Geoff Collins names coordinators, Dave Patenaude and Andrew Thacker

New Tech defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker - formerly of Temple - is from Gainesville, Ga.

Credit: Mitchell Leff

Credit: Mitchell Leff

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins will bring both of his coordinators from Temple and will keep them in the same positions. Dave Patenaude, who ran the Owls’ spread offense, and Andrew Thacker, who oversaw a defense that tied for third nationally in takeaways, were named as the Yellow Jackets’ coordinators on Monday.

Temple had two of its three highest single-season passing yardage totals in Patenaude’s two seasons with Temple, averaging 252 yards in 2017 and 254 in 2018. The Owls ranked 46th in offensive efficiency in 2018 (Football Outsiders) and 85th in 2017. Prior to Temple, Patenaude had most recently been at Coastal Carolina, where he was the offensive coordinator for five seasons. Patenaude, a 28-year coaching veteran, will also coach the quarterbacks.

“Dave has produced record-setting offenses his entire career,” Collins said in a statement. “He did a great job for us the last two years at Temple. I’m excited about the fast-paced, spread, pro-style offense that we’re going to run here at Georgia Tech. With his experience, the transition is going to be awesome.”

This season, Thacker’s first as a defensive coordinator at any level, the Owls ranked 13th nationally in defensive yards per play (4.67 yards per play). They ranked 30th in defensive efficiency. Thacker was linebackers coach for Temple in 2017 and promoted to coordinator after Collins’ original coordinator (Taver Johnson) was hired at Ohio State.

Thacker comes to Tech with plenty of local knowledge. He is from Gainesville, played at Furman (2004-07), coached twice at UCF (once with Collins when Thacker was a graduate assistant and Collins was linebackers coach) and coached in 2016 at Kennesaw State before leaving for Temple.

He’ll also coach linebackers.

“Andrew did a really good job for us the last two years as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach,” Collins said in a statement about Thacker. “He helped put together one of the best defenses in the AAC thanks to his connection with the players, his motivation and his knowledge of the game.”

Patenaude and Thacker are the third and fourth assistant coaches to be named to Collins’ staff, following Tashard Choice (running backs) and Kerry Dixon (wide receivers).

Two more Temple assistants, outside linebackers coach Larry Knight and defensive backs coach Nathan Burton, have been reported to also be joining Collins. Burton is a Tech grad who played for the Jackets (2001-04) and later was a GA after graduating.

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