Chris Wilson—formerly of the Mississippi State Bulldogs—has accepted the defensive line coach position for the Georgia Bulldogs. And while it has not officially been confirmed by UGA as of yet (the hire has to go through the proper posting channels first), if all goes as expected, we should see an announcement sometime next week.
That said, there are still more than enough questions to ask about why Georgia would hire a guy with, presumably, no experience coaching the 3-4. I mean, this hire supposedly has defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s name all over it, right? So why wouldn’t Grantham try and bring in a guy with 3-4 experience; a guy who could step right in and take over without a learning curve?
It does boggle the mind a bit…it certainly boggled my mind. However, after doing some due diligence of my own on Wilson, I am totally on board; let me tell you why.
Beyond Wilson’s recruiting prowess (he’s noted as having been one of Mississippi State’s top recruiters on staff and has success recruiting in Atlanta-area schools) and defensive line experience, is his stint as a special teams coordinator when he was employed by the Oklahoma Sooners.
Georgia fans have been pining for a hire that addresses the inconsistent play of special teams. No coach, currently on this staff, has been able to fill the void left by former linebackers coach Warren Belin. Belin was the last assistant with success as a special teams guy, and his presence—during his one season at the helm—was much of the reason for Georgia’s improvement between 2009 and 2010 (the Dawgs rose from the bottom of the nation in opponent punt and kickoff returns in 2009 to nearly tops in the nation in 2010) was due to Belin’s experience and philosophy.
Since his departure in 2011, however, Georgia has again fallen into the depths of mediocrity in both categories and, at times, that has translated into more pressure on both the offense and the defense to make plays.
The hire of Wilson will, hopefully, be able to address those deficiencies and net some improvement in the areas of kickoffs, punts, and field goals. If nothing else, this hire has done wonders for addressing multiple needs all in one—special teams (potentially), recruiting (definitely), and defensive line.
Wilson should be a perfect fit with this staff with the level of experience and diversity he’s bringing in with him and I am excited to see how everything shapes up in 2013.