Georgia Tech announces defensive coaching hires

Georgia Tech announces defensive coaching hires

Georgia Tech’s defense will appear different as Brent Key takes the field for the second time.

In a press release on Saturday night, the team formally announced the appointments of defensive line

Georgia Tech announces defensive coaching hires
Georgia Tech announces defensive coaching hires

coach Jess Simpson, outside linebackers/edge coach Kyle Pope, and new defensive coordinator Tyler Santucci.

With these signings, Georgia Tech hopes to strengthen its defense, which faltered during Brent Key’s rookie campaign.

They gave up 30.5 points a game (105th) and 438.2 yards per game (122nd in FBS), interspersed with 225.7 yards per game allowed in the rush (131st).

“We’re really excited to welcome Tyler, Kyle, and Jess to our staff and the Georgia Tech family,” Key announced in a press release published alongside the team’s announcement.

We were dedicated to selecting the best candidates for Georgia Tech football and our student-athletes, so a great deal of thought and effort went into these hires.

I am excited to have these three exceptional coaches work with our student-athletes because they are excellent educators and recruiters with a track record of championship success.

They complement our staff well.

In addition to coaching the linebackers, Tyler Santucci recently completed a fruitful tenure with the Duke Blue Devils, where he was nominated for the 2023 Broyles Award,

which is given to the best assistant coach in the country.

He oversaw the ACC’s third-ranked scoring defense in his lone season as the defensive coordinator, giving up only 19.8 points per contest.

In terms of total defense, tackles for loss, red zone defense, third-down defense, fourth-down defense, and passing defense, the Blue Devils were also in the top 50 in the country.

He was designated co-defensive coordinator at Texas A&M after Mike Elko left to become head coach at Duke, and he coached the linebackers there before to joining Duke.

His stops also include the linebackers coach at Wake Forest (2019) and Texas State (2016), plus two years as a defensive analyst at Notre Dame (2017) and Texas A&M (2018).

After serving in a comparable capacity for four years (2020–2023) at Memphis, where he mentored four defensive linemen who were named All-AAC, Kyle Pope will be the head coach of the EDGE and outside linebacker positions.

Prior to joining the Tigers, he was Alabama’s graduate assistant during the Crimson Tide’s 2017–2018 National Championship victory over Georgia and Liberty’s linebackers coach in 2019.

Additionally, Jess Simpson joins the Yellow Jackets’ staff following a fruitful tenure at Duke.

He led one of the finest physical point offenses in the ACC during his two seasons with the Blue Devils.

Prior to moving to Durham in 2022–2023, he worked as an NFL defensive line coach in 2019–2020 and as an analyst in 2017 at Miami (FL) in addition to Miami (FL) in 2018 and 2021.

Being one of the most successful high school football coaches in Georgia history, Simpson is well-known throughout the state.

His record as a coach at Buford High School was 164-12 (.932). Throughout his twelve seasons, he won seven state titles and participated in ten consecutive state championship games (2005-2016).

His background in Georgia high school athletics follows in the footsteps of GHSA veterans Tim McFarland and Bill Stewart on Brent Key’s staff.

It’s unknown what will happen to defensive line coach Marco Coleman and former interim defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer.

Both don’t have official titles, although they are currently mentioned on the team website.

Furthermore, the squad does not have a defensive backs coach named; instead, Ricky Brumfield

prepared bowls when Travares Tillman and Andrew Thacker assumed off-field roles.

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