2The Atlantic Coast Conference saw four coaching changes for the 2019 season. Our College Football America Yearbook editor, Matthew Postins, breaks down the four changes below.
Georgia Tech: Geoff Collins (for Paul Johnson)
Johnson retired after the 2018 season, wrapping up his career with a 189-100 record as a head coach at three different programs. At Georgia Tech he went 82-61 and led them to three division titles, one league title and nine bowl games. But Johnson was a triple option coach and the belief is that Collins will bring a more modern offense to Atlanta. Collins spent just two seasons at Temple, won 15 games and led the Owls to two bowl games. For Collins, this is a promotion, to be sure. With his experience as the defensive coordinator at both Mississippi State and Florida, he should be up to the task of recharging the defense, while leaving the offense to his Temple offensive coordinator, Dave Patenaude, who is on the staff at Georgia Tech. Grade: B-minus
Louisville: Scott Satterfield (for Bobby Petrino)
Petrino’s second stint at Louisville ended with a 2-8 2018, as he was fired with two games remaining. Petrino did lead the Cardinals to a pair of nine-win seasons in his return to Louisville, along with the Heisman Trophy-winning season of Lamar Jackson. Petrino’s time at Louisville ended with a 77-35 record (including his first stint at Louisville), and one division title. His replacement, Satterfield, is a rising star in the FBS coaching ranks and accelerated Appalachian State’s transition from FCS to FBS. After six seasons at Appy State Satterfield was 51-24 with three Sun Belt Conference titles and a 3-0 record in bowl games. Satterfield’s task is to rejuvenate the Cardinals offensively, where he has spent his entire career. Most notably, he was the offensive coordinator at FIU before moving back to Appalachian State to take over the offense for the Mountaineers. Louisville fans wanted Jeff Brohm. But this hire may end up being better. Grade: B+
Miami (FL): Manny Diaz (for Mark Richt)
The Hurricanes lured Diaz back to Miami after he took the Temple job because Richt decided to retire. Richt’s departure was abrupt, but he was successful at both Georgia and Miami, compiling a 171-64 all-time record. He went 26-13 at Miami, his alma mater, and led the Hurricanes to three straight bowl games and an ACC division title. Diaz has never been a head coach. But he’s worked for some great head coaches — Bobby Bowden, Dan Mullen, Mack Brown and Richt. Diaz was born and raised in Miami, so he knows the terrain and he can connect with recruits. The real question is whether he can make head-coaching decisions. One of his first hires, offensive coordinator Dan Enos, is a solid selection. Diaz’s first recruiting class was ranked No. 28 by 247Sports.com, which is also encouraging. Grade: C
North Carolina: Mack Brown (for Larry Fedora)
Fedora’s career at North Carolina ended with two straight losing seasons and a 45-43 record in Chapel Hill. Fedora did take the Tar Heels to four bowl games and one ACC title game in 2015, during which the Tar Heels went 11-3. The Tar Heels went back to their roots to hire Brown, a newly-minted College Football Hall of Famer in what amounts to a retirement job for the ESPN commentator. His career includes 244 wins, a national championship at Texas in 2005 and another appearance in the BCS National Championship game in 2009. But, at UNC, where Brown made his bones before Austin, he went 69-46-1 and led the Tar Heels to six straight bowl games. Brown’s task is to rebuilt the Tar Heels into a perennial bowl team again. His initial hires are solid. Phil Longo, formerly of Ole Miss, is the offensive coordinator, while Army’s Jay Bateman and North Carolina linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen are the co-defensive coordinators. Brown was able to put together the No. 32 class in the country in 2019. That’s solid work on a short timeline. The Tar Heels should be better The question is how long Brown will want to coach? Grade: B
Next: We’ll talk about the coaching changes in the Big 12.
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