With Temple finishing their season Thursday, Georgia Tech has announced the hire of Andrew Thacker and Dave Patenaude!
“Liza and I are thrilled to join the Georgia Tech football family and return home to Georgia,” Thacker said. “We look forward to dedicating our time and energy to Georgia Tech and investing in the young men in the program. We believe in Coach Collins’ vision and cannot wait to get started on The Flats.”
Andrew Thacker was with Collins both of his years at Temple and were also together at UCF. Thacker was first hired as Temple’s linebackers coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator for this year. Although I have suspicions about if Thacker was actually the DC, Temple still ranked sixth nationally in yards per play and were tied for third in takeaways. He will be the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech although I expect Collins to be very hands-on in that aspect like I think he was at Temple.
In 2017, Thacker was selected for the American Football Coaches Foundation’s annual 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute. The program is “aimed at identifying and developing premier, future leaders in the football coaching profession.” He’ll bring energy to the program and will preach the toughness that Collins wants.
For the second hire, Geoff Collins decided to go with a familiar face and bring Patenaude from Temple down to the Flats. Georgia Tech, despite running the Triple Option for the last 11 years, has a decent amount to work with given the current talent pool depending on the choice of offense.
“Dave has produced record-setting offenses his entire career,” Collins said of Patenaude. “He did a great job for us the last two years at Temple. I’m excited about the fast-paced, spread, pro-style offense that we’re going to run here at Georgia Tech. With his experience, the transition is going to be awesome.”
Patenaude will bring his same offense which is a “spread” offense. I use spread loosely as it is a bit more complicated. A quick rundown would be that he uses a lot of 11 personnel (whether shotgun or under-center) and will establish the run first. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? With the run game, Patenaude will use some zone read, read option, and even some triple option concepts which should be familiar for Georgia Tech. With the current quarterbacks on the roster, those concepts should work.
The offense will then use quick passes assuming the defense cheats on the run. Most will be one step drops out of the shotgun to screens, short out routes, or slants that rely on yards after catch. That type of philosophy would be, on paper, a perfect transition for Georgia Tech.
Unfortunately, this hire, despite the transition looking good on paper, won’t jump out to fans based on stats especially with Temple fans loving that he’s leaving. With his offense at Temple, Patenaude never cracked the top 50 in overall S&P rankings. He has also had some problems getting along with players and based on the inferior QB starting the year, he is a poor talent evaluator.
I like the hire of Patenaude but only if there is someone else brought in to help him such as a co-offensive coordinator. I like his scheme and concepts but his play-calling leaves much to be desired so I would hope he comes in and focuses primarily on quarterbacks and one of the aspects of the offense (run game or pass game).
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All quotes courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics and can be found HERE.