ATLANTA – Geoff Collins, a graduate assistant coach on the Georgia Tech football staff the last two years, has been promoted to full-time status to coach the Yellow Jackets’ tight ends in a reorganization of the Tech staff prompted by the departure of defensive backs coach Paul Ferraro.
Ferraro, a member of the head coach George O’Leary’s staff for two years, has been named the defensive coordinator at Rutgers.
Lance Thompson, who returned to Tech last month after two seasons at Alabama, will now serve as defensive ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Danny Crossman, Tech’s defensive ends coach the last two years, will take over as defensive backs coach and will continue as special teams coach.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for Paul Ferraro to move to a coordinator’s position,” said O’Leary, the Bobby Dodd Award winner as national coach of the year. “I always want to hire coaches who have aspirations to become coordinators and eventually head coaches. We lost one coach to a head coaching job and another to a coordinator’s job, so that’s a good sign.
“I’m very happy to be able to promote Geoff Collins. I believe in promoting from within whenever I can. Geoff had some experience as an assistant coach before he came to Tech, and he has done a very good job as a graduate assistant. He’s very familiar with our system, and I think he has a bright future as a coach.”
Collins has worked with Tech’s defensive staff the last two years. Before coming to Tech in 1999, he spent two years as defensive coordinator and linebackers and secondary coach at Albright College in Reading, Pa. In 1997, the NCAA Division III program ranked in the top 10 nationally in all defensive categories.
In 1996, Collins served as an assistant coach at Fordham, working with the outside linebackers while also serving as the junior varsity defensive coordinator. He also spent one season (1995) as an assistant coach at Franklin (N.C.) High School while teaching in the Macon County Public Schools.
Collins was a three-year starter and four-year letterman at Western Carolina from 1989-92, helping the Catamounts to a 7-4 record as a senior. He began his coaching career as a student assistant on the Western Carolina staff in 1993, when the Catamounts were the preseason No. 1 team in NCAA Division I-AA.
A native of Conyers, Ga., who attended Rockdale County High School, Collins earned two bachelor’s degrees from Western Carolina in Sport Management and Exercise Science in 1994 and Education in 1995. He added a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Fordham in 1997.
“I’m very comfortable with the staff we now have in place, and we are eager to begin spring practice on March 16,” said O’Leary.