There was a lot of excitement when the hire of Todd Stansbury as the athletic director was announced, and rightfully so. He’s done a great job thus far, and I have full confidence in him moving forward. That being said, a lot of the excitement at the time of his hire was due to the fact that he was a Georgia Tech alum. He was at Tech, where he played linebacker, in the early 1980s.
Now with the head coach position open, there are some talks of former Tech players being up for the job, with the main one being current Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
Chargers’ OC Ken Whisenhunt is interviewing this weekend for the Georgia Tech HC job, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 29, 2018
Whisenhunt attended Georgia Tech, which would like to hire someone with NFL experience connected to the school, per source.
I’m sure Whisenhunt is a fine man, but he is not the coach Tech needs to hire. The 56-year-old has not coached at the college level since the mid-90s. That’s not a good look. A lot has changed in college football in the last 20-plus years, so there would be a huge learning curve there.
Despite having a Super Bowl ring, his record as a head coach in the NFL isn’t really anything to hang your hat on, either. In eight years as a head coach, Whisenhunt only managed a 52-73 record. Included in that is Whisenhunt’s 3-20 record with the Tennessee Titans (his most recent stint as a head coach).
Being an offensive-minded head coach, Whisenhunt would likely want to bring in an offensive coordinator with a similar offense, which means Georgia Tech would go back to running a pro-style offense. I know I speak for a large majority of the fanbase when I say that nobody wants to see that.
There is exactly one way I would be intrigued by the possibility of hiring Whisenhunt, and that would require him to relinquish complete control of the offense to a young, innovative offensive coordinator. This means that Whisenhunt would take on more of that “CEO/Head Coach” role that seems to be growing in popularity.
And even then, I think Georgia Tech can do better than that.
Now, Whisenhunt isn’t the only Georgia Tech legacy coach that will be mentioned. The first two names that pop up in my mind are Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key and Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach George Godsey. While each has their own connection to Georgia Tech, neither are really in a good spot in their coaching career to jump to a head coaching position.
Key is most notably known as being the offensive coordinator for George O’Leary at UCF. While Blake Bortles notably rose to some incredible heights at UCF, Key was not named the offensive coordinator until well after Bortles entered the NFL Draft. He was the OC at UCF for a grand total of one year: 2015. That wasn’t a particularly great year for UCF football. The Knights went 0-12, and George O’Leary resigned eight games into the season. The offense scored more than 16 points twice. To put that in perspective, Georgia Tech scored less than 21 points twice this season (Pitt and Duke).
Godsey’s highest position was as the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans from 2015-2016. In both seasons, the Texans earned 9-7 records with playoff appearances in both seasons. The offense was not spectacular and involved a rotating door at quarterback throughout both seasons. Following the 2016 season, Godsey was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator.
Godsey now serves as the quarterbacks coach for the Detroit Lions, a position he attained prior to this season. Through 11 games, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is completing 67 percent of his passes and has 2,841 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The other notable Georgia Tech alum in the coaching ranks is former Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre. Between his time at San Jose State and Colorado (nine season), MacIntyre has had a grand total of two winning seasons.
None of these coaches should be Georgia Tech’s next head coach. There are so many better options out there.