“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.”