Geoff Collins, a graduate of Rockdale County High School in 1988, 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.
Collins compiled a 15-10 record in his two seasons at Temple, including an 8-4 record and 7-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference this season, when the Owls’ only conference loss came at No. 8-ranked and undefeated UCF. His 15 victories at Temple are the most ever by a head coach in his first two seasons at the school.
Last season, Collins’ Owls won the 2017 Gasparilla Bowl with a 28-3 victory over Florida International, good for Temple’s first bowl win since 2011. This year, the Owls earned a berth in the 2018 Independence Bowl, where they will face Duke.
Prior to becoming head coach at Temple, Collins was one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators, serving in the role at Florida (2015-16), Mississippi State (2013-14, co-DC: 2011-12), FIU (2010) and his alma mater, Western Carolina (2002-05). He is the only coach to ever be nominated for the Broyles Award, given to college football’s top assistant coach, at three different schools (FIU – 2010, Mississippi State – 2014 and Florida – 2015).
Collins’ 26-year career also includes a pair of stints at Georgia Tech, first as a graduate assistant and tight ends coach under head coach George O’Leary from 1999-2001, then as recruiting coordinator under head coach Chan Gailey in 2006. During his first stint at Tech, he was a G.A. for two seasons before being promoted to tight ends coach in 2001. The Yellow Jackets were 25-12 with three-consecutive bowl appearances during those three seasons, which were capped with a 24-14 victory over Stanford in the 2001 Seattle Bowl.
Collins’ coaching career also includes stops at Western Carolina (student assistant – 1993-94), Franklin (N.C.) H.S. (assistant coach – 1995), Fordham (GA coach – 1996), Albright (defensive coordinator – 1997-98), Alabama (director of player personnel – 2007) and UCF (linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator – 2007).
As a recruiter, he helped Georgia Tech land the highest-rated recruiting class in program history in 2006 and in 2007 helped Alabama sign the No. 1 class in the nation, which included running back Mark Ingram, who went on to become the first Heisman Trophy winner in Crimson Tide history in 2008.
As a student-athlete, Collins totaled 194 career tackles as an outside linebacker and defensive back at Western Carolina (1989-92). He had 68 tackles and six tackles for loss as a junior and helped lead WCU to a 7-4 record with 62 stops, including five behind the line of scrimmage, as a senior.
Originally from Conyers in Rockdale County, Collins, 47, is married to the former Jennifer Haynes. They have a daughter, Astrid (2).