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Georgia Tech Football: Coaching Profiles - ST Coordinator Ricky Brumfield

Wrapping up the series today with Georgia Tech’s newest coach

NCAA Football: Duke at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In Brent Key’s originally released version of his coaching staff, Jason Semore was manning the special teams helm. After being hired by Marshall as their defensive coordinator, Key had to go back to the drawing board. He ended up hiring Ricky Brumfield to be his replacement.

Coaching History

  • 2001 - 2003: Union College (Special teams coordinator/wide receivers)
  • 2004 - 2010: Fairmount State (Special teams coordinator/wide receivers)
  • 2006: Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship)
  • 2007 - 2009: Pittsburgh Steelers (Volunteer Assistant Coach)
  • 2007: Atlanta Falcons (NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship)
  • 2008: Green Bay Packers (NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship)
  • 2010: Buffalo Bills (NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship)
  • 2011 - 2012: Nicholls State (Special teams coordinator/safeties)
  • 2013 - 2015: Western Kentucky (Special teams coordinator/cornerbacks)
  • 2016 - 2017: Texas-San Antonio (Special teams coordinator/tight ends)
  • 2018 - 2019: Virginia (Special teams coordinator)
  • 2020: Virginia (Special teams coordinator/tight ends)
  • 2021: Tennessee Titans (NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship)
  • 2021: Virginia (Special teams coordinator/cornerbacks)
  • 2022: Florida International (Special teams coordinator/associate head coach/outside linebackers)

Looking through Brumfield’s history, a couple of things are apparent. First, he has a lot of experience at a lot of different levels. The coaching fellowship that is mentioned throughout is the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, wherein coaches can attend an NFL team’s training camp, offseason workout program, and/or minicamp to have the opportunity to observe, participate, and gain experience. Since Brumfield has been part of so many of these fellowship programs, he’s had several first-hand looks at these NFL squads and how they operate.

The second thing I noticed is that although everywhere he has coached has been as a special teams coordinator, he also typically held a secondary position group, and there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason for which one is picked. That tells me that if there is a position coach vacancy midseason, Brumfield could probably step in and take over the unit.

Looking deeper into his experience, I notice the immediate impact he had at Florida International. From his Georgia Tech bio: “In his lone season at FIU, the Panthers ranked No. 23 nationally in special teams efficiency, an improvement of nearly 50 spots from its 2021 rank of No. 72. FIU also blocked three kicks, which was tied for 19th nationally, and surrendered zero special teams scores.” Now, I will say, I don’t know what metric that is actually counting, but it is still impressive nonetheless that that type of improvement is seen in just one season.

And that success is not in a vacuum! Brumfield’s special teams squad at Virginia was very impressive. In 2019, his kick return unit ranked second in the country while setting school records for kickoff return average and total kickoff yards. The unit also produced the winner of the 2019 Jet Award (best kick returner).

In 2018, Brumfield’s punt return defense ranked 7th nationally, giving up just 3.21 yards per return. The season prior, they ranked 117th nationally.

It seems pretty clear to me that Ricky Brumfield will have an immediate impact on Georgia Tech’s special teams. The fact that our staff Slack channel has a slackbot response every time we say “special teams” should tell you just how bad Tech’s special teams have been lately, so I believe this is a very welcome change.

What are you expecting from Ricky Brumfield this season?