|
|Family||wife Lindsey; daughter Lennox|
|Alma Mater||Maryland, 2008|
|2002-05||U.S. Naval Academy (quarterback)|
|2008-09||Georgia Tech||Staff Assistant|
|2016||Georgia Tech||A-backs / Special Teams Coordinator|
|2017-present||Georgia Tech|| A-backs / Special Teams Coordinator / Recruiting Coordinator|