Lovely downtown Buffalo.....
So Giff Smith is indeed leaving for Buffalo & the lure of the NFL. Frankly, we can't blame him. Passing over Giff & hiring Al Groh was a great hire for Tech. It's not really up for debate. But the consequence of this is losing Smith. Smith has been very open about his desire to be a defensive coordinator or head coach on the collegiate level. Staying at Tech might or might not have helped his chances. Leaving to coach in the NFL, the highest level of football, is a great resume builder. And the money is much better than the $189k we were paying him. So best of luck, Giff.
But this is not, as reading many Tech message boards might suggest, the end of the world. We'll still bring in recruits next year. Trust me. Giff was invaluable in developing relationships with high school coaches throughout Georgia. Those relationships are now in place & will remain strong even after Giff leaves. We'll be just fine. So who replaces Giff?
Well our guess is that linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary will take over as recruiting coordinator. This is a guess but it does make since as 1) Jean-Mary is an accomplished recruiter, & 2) coach Groh is coaching linebackers with him so he should have the necessary time to devote to the job. This would also ensure continuity in recruiting which is never a bad thing.
As for our defensive line coach we know we'll have plenty of people interested in the position. Our first choice would have been former Tech coach & current Oklahoma State defensive line coach Glenn Spencer. Evidently CPJ reached out to him but he is staying at OKSU for family reasons. Current North Carolina State linebackers coach Andy McCollum is a name in play as he's a good coach & has a relationship with both CPJ & Groh. Also in the mix is current Richmond coach & former UVA defensive line coach Chad Wilt. As names begin to emerge we'll of course keep everyone posted.