Ge­or­gia pro­motes Co­ley to of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor

The Telegraph (Macon) - - Front Page -

James Co­ley was pro­moted to Ge­or­gia’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor on Fri­day, tak­ing over a lead role after Jim Chaney left for SEC ri­val Ten­nessee.

The 45-yearold Co­ley served as co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor this past sea­son, han­dling the quar­ter­backs while Chaney called plays and worked with the tight ends.

Co­ley came to Ge­or­gia when Kirby Smart was hired as head coach in 2016, over­see­ing the wide re­ceivers for two sea­sons.

“James has been a crit­i­cal part of our staff since we came to Ge­or­gia,” Smart said. “He’s

done an in­cred­i­ble job in all as­pects of his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing coach­ing wide re­ceivers for two years, serv­ing as co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor this past sea­son coach­ing the quar­ter­backs, and re­cruit­ing. James has ex­ten­sive co­or­di­na­tor ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing his en­tire coach­ing ca­reer and will tran­si­tion eas­ily into his new role.”

Co­ley moved up after Chaney’s sur­pris­ing de­par­ture to a fel­low SEC East team. He re­ceived a hefty pay raise from the Vol­un­teers, who were one of the league’s worst of­fen­sive teams in 2018.

Ge­or­gia, on the other hand, av­er­aged 238.8 yards rush­ing and 5.9 yards per carry to lead the SEC in both cat­e­gories for a sec­ond straight sea­son. The Bull­dogs fin­ished 11-3 after squan­der­ing a 14-point lead to Alabama in the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game, cost­ing them a re­turn to the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off, and los­ing to Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

Co­ley as­sumes con­trol of an of­fense that will have to re­place sev­eral key play­ers. Run­ning back Eli­jah Holy­field, tight end Isaac Nauta, and re­ceivers Ri­ley Ri­d­ley and Mecole Hard­man are leav­ing after their ju­nior sea­sons to en­ter the NFL draft.

Also, touted quar­ter­back Justin Fields is trans­fer­ring to Ohio State after fail­ing to earn much play­ing time be­hind twoyear starter Jake Fromm.

Co­ley pre­vi­ously worked as the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and quar­ter­back coach at Mi­ami (2013-15) and of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at Florida State (2010-12). While with the Semi­noles, he worked with three quar­ter­backs who went on to be­come first-round NFL draft picks: Chris­tian Pon­der, EJ Manuel and Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner Jameis Win­ston.

A na­tive of Mi­ami, Co­ley served as an of­fen­sive as­sis­tant with the NFL’s Mi­ami Dol­phins un­der Nick Sa­ban in 2005-06. His coach­ing ré­sumé also in­cludes a stint as a grad­u­ate as­sis­tant on Sa­ban’s staff at LSU in 2003, when the Tigers claimed the BCS na­tional cham­pi­onship.

James Co­ley

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