“Since arriving on campus earlier this fall, I’ve noticed Coach Key’s management, ardour, power, and real look after our student-athletes, our soccer program, and the Institute, in addition to how his gamers and employees have responded to his management and the real care they’ve for him,” Batt mentioned within the press launch. “There was robust curiosity from throughout the nation in to be Georgia Tech’s subsequent head coach, and we performed an intensive nationwide search.Initially and finish of the search, it was clear that your best option for Georgia Tech was Brent Key.

Towards then-No. 13 in North Carolina, the Jackets held the Tar Heels’ mighty offense to a season low in scoring and yardage (the latter since eclipsed) within the 21-17 upset. The gamers additionally clearly reacted to his teaching type.

“Him being the pinnacle coach right here proper now, we do not even see the interim tag as a result of we have been so behind Key for the reason that time he turned head coach,” broad receiver Malachi Carter mentioned after the sport. towards Georgia. “The entire staff rode behind him. You possibly can see the arrogance in him; you may see the arrogance he has in us. And due to that, we’re meshing, and you have seen a bit change all through. of the season within the staff in the best way we performed and executed.

Though Key has no expertise as a head coach, the actions Key has taken as interim head coach, starting with handing over particular groups coordinator duties to the coach of the linebackers Jason Semore, made it clear that he had given a variety of thought to how he wished to perform as the pinnacle coach. After taking command, he elevated the depth of practices to extra carefully simulate enjoying situations for gamers. Penalties have gone from 6.5 per recreation within the first 4 video games to five.4 within the final eight video games. After 4 punts had been blocked within the first 4 video games, Tech deflected a punt within the final eight, although efficient punt protection remained a difficulty. The 2 wins over ranked opponents had been yet another than Collins had received in his 38-game tenure.

Key’s old-school method – enjoying a bodily type and limiting errors – is paying homage to his mentors, former technical coach George O’Leary and Alabama’s Nick Saban. Past the betterment of the staff, Tech followers rejoiced within the apparent ardour Key has for his alma mater and training his staff.

“To have the prospect to be the pinnacle coach of my alma mater for the final eight video games could be very particular,” Key mentioned after the sport towards Georgia. “It is very particular to coach a bunch of younger individuals like that. Doing what these youngsters did and enjoying as onerous as they performed, even till the clock hit zero there (Saturday) is such an honor for the youngsters and the management in that locker room and the management all through the week they offer to one another.

By conserving Key, Batt seemingly received appreciable goodwill from the numerous Tech followers and alumni who backed Key’s candidacy, particularly after it was introduced on Saturday that Fritz had grow to be a severe contender. It’s going to additionally seemingly make a way more palatable monetary transaction for Tech. Hiring an outdoor coach would have required a college buyout of the brand new coach and doubtlessly a bigger contract than Key will order whereas Tech would even have needed to swallow 2023 contracts for a number of assistant coaches in the event that they weren’t. not retained.

“With no head teaching expertise, he was capable of focus the staff after a 1-3 begin and go 4-4 for the final 8 video games with two wins towards ranked groups,” wrote fundamental contributor Steve Zelnak in an e-mail to the AJC. Monday night. “We have not accomplished something this good since (coach) Paul Johnson retired. We completed in the midst of the Coastal (Division) after being chosen final. We had an actual alternative to go to the bowl if we had received towards Virginie. I believe Key impressed the parents at GT with the best way he dealt with the press conferences, and the endorsement from the gamers once they had been interviewed was highly effective.

Subsequent steps for Key will embody coaching his teaching employees, who could possibly be shaken up, in addition to closing recruiting for the 2023 signing class and conserving the present roster intact. For the reason that finish of the season on Saturday, at least 4 gamers (quarterback Jeff Sims, broad receivers Nate McCollum and Ryan King and kicker Jude Kelley) have introduced their determination to go to the switch portal. Key’s hiring, nevertheless, will seemingly be welcomed by rookies and present gamers alike.

“The 2 youngsters who’re there (as a part of the recruiting class) love the expertise and are thrilled with it,” mentioned North Cobb Christian College coach Matt Jones. Two of his gamers, offensive lineman Gabriel Fortson and athlete Jacob Cruz, have dedicated to Tech. “It is their plan. They love Brent Key, I’ll say that.


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