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Georgia Tech Football: Coaching Staff Seems to be Finalizing

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Georgia Tech made some coaching changes over the holidays, let’s dig in a little bit!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 13 Tennessee Orange & White Game Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It ended up being a busy holiday season for the Yellow Jackets, as they added two new coaches to the staff and saw one leave the staff. For the time being, things seem to be settling for the staff, but we’ll see how that goes over the next few weeks.

Jason Semore Hired as Linebackers Coach

Up first was Tech seemingly filling out their coaching staff (for the first time) by hiring former Valdosta State defensive coordinator Jason Semore to come coach the linebackers.

Before accepting the job:

  • 2006: Round Valley H.S. – Springerville, Ariz. (defensive coordinator)
  • 2007: Colorado School of Mines (secondary)
  • 2008-09: Adams State (co-defensive coordinator/secondary/special teams coordinator)
  • 2010-11: Tulsa (outside linebackers)
  • 2012-13: Oklahoma State (defensive assistant)
  • 2014: Colorado School of Mines (defensive coordinator)
  • 2015: Montana (secondary/special teams coordinator)
  • 2016-17: Montana (defensive coordinator)
  • 2018: Temple (senior defensive advisor)
  • 2019-20: Georgia Tech (defensive analyst)
  • 2021: Valdosta State (defensive coordinator)

What stands out to me in the press release was this quote:

At Georgia Tech, Semore will serve as linebackers coach. The addition of Semore will allow defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker to focus entirely on developing and implementing the Jackets’ defensive game plan and leading Tech’s revamped defensive staff.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at how Semore has performed up to this point. He certainly seems to be on his way up the football ladder and has previous experience under Geoff Collins, so he should be pretty familiar with the defense.

VSU’s defense was pretty solid this year, holding opponents to under 25 points per game. More notably, the pass defense was very good, allowing just over 6 yards per pass attempt and only allowing 19 passing touchdowns. The defense also sacked opposing QBs nearly 40 times which is a whole lot more than Tech has had in a while.

I think Semore is a fine hire, but I’m more happy that Thacker won’t be working with the linebackers. While the linebackers may have looked good on paper, they were often times in the wrong spot and sometimes, it was just baffling what was happening. Hopefully Semore can shape those up.

TE Coach Chris Wiesehan Headed Back to Temple

This one came as a bit of a shock, but I’m not super upset about it. I don’t think that Wiesehan ever was able to get much out of the tight ends during his time in the position. With Chip Long being a tight end guru, I think it’s a much better option to have him do the job and bring in a real QB coach.

Plus, from what I can tell, Temple fans seem to be pretty happy about the hire, so I wish him well.

Georgia Tech Hires Chris Weinke to be New QBs Coach

This move has yet to be finalized, but it has been reported widely that former Heisman winner Chris Weinke will be Tech’s new QB coach. Justin covered this a bit yesterday, but I wanted to touch on this again.

Before coming to Tech:

  • 2010 - 2014: IMG Academy (Head Coach)
  • 2015 - 2016: St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (QB Coach)
  • 2017: Alabama (Offensive Analyst)
  • 2018: Tennessee (RB Coach)
  • 2019 - 2020: Tennessee (QB Coach)

I gotta be honest, I don’t love this hire. I think Tech needed to hire a guy that is a bit more proven as a QB developer. Who has Weinke developed?

Starting with his time working for the Rams, Weinke got to work with Nick Foles and Case Keenum in 2015 and Keenum and Jared Goff in 2016. All three quarterbacks failed to impress very much. Foles was just two years out of his breakout season with the Eagles and ranked at the bottom of the league in QBR (28.9). Keenum wasn’t much better, finishing at 34.8 in about half as many games. The next season, Keenum was at the bottom of the league (37.5) and Goff finished at 18.3 while going winless as the starter.

Moving onto Tennessee, Weinke mostly worked with Jarrett Guarantano at quarterback, and he did fine but not amazing at the job. In 2019, Guarantano finished a hair under 60 percent pass completion, but averaged 8.4 yards per attempt. He also had a nice 16-to-8 TD-to-INT ratio.

The next season did not go as well. Guarantano appeared in seven games, while Harrison Bailey appeared in six. Bailey proved to be a much more effective quarterback, though he only attempted about 70 passes.

It’s tough to say whether this hire will ultimately be good or not, but for what it’s worth, I think it’s always telling when a team hires a coach that did not coach the previous season, like Weinke did. I will give Weinke a pass on that, though because of a note from this article:

Weinke received a two year extension a year ago which means he has one year left on his contract. Tennessee owes Weinke approximately $412,500 between now and January 31, 2022 which is $37,500 a month. That amount would drop if Weinke were to get another job.

I just would have liked to see more. I understand that the writing is on the wall that Tech may be undergoing a coaching staff change soon, but this hire does not really doo much to inspire me. Hopefully, they prove me wrong though.

How do you feel about the changes to the coaching staff?