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Seth Littrell Should Be Georgia Tech’s Next Offensive Coordinator

Now that he’s available, this should be an easy call!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 UAB at North Texas Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week, I looked through Brent Key’s connections to find potential candidates for his coaching staff here at Georgia Tech. And I have to say, I did not walk away from that list overly impressed with many of the candidates.

It has been discussed (but not confirmed) that one of the good things about hiring Brent Key is that he is being brought in at a lower price which means Tech can spend more with its offensive coordinator hire. We have already seen that Tech is willing to put more money towards a coordinator hire with Chip Long, who is set to make $850K to not coach this year, more than double what his predecessor Dave Patenaude earned at Tech.

As I was perusing Twitter yesterday, I saw the shocking news that North Texas had fired their head coach Seth Littrell. In seven seasons coaching the Mean Green, Littrell took his team to five bowl games. Prior to him taking the job in 2016, North Texas had been to one bowl game since 2004. It was mind-boggling across the country.

But, that means he’s available for a job, and I think Georgia Tech should give him one as their offensive coordinator.

A graduate of Oklahoma, Littrell got his first position coaching job at Texas Tech under Mike Leach. He served as the Red Raiders’ running backs coach from 2005 to 2008. And well, the running backs were very good while he was there.

Texas Tech Running Backs 2005-2008

Season Player Rushing Yards Yards/Carry Rush TDs Receiving Yards Yards/Reception Receiving TDs
Season Player Rushing Yards Yards/Carry Rush TDs Receiving Yards Yards/Reception Receiving TDs
2005 Taurean Henderson 872 5.9 17 528 7.9 5
2006 Shannon Woods 926 6.1 10 572 7.6 2
2007 Shannon Woods 439 5.2 8 138 4.1 2
2008 Shannon Woods 716 5.1 12 397 11 2
2008 Baron Batch 758 6.7 7 449 10 1

The only year that looks questionable was 2007, and I think it’s worth noting that Graham Harrell passed the ball 713 times that year, which is nearly 100 more than 2006 and 90-ish more than 2008. So naturally, the Red Raiders ran the ball a little less in 2007. The performance in 2008 is incredibly impressive with nearly 20 touchdowns between the two running backs.

This performance was enough to land him the RB/TE coach at Arizona, where he served for a season before taking over as the offensive coordinator. His time at Arizona is a bit in the air, as he oversaw the development of guys like Nick Foles at quarterback and Ka’Deem Carey at running back, but the team fell from seven wins in his first season to four in his second (and last season) there. It is worth noting that despite the decrease in wins, Arizona scored more points per game in Littrell’s second season as OC, and the lone season he was not sharing duties with another co-OC.

After Rich Rodriguez accepted the job at Arizona and brought in a new staff, Littrell made his way to Indiana to be the offensive coordinator for Kevin Wilson and the Hoosiers. In his first season there, the Hoosiers increased their points per game output from 21.4 points per game to 30.8 points per game. His second season saw that rise to 38.4 (16th in FBS that season).

Again, Littrell worked with a pretty dynamic duo of Nate Sudfeld at quarterback and Tevin Coleman at running back, both of whom ended up in the NFL.

After that successful stint, Littrell got a job working for Larry Fedora at UNC. Game on Paper has team data going back to 2014, so we can start looking at that now. Let’s take a look at the improvement from Year 1 of Littrell to Year 2.

UNC season data for 2014 season.
UNC season data for 2015 season.

Littrell took an offense ranked around 50 in virtually every category, and in one year, without any major changes, improved them to a Top 10 offense (Top 20 passing offense). What is impressive to me is that he did that while running the ball!

A lot of the 2014 season was heavy reliance on Marquise Williams in the running and passing game. He led the team in passing and rushing yards and accounted for 35 touchdowns (including one receiving!). The 2015 season saw the emergence of Elijah Hood at running back, which helped propel UNC’s offense to those levels. In addition to Williams accounting for 38 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards, Hood added another 1,463 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. That is absolutely ridiculous.

Following that season, Littrell was named the head coach at the University of North Texas. Let’s take a look at what he built there. For this table, I am going to use the two years prior to his arrival as a baseline to compare the following seasons of his tenure so we can see how he progressed at UNT.

UNT Offensive Stats Under Seth Littrell

Season Passing Yards Passing TDs Passing SR EPA/Pass Rushing Yards Rushing TDs Rushing SR EPA/Rush
Season Passing Yards Passing TDs Passing SR EPA/Pass Rushing Yards Rushing TDs Rushing SR EPA/Rush
2014-15 Average Baseline 2,005 12.5 34.12% -0.27 (that's not a typo) 1,961 13.5 42.11% -0.01
2016 2,708 15 38.50% -0.19 1,776 24 42.00% 0.03
2017 4,086 32 47.30% 0.14 2,305 28 44.30% 0.06
2018 3,991 28 44.80% 0.09 2,035 25 39.00% -0.09
2019 3,400 33 44.00% 0.09 1,640 11 37.20% -0.16
2020 (only 10 games) 2,830 28 43.10% 0.19 2,310 18 46.00% 0.11
2021 2,562 12 36.10% -0.18 3,082 37 41.40% 0.04
2022 3,408 32 43.10% 0.07 2,645 22 39.80% 0.04
Data courtesy of and

There is a lot to glean from here, but most notable is that even in his worse seasons at North Texas, his offenses were eons better than when he arrived. What stands out most to me is that the numbers ebb and flow a bit, as he graduates different players from his team. Take the transition from 2019 to 2020, for instance. That saw the graduation of Mason Fine at quarterback, which showed a natural decline in passing numbers. Littrell adjusted, though, by leaning more on the running backs and producing the most rushing yards in his tenure despite a decreased amount of games. He also achieved a higher success rate on rushes and EPA/rush that season.

To me, this seems like an absolute no-brainer. Seth Littrell should be Georgia Tech’s next offensive coordinator. He has shown dramatic improvements at each stop he’s been at, from being a position coach to being a head coach. He would provide new head coach Brent Key with a guy that has several years of experience as a head coach AND an offensive coordinator at the P5 level at multiple stops.

Another thing worth mentioning is that Littrell has never once been a QB coach, which means he will slot in perfectly with Tech’s coaching staff, as Key seems intent on keeping Chris Weinke as the QB coach.

Of course, Tech likely would not be the only team pining for Littrell, so I hope Brent Key pulls the trigger soon and secures Littrell.

How do you feel about the prospect of Seth Littrell being Georgia Tech’s next offensive coordinator?