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New Georgia Coaches Make a Statement

New Georgia Coaches

Georgia’s 2024 coaching staff is set for now. Well, at least for Spring ball. Kirby Smart filled the final two spots on his coaching staff last week. He didn’t have to go far to fill the void. James Coley comes in from South Carolina to coach the wide receivers, and Josh Crawford comes in from Georgia Tech to coach the running backs. Smart’s new Georgia coaches make a statement about the importance of recruiting and that he will go anywhere to bring in good coaches. Here is a closer look at the two coaches and what they bring to the program.

New Georgia Coaches Make a Statement

James Coley Wide Receivers Coach

Coley is not a new name in Georgia. When he was hired, he was on Smart’s initial staff and served as offensive coordinator in 2019 following Jim Chaney’s departure. While 2019 was forgettable and frustrating for Dawg Nation, Coley is an elite recruiter, so we mentioned his name as a replacement last week. Coley is a big game hunter with solid connections to South Florida. Smart shared his excitement about having Coley back in Ath. “We are excited to have Coley and his family back in Athens,” Smart said. “He is a tremendous teacher and leader of young men. His previous experience on our staff will make this a seamless transition.

Coley’s former employer, South Carolina, wasn’t pleased about having to replace its wide receiver coach for the third time this season. “I didn’t think we’d be here again introducing a wide receivers coach. It is what it is,” Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer said. “The previous receivers coach (Coley) made a decision that he felt was best for his family. We collected the $450,000 and then some that we were owed for violating or leaving his contract. It allowed us to go out and hire an even better wide receivers coach in my mind.” The Gamecocks hired Coley as their coach on January 12th. Why it may be unfortunate for Beamer and South Carolina, the head coach did come across as a whiney.

Josh Crawford Run Game Coordinator/Running Backs Coach

Crawford comes to Athens from nearby Georgia Tech. Crawford will have big shoes to fill in Dell McGee. Like McGee, Crawford’s strong Georgia connections were an asset that Smart could not overlook. “I’ve had the pleasure of observing his career unfold over the years and have been consistently impressed,” Smart said. “His hard work and the significant impact he’s had coaching football in our state have earned him this opportunity.” Crawford attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he played as a running back from 2004 to 2006. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse in 2007 and later earned master’s degrees from both Georgia and Valdosta State in 2020.

Crawford coached wide receivers at Georgia Tech for one year, where he mentored standout freshman receiver Eric Singleton Jr. Singleton excelled, ranking in the ACC’s top 10 for receiving yards, receptions, and touchdown receptions. Nationally, he led all freshmen with an average of 64.2 receiving yards per game and ranked second in touchdown receptions. Additionally, Crawford demonstrated his recruiting skills by bringing in four-star wide receiver Isiah Canion in 2024.

Before transitioning to college coaching, Crawford earned recognition as one of the nation’s top high school football coaches. He coached at five famous Georgia schools: Colquitt County H.S., Valdosta H.S., Lee County H.S., Jefferson County H.S., and Greater Atlanta Christian, where he succeeded. In 11 seasons, he helped win three Georgia 6A state championships and a national title.

Georgia’s Spring Practice Schedule

Spring practice for the Georgia Bulldogs kicks off on Tuesday, March 12th. Over the next five weeks, the team will hit the field for practice sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They’ll have several scrimmages, culminating in G-Day at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, April 13th. Last Word will feature updates on new faces and the latest news from Georgia throughout the Spring. Stay tuned for all the updates as the season progresses!

 

New Georgia Coaches
Photo courtesy: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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