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What Will Brent Key’s Coaching Staff Look Like?

Key has already dismissed two coaches. What other changes will he make?

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech Spring Game Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Brent Key has officially been named Georgia Tech’s next head coach, he is tasked with building his staff. Rivals’ Kelly Quinlan dropped this tidbit earlier this afternoon to suggest that Key is already working hard on that.

With Long and Alexander out the door, and Key being promoted to head coach that means Tech has a few openings: offensive coordinator, running backs coach, wide receivers coach, tight ends coach, and offensive line coach. Some coaches could be moved around on the defensive side or special teams, but nothing has been reported yet, so here is where Tech’s current staff stands.

Georgia Tech Coaching Staff

Name Position
Name Position
Brent Key Head Coach
David Turner Assistant Head Coach (Defense)/Defensive Run Game Coordinator
Andrew Thacker Defensive Coordinator
Jason Semore Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Travares Tillman Defensive Backs Coach/Defensive Pass Game Coordinator
Larry Knight Defensive Line Coach/Defensive Recruiting Coordinator
Chris Weinke Quarterbacks Coach

As it stands, Georgia Tech will be able to add four more coaches right now. As a side note, since Kelly Quinlan expects Weinke to be the lone holdover on the offensive side, I decided not to include Donald Hill-Eley or JB Hall, Jr., though it has not been reported that either has been dismissed.

With four spots open, there are four position groups that don’t have a coach right now, so this should be pretty easy to fill out! I went through Key’s coaching past and found some coaches with whom he has worked in the past that could potentially be sought after for one of these spots. Because we do not know what is happening with the defense, I will not include defensive coaches on this list.

Ed. Note: These coaches are not listed in any particular order.

Georgia Tech QB Coach Chris Weinke

Connection to Brent Key: Currently works with Key, was an offensive analyst at Alabama while Key was there (2017)

Position for Consideration: Offensive Coordinator

I wanted to include Weinke here for a couple of reasons. First, he is the only remaining coach on the offensive side of the ball. Joe Hamilton also said on 680 the Fan that Weinke was responsible for offensive playcalling in Georgia Tech’s games against North Carolina and Georgia. That tells me that Key is likely going to consider Weinke for the currently vacant offensive coordinator position. It would be his first time being an offensive coordinator, but he has worked under a couple of more prominent offensive coordinators: Alabama OC/QB Coach Brian Daboll (2017) and Tennessee OC Jim Chaney (2018-2020). He does not have the OC experience I would prefer with Key being a first-time head coach, but he is likely a legitimate option.

Baltimore Ravens TE Coach George Godsey

Connection to Brent Key: Played at Georgia Tech with Key (1998-2000), Coached at UCF with Key (2005-2010)

Position for Consideration: Offensive Coordinator

Unfortunately, I have to list this as an option. Godsey has extensive experience with Brent Key, and there were rumors that Key pushed for Godsey to be the offensive coordinator last year, so it stands to reason that he will seek out Godsey for the position once again. Godsey has not coached college football in more than a decade and has served as a co-offensive coordinator for a single season. This absolutely should not happen.

Houston Texans RB Coach Danny Barrett

Connection to Brent Key: Coached with Key at UCF (2011-2015)

Position for Consideration: RB Coach

This would certainly be an interesting hire for Key. Barrett is most well-known for being named the interim coach over Brent Key after George O’Leary’s abrupt retirement in 2015. It was presumed that Key was being groomed to take over the job at UCF when O’Leary retired, but after that 2015 season, UCF cleaned house. Since then, Barrett has exclusively worked in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins and now the Houston Texans, both as the RB coach. Looking through the running backs’ stats through those seasons, it doesn’t look like Barrett has had any drastic success, so this probably will be pretty unlikely as well.

Maryland Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Dan Enos

Connection to Brent Key: Coached at Alabama with Key (2018)

Position for Consideration: Offensive Coordinator

This one is probably a bit more of a stretch since Key and Enos only worked together for a single year, and Enos is currently a Power 5 Offensive Coordinator. Though the record may not show it, I think Enos has done a terrific job at Maryland. He has played a large role in the development of quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. From the year before Enos arrived (2020) to his first (2021), Tagovailoa went from 0.03 EPA/dropback, 7 TD, and 7 INT, to 0.14 EPA/dropback, 24 touchdowns, and 10 INT. Enos is currently ending the second year of a 3-year/$2.25 million deal with Maryland, so I think Tech would be able to at least match that.

Ole Miss OL Coach Jake Thornton

Connection to Brent Key: Coached with Key at Alabama as a GA (2017)

Position for Consideration: OL Coach

Out of all these guys, this actually seems like a somewhat likely option. Key worked as a direct supervisor for Thornton while at Alabama, so I could definitely see the interest from Thornton if Tech can provide a raise for him. Plucking an SEC OL coach would be a good move for Key in his first year that could help establish some trust with those like myself who are a bit concerned about Key’s lack of head coaching experience.

Miami Offensive Coordinator/ WR Coach Josh Gattis

Connection to Brent Key: Coached with Key at Alabama (2018)

Position for Consideration: Offensive Coordinator

Another pretty unlikely option here. Gattis is currently the offensive coordinator for Miami, and things aren’t going great there. Given how fickle Miami can be, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miami try to shake up its coaching staff, and Gattis could potentially fall victim to that. I find it hard to put Miami’s failures on Gattis, but that may not stop Miami from doing so. And if they do, well, Georgia Tech should be the first team that calls him.

Texas RB Coach Tashard Choice

Connection to Brent Key: Coached with Key at Georgia Tech (2019-2021)

Position for Consideration: Offensive Coordinator

I wanted to save Choice for last because I think it’s an intriguing option, and it’s one that I am not sure I would be in favor of. To clarify, if Choice is willing to come back as the running backs coach, I would fully be on board. However, if Choice is coming back, I imagine he will want to be the offensive coordinator, and I would prefer to have someone with playcalling experience in that role. Either way, I think it would be great to have Choice back on campus, but I would certainly prefer him to be a position coach, which I don’t think he would want to do.

Who else would you like to see Brent Key consider for his coaching staff?