Sherrer replaces Thacker as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator

Credit: AJC file photo

Credit: AJC file photo

Kevin Sherrer has been elevated to defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, coach Brent Key announced Sunday. Andrew Thacker, the team’s defensive coordinator for the past four-plus seasons, has been reassigned to safeties coach for the Yellow Jackets.

“Our performance on defense this season hasn’t met the standard that we expect at Georgia Tech. While the responsibility for that does not fall on any one individual – in fact, as the head coach, that responsibility begins with me – I do feel that a new voice and perspective from the coordinator role is necessary for us to improve,” Key said in a release. “Coach Sherrer is a veteran coach that has had great success in all aspects of coaching defense and at the highest levels of football. I’m confident in his ability to lead our defense and achieve the improvement that we expect and demand.”

Sherrer came to Tech this season as co-defensive coordinator after most recently serving as linebackers coach for the New York Giants. He signed a contract in January for an annual salary of $450,000.

“Once recruiting is over and your roster is set, it’s up to the coaches to develop those players. That’s exactly why Kevin Sherrer as our linebackers coach. Hands down the best linebacker coach that I’ve been around,” Key said last week. “To be able to get out of guys what he gets out of ‘em, to develop ‘em, to see guys who Week 1 aren’t ready and by Week 3 they are. To learn and make adjustments in games, (Sherrer’s) done a helluva job with these guys, now, of getting them to a level to be able to play.”

Thacker came to Tech in 2019 along with former coach Geoff Collins. A Furman graduate and Cartersville native, Thacker is being paid $650,000 annually and will get a $50,000 raise Feb. 24. His current contract is scheduled to end Jan. 31, 2025.

Under Thacker, Tech ranked 89th in total defense in 2019, 109th in 2020, 117th in 2021 and 85th in 2022. The Jackets have allowed at least 28.4 points per game each of the last four seasons.

Tech currently has the nation’s 103rd-ranked scoring defense, 112th-ranked total defense and 128th-ranked rush defense. On Saturday, against a Bowling Green team that had managed 14 points in two games prior to coming to Atlanta, the Tech defense allowed 10 third-down conversions, 438 yards of offense and 175 yards rushing.

“I’ve got the same confidence in (the defensive staff) as I do everybody else,” Key said about his defensive coaches after Saturday’s loss. “Like everything, we’ll watch the tape, evaluate the tape, sit down and meet with everybody (Sunday). There’s no lack of confidence in staffing people.”