THE FLATS – Dave Patenaude and Andrew Thacker, who have served as Temple’s offensive and defensive coordinators under new Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins for the past two seasons, will join Collins on The Flats in the same roles, Tech announced on Monday.
Patenaude, who will also coach Georgia Tech’s quarterbacks, is a 28-year collegiate coaching veteran. Under his direction, Temple put together two of the three highest single-season passing totals in school history (3,273 yards in 2017, 3,297 yards in 2018) and ranks 24th nationally in scoring offense this season. Individually, TU running back Ryquell Armstrong ranks second in the American Athletic Conference and 14th nationally in rushing (109.8 ypg) and wide receiver Randle Jones ranks third in the AAC and 13th nationally in yards per reception (19.35 avg.) this season.
“Dave has produced record-setting offenses his entire career,” Collins said of Patenaude. “He did a great job for us the last two years at Temple. I’m excited about the fast-paced, spread, pro-style offense that we’re going to run here at Georgia Tech. With his experience, the transition is going to be awesome.”
A metro-Atlanta native (Cartersville, Ga.), Thacker was promoted to Temple’s defensive coordinator in 2018 after joining Collins’ TU staff in 2017 as linebackers coach. With Thacker as coordinator, Temple’s defense scored eight defensive touchdowns (No. 1 nationally), forced 31 turnovers (No. 3 nationally), recovered 13 fumbles (No. 3 nationally) and intercepted 18 passes (No. 4 nationally). He’ll coach Georgia Tech’s linebackers in addition to his duties as defensive coordinator.
“Andrew did a really good job for us the last two years as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach,” Collins said about Thacker. “He helped put together one of the best defenses in the AAC thanks due to his connection with the players, his motivation and his knowledge of the game. His stepdad [former Gainesville H.S. head coach Bruce Miller] was a legendary high-school coach in the state of Georgia. I’m excited to have him back home.”
Prior to his successful two-year tenure at Temple, Patenaude spent five seasons as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Coastal Carolina. CCU set nearly every school record for offense during his five years with the Chanticleers, including single-season scoring, total offense, rushing yards and passing yards, while registering three 10-win seasons. Coastal Carolina also produced four finalists for the Walter Payton Award (NCAA Division I FCS Player of the Year) and three NFL draft picks (WR Matt Hazel, RB De’Angelo Henderson and RB Lorenzo Taliaferro) during Patenaude’s five years with the Chants.
Twelve of Patenaude’s 28 years as a collegiate coach have been spent as an offensive coordinator, including each of the last 11 at Temple (2017-18), Coastal Carolina (2012-16), Georgetown (2010-11), and Hofstra (2008-09). He also served as offensive coordinator for one season at Columbia (2001).
Patenaude’s career also includes two seasons as the head coach at the University of New Haven (2002-03), where he produced the program’s first NFL product in eight years (Phil Bogle) before the program was disbanded following the 2003 season. He has also served as an assistant coach at Hofstra (2007 – passing game coordinator/quarterbacks), Holy Cross (2004-05 – running backs; 2006 – wide receivers/special teams coordinator), Columbia (1998-1999 – wide receivers; 2000 – quarterbacks/wide receivers) Fordham (1994 – tight ends; 1995 – wide receivers; 1996-97 – quarterbacks/wide receivers), Springfield (Mass.) (1992-93 – running backs/wide receivers) and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1991 – running backs). He and Collins first coached together at Fordham in 1996, when Collins served as linebackers coach for the Rams.
Patenaude was a three-year starter at quarterback and free safety at Central Connecticut State. He graduated from CCSU in 1990 and earned a master’s from Springfield in 1993. He and his wife, Christine, have two daughters: Eva and Estelle.
“My family and I are excited and honored to join the long-storied football program at Georgia Tech,” Patenaude said. “I have seen firsthand the passion and vision that Coach Collins brings to a new program and I look forward to getting to work on The Flats.”
Thacker helped produce one of the AAC’s highest-ranked defenses during his one season as the defensive coordinator at Temple. In addition to ranking among the nation’s top three teams in defensive touchdowns, turnovers, fumble recoveries and interceptions, the Owls were among the AAC’s top three teams in total defense (second), passing defense (second), three-and-outs (second) and scoring defense (third). As linebackers coach in 2017, he helped TU rank among the top teams nationally in both sacks (11th) and tackles for loss (11th).
Prior to his two seasons at Temple, Thacker spent the 2016 season in the Atlanta area as linebackers coach at Kennesaw State, where he helped the Owls lead the Big South in scoring defense and rushing defense and rank second in total defense.
His career also includes stints as a full-time assistant at UCF (2015 – safeties) and Southern Miss (2013 – safeties). He has also served as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons (2014), a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State (2010-12 – linebackers) and a graduate assistant at UCF (2008-09 – linebackers). As a G.A. at UCF, Thacker worked under Collins, who was the Knights’ linebackers coach at the time.
Thacker was a four-year starter at safety at Furman (2004-07), where he was named the 2004 Southern Conference Freshman of the year. He graduated from Furman in 2007 with bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish. He and his wife, Liza, have a daughter, Caroline, and a son, Bear.
“Liza and I are thrilled to join the Georgia Tech football family and return home to Georgia,” Thacker said. “We look forward to dedicating our time and energy to Georgia Tech and investing in the young men in the program. We believe in Coach Collins’ vision and cannot wait to get started on The Flats.”
Patenaude and Thacker are third and fourth assistant coaches to be added to Collins’ first staff at Georgia Tech. Previously announced hires include running backs coach Tashard Choice and wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon. Additionally, Collins has tabbed Lewis Caralla as the Yellow Jackets’ head football strength and conditioning coach.