April 27, 2006
ATLANTA–Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey said Thursday that he will relinquish the offensive playing calling duties to offensive coordinator Patrick Nix. A member of the Yellow Jacket staff since 2002, Nix was elevated to offensive coordinator in 2004 but Gailey continued to call the plays the last two seasons.
“I’ve decided to let Patrick call the plays and run the offense,” said Gailey, entering his fifth season as the Tech head coach. “I’m going to still be involved somewhat with the gameplan and with the big ideas, but the day-to-day planning and calling the game will be in Patrick’s hands.
“I think he’s a sharp young coach, and he’s got some good ideas about what our players can do. We’ve been around each other long enough now that I think he has my general thoughts about what’s important, but he can incorporate that into what he does.
“I think it’s a good time to put some new ideas and new thoughts into the offense.”
In taking over the play-calling duties, Nix will move from the sidelines to the press box during games.
“I think my input would be general things, not specific plays,” Gailey continued. “Suggestions in between series, like, We’ve got this matchup, let’s make sure we take advantage of it; or, We’re controlling the line of scrimmage, let’s try to run the ball. Having been in that position (as an offensive coordinator calling plays), I’m not going to sit there and second-guess or try to take over. When I did it, it was either mine or it wasn’t mine, and I understand that. I want him to run it, and I’ll just throw ideas out from time to time.
“Will I miss it at times . . . yes, probably, but I think it’s a good time to do this.”
Gailey was pleased with the transition during spring practice.
“I like the direction that things went in spring practice,” he said. “They’ll be some new wrinkles and some differences. There always are when you have a different guy calling the plays. I’d say the general concepts are the same, but there are a few different looks.”
Nix, 34, has called plays at three previous coaching stops, including two seasons (1999-2000) as the head coach at Henderson (Ark.) State, the last of his three seasons at Jacksonville State (1998) and one year at Samford (2001) when he took over play-calling midway through the season.
“It’s still football,” said Nix, the former Auburn quarterback. “You still have to block, you have to throw and catch, you have to run. There’s only so many things you can do in the game of football. There will be a few different things just because I’m a different person, but I don’t know that there will be a huge difference that fans will notice.
“I would describe myself as being in a controlled, attack mode. I’d like to think of myself as someone who wants to stay on the attack at all times and keep defenses on their heels but at the same time be under control, be efficient and be smart with the way we are trying to attack. There’s a fine line there, so we have to find our happy medium, with the personnel we have, to be able to attack defenses at all time without putting ourselves in bad situations.”