Bulldogs tap Brian Schottenheimer as new OC

Veteran NFL coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer has been named Georgia’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, head coach Mark Richt announced Wednesday.

Schottenheimer, 41, has served as offensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams the last three seasons after holding the same position with the New York Jets from 2006-2011. He has also held positions as quarterbacks coach with the San Diego Chargers (2002-05) and Washington Redskins (2001).

Earlier in his career, he held assistant coaching positions with Southern California (2000, tight ends), Syracuse (1999, receivers), Kansas City Chiefs (1998) and the Rams (1997) in his coaching debut under head coach Dick Vermeil. He also coached for his father, head coach Marty Schottenheimer, with the Redskins and Chiefs.

“I’m excited to have Brian join our coaching staff,” Richt said in a statement released by the school. “His NFL experience will be a perfect fit for how we like to play offensive football here at Georgia. He’ll be excellent in developing our players in both the running and passing games which will benefit them while they are at Georgia and for their future.”

Said Schottenheimer: “This is a great opportunity to become a Georgia Bulldog for both my career and my family. I’m thrilled to be part of an elite program with such national tradition and a great staff already in place. I look forward to working with young men and being a positive and significant influence on their lives as we develop them athletically, academically and socially.”

Schottenheimer was one of at least three candidates contacted about the job, which became available on Dec. 23 when Mike Bobo accepted the head coaching position at Colorado State. Former Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and Georgia tight ends coach John Lilly, who served as interim coordinator in Bobo’s absence, also spoke to Richt about the position.

The Rams’ offenses have struggled under Schottenheimer’s watch the last couple of seasons. But that probably has more to do with the injury issues of quarterback Sam Bradford than Schottenheimer’s leadership. Bradford tore an ACL seven games into the 2013 season and tore it again this past summer to miss the entire 2014 capaign. This past season St. Louis finished in the bottom third of the NFL in total offense (28th, 314.7 ypg), passing (23rd, 212.5), rushing (20th, 102.2) and scoring (20.2 ppg).

Schottenheimer was given a vote of confidence by head coach Jeff Fisher right before New Year's and was expected to remain as offensive coordinator, according to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“First off, I’m not anticipating any changes on the coaching staff,” Fisher told the Post-Dispatch. “I think Brian is an outstanding play-caller. Outstanding play-caller. He’s very organized. He’s an excellent teacher. So you can’t put the record on his shoulders. That’d be very, very unfair.”

Before joining the Rams, Schottenheimer had a reputation for producing powerful run-oriented offenses with the New York Jets. From 2008-2010 they ranked ninth, first and fourth in the league in rushing and ninth, 17th and 13th in scoring.

Schottenheimer is the fourth offensive coordinator hired by an SEC school since the end of the 2014 regular season and definitely the most impactful from a name-recognition and attention-grabbing standpoint. Vanderbilt hired former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, Florida hired Doug Nussmeier from Michigan and Kentucky hired Shannon Dawson from West Virginia.

A native of Denver, Colo., Schottenheimer is a former Florida Gators quarterback who served as a backup to Danny Wuerffel from 1994-96. He began his college career at Kansas. He graduated from Florida in 1997 with a degree in exercise and sports science.

Schottenheimer attended Blue Valley High School in Stillwell, Kan., where he quarterbacked his team to the Kansas Class 5A football championship as a senior in 1991. He earned first team all-state and honorable mention All-America honors throwing for 2,586 yards and 26 touchdowns in his career.

During his NFL career, Schottenheimer coached quarterbacks Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers in San Diego, Brett Favre and Mark Sanchez with the Jets, and Sam Bradford with the Rams.

Schottenheimer and his wife, Gemmi have a son, Sutton, and a daughter, Savannah.