Geoff Collins came in with hype and lots of fanfare from Georgia Tech football fans. After winning just 10 games through his first three full seasons, and a little bit of 2022, the plug was pulled today. The Jackets went on a 183-10 scoring drought in the final four P5 games under Collins and the inability to kick, punt, score or stop teams on the defensive side with any consistency sealed his fate.
Collins ends his career on the Flats with a 26.3 percent winning percentage, worse than Bill Lewis who ended his tenure with a 35.7 percent winning percentage, and Bill Curry who left with a 42.3 percent winning percentage after rebuilding the Tech program in his early years from the then lowest point in program history. Collins never won back-to-back games in his three-plus seasons on the Flats.
Tech is on the hook for the remainder of Collins’ seven-year contract equating to a $10 million loss for an athletic department already struggling financially to compete in a marketplace with well-funded SEC programs and Clemson surrounding them.
Collins made history in several bad ways early in his tenure ending a 382-game streak of not being shutout at home, Virginia Tech handled that in 2019 and the Jackets have been shutout twice more at home in 2021 by Georgia and 2022 by Ole Miss since. The Jackets have been shut out by three of the last four P5 teams they’ve faced.
The offseason leading up to the 2022 season saw an almost complete turnover on staff with just two defensive coaches remaining after the terminations of Nate Burton and Jeff Popovich and the departure of former star player Marco Coleman for Michigan State. Offensively, Collins also fired his long-time friend and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, former Tech star Tashard Choice left for USC and then Texas for the same position in Austin, tight ends coach Chris Wiesehan went back to Temple to coach the OL there and receivers coach Kerry Dixon left for an NFL position.
Collins replaced those staffers with more experienced staffers with extensive P5 experience, but those moves were too little too late. His promise of returning Tech to the top 25 perennially and winning recruiting battles in the ACC turned into the inverse of both with one top class in his first full class in 2020 and finishing at the bottom of the standings in college football in most statistics for three straight seasons.
At the end of the day, Geoff Collins promised to change the way Georgia Tech played football as they moved away from Paul Johnson and his spread option attack. He did just that. Johnson won an ACC title and played two more times for the crown while leading Tech to two Orange Bowls and three wins over rival Georgia with bowl trips in all but two of his seasons. Collins took Tech from annual bowl participants to the bottom third of a very average ACC.