Jan. 12, 2018
THE FLATS – Shiel Wood, who helped lead Wofford to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs as the Terriers’ defensive coordinator last season, has joined Georgia Tech’s football coaching staff, head coach Paul Johnson announced on Friday.
Wood will coach the Yellow Jackets’ safeties and assist with special teams.
“I’m really excited about adding Shiel to our staff,” Johnson said. “He comes from a great coaching pedigree at Wofford, where he enjoyed success under our new defensive coordinator, Nate Woody, and as a defensive coordinator himself this past season. I think his experience with Coach Woody and as a defensive play-caller will be a great asset as we install our new defense here at Georgia Tech.”
As Wofford’s defensive coordinator, Wood directed a unit that ranked second in the Southern Conference and 26th in NCAA Division I FCS in total defense in 2017, allowing just 326.7 yards per game. The Terriers’ rushing defense led the SoCon (121.7 ypg), as they held six of their 13 opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground. The defensive effort helped lead Wofford to a 10-3 overall record, the outright SoCon championship (7-1 in league play) and an FCS quarterfinal appearance, where it fell to eventual national champion North Dakota State.
Wood, 35, spent a total of eight seasons as an assistant coach at Wofford, coaching the Terriers’ wide receivers (2007-10) and safeties (2011-12; 2016-17), in addition to his one season as defensive coordinator. In his first two seasons on the defensive side of the ball (2011-12), which coincided with Woody’s final two campaigns at Wofford, the Terriers ranked 17th and ninth in the nation in total defense, respectively. As the Terriers’ wide receivers coach (2007-10), he coached two student-athletes that went on to play in the National Football League, including current Carolina Panthers wideout Brenton Bersin.
In all, Wofford won four SoCon titles and advanced to the FCS playoffs seven times in Wood’s eight seasons on the Terriers’ staff.
He got his start in coaching in 2006 at Woodruff (S.C.) H.S., where he helped lead the Wolverines to a 9-3 record, regional championship and state playoff berth.
“Coaching at Georgia Tech under head coach Paul Johnson is a tremendous honor and I look forward to working with our defense under the leadership of Nate Woody,” Wood said. “Our family is excited to join the Georgia Tech community.”
Wood played wide receiver at Wofford from 2001-05 and was the leading receiver on the Terriers’ 2003 squad that won the SoCon championship and advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA semifinals. He graduated from Wofford in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in government. His wife, Bernadette, was a soccer student-athlete at Wofford. The couple has a daughter, Fay.
With Wood slated to coach Georgia Tech’s safeties, Johnson also announced that veteran assistant coach Andy McCollum, who has served as Georgia Tech’s safeties coach the past two seasons, will transition to coaching inside linebackers in Woody’s 3-4 scheme. McCollum has coached linebackers for four of his eight seasons at Tech (inside linebackers – 2012, linebackers – 2013-15).
WOOD AT A GLANCE
2006: Woodruff (S.C.) H.S. (assistant coach)
2007-09: Wofford (wide receivers)
2010: Wofford (wide receivers/special teams coordinator)
2011-12: Wofford (safeties)
2016: Wofford (secondary/recruiting coordinator)
2017: Wofford (defensive coordinator/safeties/recruiting coordinator)
2018-: Georgia Tech (safeties)
2001-05: Wofford (WR)
Alma Mater: Wofford, 2007
Birthdate: Aug. 26, 1982