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Brumfield Joins Tech Staff as Special Teams Coordinator

THE FLATSRicky Brumfield, who has been a special teams coordinator at the collegiate level for more than two decades – including the last 12 seasons at the NCAA Division I level – has been hired in the same role at Georgia Tech, head coach Brent Key announced on Friday.

“I’m excited to officially welcome Coach Brumfield and his family to the Georgia Tech football family,” Key said. “Coach Brumfield fits the profile of our entire staff as a veteran coach who develops student-athletes on and off the field, is a strong recruiter and brings championship experience to our program.”

Continuing a trend of coaches bringing championship experience to Georgia Tech football’s staff, Brumfield has won five conference titles as a coach and player. In all, Key, his 10 full-time assistant coaches and analysts have combined to win 89 championships as players and coaches, ranking from high school state titles to Super Bowl appearances.

Brumfield comes to The Flats after having spent the 2022 season as special teams coordinator and associate head coach at Florida International. In his lone season at FIU, the Panthers ranked No. 23 nationally in special teams efficiency, an improvement of nearly 50 spots from its 2021 rank of No. 72. FIU also blocked three kicks, which was tied for 19th nationally, and surrendered zero special teams scores. In addition to his duties as special teams coordinator and associate head coach, Brumfield also coached FIU’s outside linebackers.

His one season at FIU followed four seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference as special teams coordinator at Virginia (2018-21). At UVA, Brumfield oversaw the nation’s No. 2-ranked kickoff return unit in 2019. As a team, the Cavaliers set school records for kickoff return average (28.7 ypr) and total kickoff return yards (1,204). The unit was highlighted by Joe Reed, who won the 2019 Jet Award as the nation’s top kick returner. Under Brumfield’s tutelage, Reed led the nation in 2019 with two kickoff returns for touchdowns and finished his collegiate career as the top kickoff returner in UVA history with 3,042 yards, which also made him one of only 10 players in Division I FBS history with 3,000 kick return yards in a career.

In Brumfield’s first season at Virginia (2018), the Cavaliers finished atop the ACC and No. 7 nationally in punt return defense (3.21 ypr), just one season after UVA ranked 117th nationally. In his final season with the Cavaliers, UVA ranked seventh nationally in special teams efficiency.

In his four seasons at Virginia, UVA never finished below .500 (after suffering six-straight losing seasons prior to his arrival). The Cavaliers won the ACC Coastal Division championship and earned an Orange Bowl berth in 2019.

Before his four-year tenure at UVA, Brumfield was special teams coordinator for two seasons at Texas-San Antonio (2016-17), he coached semifinalists for both the Lou Groza Award (nation’s top place kicker – Jared Sackett) and Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter – Yannis Routsas) in 2017. UTSA was one of only three teams to boast Groza and Guy semifinalists in 2017 and Sackett earned freshman all-America honors after setting school records with 19 field goals and 80 points.

In 2016, Brumfield’s special teams units set UTSA records for touchbacks (27) and punting average (42.0) to help lead the Roadrunners to the New Mexico Bowl, the first bowl game in program history.

Brumfield’s first position at the FBS level came as special teams coordinator at Western Kentucky from 2013-15, where he helped lead the Hilltoppers to the Conference USA championship in 2015. In his first season at WKU in 2013, the Hilltoppers led the Sun Belt in both kickoff and punt return defense. In his third and final season with the Hilltoppers in 2015, WKU went 12-2, beat South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl and finished ranked No. 24 nationally.

Brumfield broke into the Division I coaching ranks as special teams coordinator at Nicholls State in 2011-12. His impact was felt immediately, as Nicholls State blocked six kicks, finished 14th in Division I FCS in kickoff return average and saw punter Cory Kemps rank sixth nationally with a 42.8-yard average in 2011. He also coached kickoff returner Chika Madu, who wound up setting Nicholls’ school record and ranking second in Southland Conference history with 2,076 career kickoff return yards.

His 22 seasons of experience as a special teams coordinator began with stints at Union (Ky.) College (2001-03) and Fairmont State (2004-10).

Brumfield has also made his mark as a position coach, as he has mentored wide receivers (2001-03 at Union, 2004-10 at Fairmont State), safeties (2011-12 at Nicholls State), cornerbacks (2013-15 at Western Kentucky, 2021 at Virginia), tight ends (2016-17 at UTSA, 2020 at Virginia) and outside linebackers (2022 at FIU) during the course of his career. Highlights include coaching five all-conference performers in three seasons at Western Kentucky, including cornerbacks Wonderful Terry and Cam Thomas (the latter of which went on to play for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills), and WKU leading the Sun Belt in total defense, interceptions, pass defense and pass efficiency defense in 2013.

Brumfield played collegiately at Utah State, where he was a four-year letterwinner and two-year starter at wide receiver. He helped lead the Aggies to a pair of Big West Conference championships and a berth in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1999 and a master’s degree in secondary education from Union in 2003. He and his wife, Erin, have four children – Kyan, McKel, Tacy and Asher.

THE RICKY BRUMFIELD FILE

PERSONAL
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Family: Wife: Erin; Children: Kyan, McKel, Tacy and Asher
Alma Mater: Utah State, 1999

PLAYING EXPERIENCE
1994-98: Utah State (WR)

COACHING EXPERIENCE
2001-03: Union (Ky.) College (special teams coordinator/wide receivers)
2004-10: Fairmont State (special teams coordinator/wide receivers)
2011-12: Nicholls State (special teams coordinator/safeties)
2013-15: Western Kentucky (special teams coordinator/cornerbacks)
2016-17: Texas-San Antonio (special teams coordinator/tight ends)
2018-19: Virginia (special teams coordinator)
2020: Virginia (special teams coordinator/tight ends)
2021: Virginia (special teams coordinator/cornerbacks)
2022: Florida International (special teams coordinator/associate head coach/outside linebackers)
2023: Georgia Tech (special teams coordinator)

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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