In an announcement today, Georgia Tech has hired two new coaches in Jeff Popovich and Nathan Burton.
As many of the coaches before have had, Popovich has a prior history with Geoff Collins as they were both at Florida International. Most recently, Popovich was at Boise State as the cornerbacks coach. In his one season at Boise State, the Broncos rank among the nation’s top 40 teams in third-down defense, takeaways (24), scoring defense, and total defense.
“I’m very excited to have Jeff join our coaching staff here in Atlanta,” Collins said about Popovich. “We had great success together at FIU coaching an elite, conference-championship defense. He will bring tremendous energy, enthusiasm and expertise to our secondary and our special teams at Georgia Tech.”
Nathan Burton also has a history with Geoff Collins and Georgia Tech. When Collins was a graduate assistant, Burton was a walk on at Tech. Burton would eventually go on to earn a scholarship and be a four-year letterwinner and the team’s Lifter of the Year in 2004. After that, Burton was a graduate assistant under Chan Gailey before leaving for Oklahoma State.
Prior to Burton’s time at Temple, Burton served as the defensive quality assistant for one season and defensive coordinator at West Alabama for three seasons. He also coached at Shorter University (defensive coordinator, 2012-13), Tennessee-Martin (linebackers and secondary, 2010-11), Oklahoma State (graduate assistant, 2009), and Georgia Tech (graduate assistant, 2005-08).
“Nathan is a Georgia Tech grad. He has a tremendous amount of energy and is innovative,” Collins said of Burton. “He was a great player, then a great graduate assistant for us at Georgia Tech. It’s been a pleasure following his career. He did a great job for us in the secondary at Temple, producing one of the top pass defenses in America. I’m excited to bring his expertise to Georgia Tech.”
Burton will serve as Georgia Tech’s co-defensive coordinator with Andrew Thacker as well as the safeties coach.
Both hires based on what Collins has to say seem like the right guy for the job and hopefully they can bring a stout pass defense and good special teams unit; something Tech has been lacking for years.