Jan. 4, 2002
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech head football coach Chan Gailey named three new assistants to his coaching staff Friday, former Duke offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris, former Oklahoma State running backs coach Tommie Robinson and former Mississippi State coordinator of football operations David Wilson.
Two members of George O’Leary’s staff, Bill O’Brien, and Glenn Spencer, remain on board at Tech. O’Brien remains the Yellow Jackets’ offensive coordinator, while Spencer will both coach defense. D’Allesandris will coach the Yellow Jackets’ offensive line, and Robinson will coach on offense. More specific responsibilities will be determined at a later date, Gailey said.
“We now have coaches in place to help us get on with recruiting,” said Gailey. “I feel very strongly that all of them are excellent coaches and will help us form a very good staff.”
D’Alessandris, 47, has coached the offensive line at Duke since 1997, sending three linemen to the NFL in center Patrick Mannelly (5th round, Chicago, 1998), guard Lennie Friedman (2nd round, Denver, 1997) and center Troy Andrew (free agent, Miami, 2001). He also coached on the Gray squad at the 1999 Blue-Gray Classic.
He came to Duke after serving as offensive line coach at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, and with the Memphis Mad Dogs of the CFL in 1995. Prior to his Memphis position, he was the offensive line coach at Texas A&M in 1994, helping the Aggies to a 10-0-1 record. He has also held posts with the World League Birmingham team (1991-92) and the CFL Ottawa team (1990).
A native of Aliquippa, Pa., D’Alessandris was a four-year letterman and a three-year starting offensive guard at Western Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1979. He began his coaching career there as a graduate assistant before moving on to Livingston (1979-83), Memphis (1984-85) and Chattanooga (1986-89).
He and his wife Toni have three daughters, Anna (17), Kelly (16), and Emily (14).
“Joe is an excellent recruiter, and he really enjoys the offensive line, which is a must at that position,” said Gailey, who worked with D’Alessandris at Birmingham of the World League (1991-92) and at Samford (1993). “He has a great deal of experience at both the professional and collegiate levels.”
Robinson, 38, spent the past season as the running backs coach at Oklahoma State after serving three years as an offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys working with wide receivers and special teams. Among the players Robinson coached at Dallas were Michael Irvin, Raghib Ismail, Deion Sanders and Emmitt Smith.
Prior to his time in Dallas, Robinson spent four seasons at TCU and two at Utah State as a full-time assistant following a year as a graduate assistant coach at Arkansas. He has also served NFL coaching internships at New Orleans (1994), St. Louis (1995) and the Cowboys (1997).
A native of Phenix City, Ala., Robinson played for Gailey at Troy State, where he was a part of the 1984 Division II national champions and earned all-Gulf South Conference honors. He was a three-year starter as a strong safety for the Trojans and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1985.
After a shot at professional football, he coached on the high school level for two years before moving into the collegiate ranks at his alma mater, coaching outside linebackers, in 1990. He and his wife Lartonyar, have three children, Dontrell (13), Tawanda (6) and Trey (2).
“Tommie will be an assistant on the offensive side of the ball,” Gailey said. “He has experience with both running backs and wide receivers. I coached with him at the Cowboys and at Troy State, and he did an excellent job at both places.”
Wilson, 51, spent the past five seasons at Mississippi State, coaching tight ends before becoming the Bulldog’s coordinator of football operations last spring. During that time he has also served as recruiting coordinator, helping Mississippi State assemble classes that led the Bulldogs to the SEC West title in 1998. MSU played in three bowl games while Wilson was in Starkville.
A native of Atlanta, Wilson has more than 16 years of coaching and administrative experience on both the high school and collegiate levels. He joined the MSU staff after one season as assistant to the recruiting coordinator at Florida State (1996), his second stay at the Tallahassee university. He also was with FSU in 1992. The Seminoles finished 11-1 and ranked second in the nation both seasons he was on the staff, participating in the 1993 Orange Bowl and the 1997 Sugar Bowl.
Wilson has also been the head coach at Pensacola (Fla.) High School in 1994-95, assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator at Nicholls State (1993). He coached wide receivers (1983), outside linebackers (1984) and running backs (1985) at Troy State.. He was an assistant coach on the high school level in Florida from 1986-91.
Wilson played college football at Troy State from 1974-77, and he and his wife Tammy have two children, daughter Holly and son Austin.
“David did a tremendous job as the recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State, and I was impressed with his work at Troy State when we were together,” said Gailey. “He has been an excellent on-field coach and administrator.”
Gailey announced at his introductory press conference that he would retain O’Brien and Spencer, keeping O’Brien as offensive coordinator and moving Spencer from running backs coach to defense.
Gailey met with the Tech team for the first time Friday, and visited with prospects on the Yellow Jackets’ first big recruiting weekend before returning to Miami to coach the Dolphins in their last regular season game Sunday. He will remain at his offensive coordinator’s post throughout Miami’s run through the NFL playoffs.