ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Tech hired Temple coach Geoff Collins on Friday, choosing a Georgia native with a background in defense to replace Paul Johnson as the Yellow Jackets coach.
Collins, 47, is a former Florida and Mississippi State defensive coordinator and Georgia Tech assistant who was 15-10 in two seasons at Temple.
Before his time at Florida (2015-16) and Mississippi State (2011-14), Collins was a graduate assistant and tight ends coach at Georgia Tech under coach George O’Leary from 1999-2001. He returned to serve as recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech under coach Chan Gailey in 2006.
Collins also spent a season as director of player personal at Alabama in 2007, Nick Saban’s first season leading the Crimson Tide.
Temple athletic director Patrick Kraft said assistant coach Ed Foley will serve as interim coach for the Independence Bowl against Duke on Dec. 27.
“While it is always difficult to lose a head coach, it is a testament to what we have built at Temple through our students, our fans, our alumni and our donors that we can continue to have success,” Kraft said in a statement released by the school. “We have a world-class university, strong support staff, excellent facilities, passionate supporters and a very healthy culture and I am confident that there will be great interest in our job yet again.”
When announcing his decision to step down following 11 seasons at Georgia Tech on Nov. 28, Johnson said he will remain on the job through Georgia Tech’s game against Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit n Dec. 26.
Georgia Tech finished 7-5 in the regular season. Johnson compiled a record of 82-59 at Georgia Tech with three appearances in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
Collins met with Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury in New York earlier this week and with the university president G.P. “Bud” Peterson in Atlanta on Thursday.
Collins, a Conyers, Georgia native, had an 8-4 record with a 7-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference this season. He took over for his close friend Matt Rhule last year, when Rhule left for Baylor.