Defensive Backs Coach Travares Tillman will once again be over the secondary in his second year with the program. Coach Tillman has a wealth of knowledge in the position as he played four years with Georgia Tech from 96-99 (2-2 record vs Georgia) and was drafted 2nd round by the Buffalo Bills in 2000 and would play for Carolina and Miami through 2007.
His coaching career began at the high school level in 2012 and would later be hired by Kirby Smart in his inaugural season (2016) as a graduate assistant for Georgia. He would continue as a GA for the 2017 season and then be promoted to Defensive Quality Control for the 2018 season. UGA’s Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker would take the head coaching job at Colorado and would bring Coach Tillman with him as the Defensive Backs coach. Coach Tillman would then follow Mel Tucker to Michigan State for the 2020 and 2021 seasons as Senior Defensive Assitant and Cornerbacks coach.
Last year Coach Tillman was hired to fix the secondary that had a terrible touchdown to interception ratio of 28-3, a horrible number for any Atlanta fan, with only one coming from a defensive back. Under his tutelage in 2022, the secondary improved from allowing 273 pass yards per game to 212 with only 17 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Georgia Tech will lose starters CB Zamari Walton and S Derrik Allen but still have CB Myles Sims and S LaMiles Brooks returning. There are experienced backups such as Clayton Powell-Lee who will look to fill those roles this year and make this a solid unit.
Head Coach Brent Key wasn’t afraid to shake up the staff this year after being given the reigns after his interim season. Coach Tillman proved last year he was an asset worth keeping and will play an important role if the defense wants to improve as one of the better in the ACC.