Bohannon makes first hires at Kennesaw State

Kennesaw State football coach Brian Bohannon has begun to fill his staff with his first three hires.

Grant Chesnut, head coach at Central-Carroll High School, will be offensive coordinator and coach the offensive line. He will start Monday.

“We see things the same way as far as what we want to do offensively,” Bohannon said. “He’s great at developing young men. When his players talk about the program, they talk about him and the impact he’s had on their lives.”

In addition, two people who worked with Bohannon at Georgia Tech, Liam Klein and Shane Bowen, are joining in jobs that have yet to be announced.

Chesnut, a graduate of Brookwood High, played offensive tackle at Georgia Southern when Bohannon was an assistant coach there under Paul Johnson. They became reacquainted when Bohannon recruited the Carroll County area as quarterbacks and B-backs coach at Tech, the job he held before taking over the Owls’ program last month.

Chesnut took over a Central program that was 0-10 and in 2010 and led it to a 4-6 record in 2011 and 5-6 in 2012, including a spot in the Class AAA playoffs. It was Central’s first postseason berth in 10 years.

Before joining Central in 2011, Chesnut was an assistant coach in various roles at Georgia high school programs: Mary Persons (2007-11, offensive coordinator, special-teams coordinator, strength-and-conditioning coordinator), Camden County (2005-07, defensive line), Thomasville (2002-05, co-defensive coordinator) and Pickens County (1999, 2000 as offensive line coach). He also coached defensive line at Presbyterian College (2000-02).

“The biggest similarities are how we feel about our role as coaches,” Chesnut said. “Our role is to impact kids and maximize their talent and grow in every way we can, and that includes football.”

Chesnut also was athletic director at Central. Because he had so many so levels of responsibility in that job, as well as being the head football coach, he said he is used to the level of time-management and detail that will be needed as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Kennesaw State. That is a rare combination of responsibilities on the college level, partially because the offensive line group has the largest number of players. At Tech, Johnson had the line responsibilities divvied between two coaches, neither of which were coordinators, for a few years.

“Having played the offensive line, I know it like the back of my hand,” Chesnut said. “Particularly in the type of offense coach Bohannon wants and I believe we need to be installing there.”

Bowen was Bohannon’s graduate assistant at Tech. Bowen recently was a graduate assistant on defense at Ohio State in the 2012 season. Bowen played linebacker at Tech.

Klein was a member of Tech’s staff since 2003, most recently as director of player personnel and unofficially as recruiting coordinator. He is a graduate of Monmouth.

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