Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson was born Aug. 20, 1957, in Newland, North Carolina. Johnson was hired and introduced Dec. 7, 2007 as Tech's 12th football coach, beginning with John Heisman in 1904. Tech defeated Jacksonville State 41-14 on Aug. 28, 2008, in Johnson's debut as Yellow Jackets coach. Johnson's Georgia Southern teams won Division I-AA (now FCS) national championships in 1999 and 2000. Johnson coached six seasons at Navy and was 43-19 over the final five, after a 2-10 first season. Jo

Paul Johnson offers support for Geoff Collins

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson doesn’t know much about his successor, but he’s on board with Geoff Collins.

“It’ll be great,” Johnson said Saturday following the team’s first bowl practice. “I don’t know Geoff very well, but I think that people seem to be excited, and he’s excited to be here, so it’ll be great.”

Johnson and Collins have met a few times.

“I wouldn’t call it a relationship, but a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Collins said Friday. “We might have had three conversations. I don’t know if he would remember them, but I do.”

Johnson recalled speaking with him a few years ago when Collins was a defensive coordinator either at Florida or Mississippi State, his two previous stops before becoming head coach at Temple in December 2016.

“Another Western Carolina guy,” Johnson said of Collins, who like Johnson graduated from the school.

Senior captains Brant Mitchell and TaQuon Marshall, who also spoke with media members Saturday, hadn’t yet had a chance to meet with Collins. When Collins met with the team Friday, seniors were not included.

“Just kind of excited for the guys under me, just to see where everything goes after the bowl game,” Marshall said.

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