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Paul Johnson Retires: Five Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Head Coaching Candidates

Five Coaches Who Could Replace Paul Johnson At Georgia Tech

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Paul Johnson will retire from Georgia Tech after the Yellow Jackets bowl game. Johnson won 82 games in 11 years and led the Yellow Jackets to nine bowl games while winning the ACC Coastal Division four times.

The question now is where does Georgia Tech go for a replacement?

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Paul Johnson Retires: Five Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Head Coaching Candidates

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Here are five names likely to be thrown into the mix.

Ken Whisenhunt - Ken Whisenhunt is from Augusta and played at Georgia Tech in the 80s where he was an honorable mention All-American. Currently an offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers, Whisenhunt hasn’t been a head coach since 2015 and has never been a college head coach before. However, there’s clear ties to Georgia Tech and he is a proven offensive mind who could keep the tradition of the triple-option alive. Coaching hires often are based on relationships, and it doesn’t get much better than Whisenhunt. 

Ken Niumatalolo - Navy is coming off a downright awful season in which it won just three games, so Ken Niumatalolo may think he’s done all he can do for the Midshipmen. Niumatalolo is obviously well experienced with the triple-option offense and actually worked with Johnson before the move to Georgia Tech. Like it or not, there’s a ceiling on what you can accomplish at Navy, and Niumatalolo may see a move to Georgia Tech as a better opportunity to chase success on a bigger stage.

Jeff Monken - Jeff Monken worked a couple seasons under Johnson as a running backs and special teams coach, so he’s no stranger to how things work at Georgia Tech. Monken has also proven himself as a head coach, winning a combined 27 games the last three years at Army, including a 10-win season back in 2017. Monken also has a chance to win three straight bowl games for the Black Knights. Like Niumatalolo, if Monken thinks he’s done all he can do on the independent level, he’s certainly a coach who can takeover for the Yellow Jackets.

Brian Bohannon - Successful coaches don’t usually stay at the FCS level for long, so it’s only a matter of time before Brian Bohannon leaves Kennesaw State. Bohannon was born in Macon, went to the University of Georgia and was an assistant under Johnson at Georgia Southern, Navy and Georgia Tech. If that’s not a sign that Johnson respects Bohannon, I don’t know what is. If Johnson has any say in who replaces him, Bohannon should be a strong candidate. 

Tony Elliott - Tony Elliott doesn’t have the relationships to Georgia Tech that others may have, but he is a creative offensive mind who has been at Clemson since 2011 and helped turn the Tigers into an explosive offensive unit. Currently the co-offensive coordinator for Clemson, Elliott has helped the Tigers produce a top-five offense in college football this season and is familiar with read options and running quarterbacks. Elliott will be 40 years old, and that’s about the time assistants start looking to spread their wings and become a head coach. Elliott is worth a look if the others don’t pan out.

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