Geoff Collins was named the 20th head coach in Georgia Tech football history on Dec. 7, 2018. He is widely regarded as one of college football’s top young coaches and recruiters.
A metro-Atlanta native, Collins came to Georgia Tech after recording 15 wins in two seasons as head coach at Temple. He returns to The Flats after having previously served as a graduate assistant, tight ends coach and director of player personnel at Tech.
Prior to becoming head coach at Temple, Collins was one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators, serving in the role at Florida, Mississippi State, FIU and his alma mater, Western Carolina. He is the only coach to ever be nominated for the Broyles Award, given to college football’s top assistant coach, at three different schools.
Collins played outside linebacker and defensive back at Western Carolina. He is married to the former Jennifer Haynes and they have a daughter, Astrid (2).
|THE GEOFF COLLINS FILE|
|Alma Mater||Western Carolina, 1994|
|1989-92||Western Carolina (OLB/DB)|
|1993-94||Western Carolina||Student Assistant|
|1995||Franklin (N.C.) H.S.||Assistant Coach|
|1999-2000||Georgia Tech||Graduate Assistant|
|2001||Georgia Tech||Tight Ends|
|2002-05||Western Carolina||Defensive Coordinator|
|2006||Georgia Tech||Director of Player Personnel|
|2007||Alabama||Director of Player Personnel|
|2010||Florida International||Defensive Coordinator|
|2011-12||Mississippi State||Co-Defensive Coordinator|
|2013-14||Mississippi State||Defensive Coordinator|
|2019-||Georgia Tech||Head Coach|
Geoff Collins, an Atlanta area native and one of college football’s most successful and innovative coaches, was named the 20th football head coach in Georgia Tech history on Dec. 7, 2018.
Born in Decatur, Ga. and raised in Conyers, Ga., Collins took the reins at Georgia Tech after serving as the head coach at Temple University in 2017 and 2018. At Temple, he put together the most successful first two seasons by a head coach in the school’s 121-year football history.
Collins compiled 15 wins and led Temple to two bowl games in his two seasons with the Owls, which are both school records for a coach in his first two campaigns at TU.
In his first season at Temple, Collins led the Owls a 28-3 win over Florida International in the 2017 Gasparilla Bowl, which was good for only the third bowl victory in school history and its first since 2011.
He coached the Owls to an 8-4 record and 7-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference in 2018, with Temple’s only conference defeat coming at No. 8-ranked and undefeated UCF. The 8-4 campaign earned Temple a berth in the Independence Bowl.
Prior to becoming head coach at Temple, Collins was one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators, serving in the role at Florida (2015-16), Mississippi State (2013-14, co-DC: 2011-12), FIU (2010) and his alma mater, Western Carolina (2002-05).
Highlights of his career as a coordinator included ranking among the nation’s top 10 in total defense in each of his two seasons at Florida (No. 8 in 2015 and No. 5 in 2016), ranking among the top 25 nationally in total defense (18th – 2013) and scoring defense (23rd – 2014) during his two seasons calling plays at Mississippi State and leading the Sun Belt Conference in total defense, scoring defense and turnover margin in his lone campaign at FIU (2010).
He is the only coach to ever be nominated for the Broyles Award, given to college football’s top assistant coach, at three different schools (FIU – 2010, Mississippi State – 2014 and Florida – 2015).
Collins’ 26-year career also includes a pair of prior stints at Georgia Tech. He first came to The Flats as a graduate assistant (1999-2000), then tight ends coach (2001) under head coach George O’Leary from 1999-2001, followed by a year as director of player personnel under head coach Chan Gailey in 2006.
During his initial three seasons at Georgia Tech under O’Leary, the Yellow Jackets were 25-12 with three-consecutive bowl appearances. As the Jackets’ director of player personnel in 2006, Collins led the efforts to land a recruiting class that included Derrick Morgan (all-American, first-round NFL Draft pick), Morgan Burnett (all-American, third-round NFL Draft pick), Joshua Nesbitt (quarterbacked GT to two ACC Championship Games) and Jonathan Dwyer (the sixth-leading rusher in GT history).
Collins’ coaching career also includes stops at Western Carolina (student assistant – 1993-94), Franklin (N.C.) H.S. (assistant coach – 1995), Fordham (linebackers coach – 1996), Albright (defensive coordinator – 1997-98), Alabama (director of player personnel – 2007) and UCF (linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator – 2008-09).
In all, Collins has recruited and/or coached more than three dozen players that have gone on to play in the National Football League. Among Collins’ pupils in the NFL are Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (a consensus All-American at Mississippi State and No. 12 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft), Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (a consensus All-American at Florida and No. 11 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft), Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal (the No. 17 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft) and Indianapolis Colts cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (who earned first-team all-American Athletic Conference honors at Temple after transferring from Presbyterian College and went on to be selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft).
In addition to being renowned as a coach, strategist and evaluator, Collins is also widely recognized as the nation’s top head coach when it comes to branding his football program, particularly when it comes to utilizing social media in branding and recruiting efforts. His expertise in marketing and branding has led to him being a guest lecturer for Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business executive MBA program and a featured speaker at the 2019 Hashtag Sports conference in New York City.
His innovations in utilizing social media to aid in recruiting efforts not only helped Georgia Tech land the highest-rated recruiting class in program history in 2006-07, but also helped Alabama sign the No. 1 class in the nation in 2007-08. Alabama’s 2008 signing class included running back Mark Ingram, who went on to become the first Heisman Trophy winner in Crimson Tide history in 2009.
As a student-athlete, Collins totaled 194 career tackles as an outside linebacker and defensive back at Western Carolina (1989-92). He had 68 tackles and six tackles for loss as a junior and helped lead WCU to a 7-4 record with 62 stops, including five behind the line of scrimmage, as a senior.
Collins, 48, is married to the former Jennifer Haynes. They have a daughter, Astrid (3).
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT GEOFF COLLINS
“I am really happy for Geoff and his entire family. When you look at a guy like Geoff and the energy that he brings, the excitement he brings to the sidelines, the juice he has on a daily basis, he will do a great job. I think he will do an amazing job and I think it’s a great hire for Georgia Tech.”
– Dan Mullen, Head Coach, University of Florida
“I’m thrilled for Coach Collins to get this opportunity at Georgia Tech. I learned a lot playing under him at the University of Florida as he helped mold us into one of the top defensive units in the country. It will be good to have him in Atlanta and I know he’ll put together a strong program.”
– Brian Poole, Cornerback, Atlanta Falcons
“Congratulations to Georgia Tech on a great hire! Geoff Collins is not only an innovative mind but he relates to today’s players as well as any coach in the country. With the recruiting base around Atlanta and the incredible academics that Georgia Tech has to offer, the Jackets are poised to build on their football tradition with Coach Collins at the helm!”
– Kirk Herbstreit, College Football Analyst, ESPN