Georgia State completes football staff with addition of line coach John Holt

Georgia State players celebrate a Panthers touchdown in the second half of their game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)

caption arrowCaption
Georgia State players celebrate a Panthers touchdown in the second half of their game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)

Georgia State filled the final vacancy on its football staff Friday by hiring former Western Carolina assistant John Holt to coach the offensive line.

Holt spent nine seasons on the staff at Western Carolina. He replaces Eman Naghavi, who was assigned to coach running backs and special teams earlier in January.

Holt joined the staff at Western Carolina as the offensive line coach in 2012. He produced seven All-Southern Conference linemen, three all-Southern Conference freshmen linemen and two freshmen All-American linemen. He was promoted to associate head coach and co-offensive coordinator in 2019 and then offensive coordinator in the 2021 spring season.

He spent 2021 as offensive coordinator at Dodge City (Kan,) Community College.

Holt is a native of Leicester, N.C., and his football lineage traces to Appalachian State, where he was a four-year letter winner and helped the Mountaineers win three consecutive national championships. He began his coaching career at App State in 2008 as an offensive quality-control position and coached tight ends there from 2009-11.

Holt played for and coached with Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott during his time at Appalachian State.

“After coaching John as a player and then coaching alongside him, I have tremendous respect for him as a coach and as a man,” Elliott said. “He’s a great fit for our staff and our program.”

Holt finds himself in a good situation. The Panthers return four of five starters on the offensive line from last season’s 8-5 team, including all-conference choices Malik Sumter and Pat Bartlett.

Last week former GSU defensive back Antreal Allen was named assistant secondary coach and safeties coach and Elliott promoted defensive passing-game coordinator Cory Peoples to secondary coach. Allen lettered four seasons at Georgia State from 2014-17 and was an assistant for two years before moving to Shorter, where he worked two seasons as defensive backs and special-teams coach.

About the Author

Editors' Picks