Georgia Tech has officially named Brent Key its 21st head coach!
Key will be receiving a 5-year contract, but the terms of the contract have not been reported from what I can tell. I’m sure those numbers will be released sooner or later.
The reports are coming in! Brent Key is no longer Georgia Tech’s interim coach. He will become Georgia Tech’s next head football coach!
Sources: Georgia Tech is targeting interim Brent Key to be the next head coach. The details are being worked out, and it should be finalized in the next 24 hours.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 29, 2022
Georgia Tech is promoting interim coach Brent Key to permanent head coach, sources tell @SInow. Key, a GT alum with wide support in Atlanta, went 4-4 in the interim this year.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) November 29, 2022
Key took over for former head coach Geoff Collins following Collins’ dismissal after the Yellow Jackets’ loss to UCF. Since taking over for the 1-3 Jackets, Key has finished the season at an even 4-4, accomplishing several things Collins never did (e.g., back-to-back wins, more than 3 wins in a single season, a competent defense, etc.).
Additionally, Key’s successes have reinvigorated the players and fanbase. Though the stats may not show it, Key’s team looked more focused, disciplined, and prepared than those under Collins, which paints a hopeful picture for the official start to the Key era.
Key becoming the head coach does not mean the staff will be staying in tact as it is now. It seems likely that Key will be more open to making some changes on the staff, and given his connections in the college football world, we could potentially see some bigger names. If Georgia Tech is truly trying to model this like a Sam Pittman at Arkansas hire or a Dabo Swinney at Clemson hire, then that will be exactly what Tech needs to do to see some success.
Defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker has certainly done a good job this season since Collins’ dismissal, and the secondary in particular has seen some amazing strides. Take a look at Clayton Powell-Lee, for instance. He came in as a true freshman after Jaylon King was lost for the season and ended up having a great season. I think for the most part, the defensive staff has earned their keep for another year.
The offensive staff, on the other hand, should certainly receive a review. Georgia Tech failed to score 30 points against an FBS opponent this year, and simply put, that is unacceptable. There were only two games where Tech eclipsed 25 points.
Personally, I would love for Georgia Tech to make a splash and transition into more of an air raid offense. Despite losing Nate McCollum to the transfer portal, the Yellow Jackets still have two very good slot receivers in Malik Rutherford Jamaal Haynes, and I think it would be in Tech’s best interest to get them on the field at the same time more often. Chip Long is a tight end guy, and well, Georgia Tech’s tight ends have struggled mightily. I can understand the desire to want to give him more time, but now that Key is the full-time guy, I could see him making a splash there.
Additionally, Georgia Tech will need to hire a new offensive line coach. None of the new coaches that Key hired during the season were specific to the offensive line, so I can assume that the offensive line continued to be Key’s responsibility. Now that he’s the full-time guy, though, I expect he’ll hire a new OL coach.
The last change I would like to see Key make is solidify Tech’s special teams coach. Currently, Jason Semore is listed as the Special Teams Coordinator and JB Hall, Jr. is listed as a Special Teams Assistant. Semore has done a great job with the linebackers this season, so I would love to have him focusing on that full-time. At the same time, though, Semore was moved to special teams when Key took over and is likely part of the resurgence of Georgia Tech’s kicking game, so an argument could be made to have Semore be fully committed to special teams and bringing on a new linebackers coach. Key could also do some shuffling and add another position coach somewhere else.
Georgia Tech finally has a head coach in place, but that is only the start of the offseason. What changes, if any, do you think Key will make this offseason?