"Geoff Collins, an Atlanta area native and a former Georgia Tech football staff member who has led Temple to two bowl games in two seasons as the Owls’ head coach, has been named the 20th football head coach in Georgia Tech history, director of athletics Todd Stansbury announced on Friday," read Georgia State's statement.
With Collins out, who might the Owls target? Some guesses:
If they target a current Collins' assistant, there are three options: Jim Panagos (assistant head coach, defensive line coach and run game coordinator), Dave Patenaude (offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach) and Andrew Thacker (defensive coordinator, linebackers coach). Panagos has the most experience in the region, growing up in Brooklyn, playing at Maryland and coaching at Rutgers and Pittsburgh.
If they target a familiar face, they could call former Temple assistants who followed Matt Rhule to Baylor: Francis Brown (assistant head coach, defensive backs coach), Jeff Nixon (co-offensive coordinator, running backs coach) or Glenn Thomas (co-offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach).
If they target another Geoff Collins, Todd Grantham is a big name to watch. Now in Collins' former position as Florida defensive coordinator, the 52-year-old Grantham was previously a coordinator at Mississippi State, Louisville and Georgia (and the Cleveland Browns). He hasn't recruited heavily in the northeast but, like Collins, has been around long enough to develop relationships in most areas of the country.
Also in that Collins-like bucket: Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Miami (FL) defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and Mississippi State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop. Shoop, 52, has spent a ton of time in the northeast, most recently as Penn State coordinator.
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If they target a current Group of Five head coach, keep an eye on Billy Napier, Louisiana's 39-year-old first-time head coach who led the Ragin' Cajuns to seven wins and the Sun Belt Championship game this year. Also, Buffalo's Lance Leipold, Eastern Michigan's Chris Creighton and Miami (OH)'s Chuck Martin.
Other names to watch: former Maryland interim head coach Matt Canada, Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long, Wofford head coach (and former Pittsburgh defensive coordinator) Josh Conklin, Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko and Mississippi State offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.