Career Path: Geoff Collins has been a journeyman as he hasn’t remained at a school for any longer than four years during his 22 years of experience as a collegiate coach. His stops have ranged from Western Carolina to Georgia Tech. Collins has lived on the defensive side of the ball. Before being named Florida’s defensive coordinator last year he served as Mississippi State’s linebackers coach with defensive coordinator duties from 2011-2014. Before that he served as FIU’s defensive coordinator for a season. At UCF Collins was a recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach for one season. He’s also been a recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech under Chan Gailey.
Buzz Surrounding The Hire: A coordinator at a P5 school leaving to take a G5 job in the same state will turn heads but no one will be flocking to Miami for the press conference. Collins has a really good resume running defenses but his name lacks the flair as Manny Diaz’s in college football circles. However, his familiarity with FIU will generate buzz among those tied with FIU as he was up for consideration for the head coaching job after Mario Cristobal was fired.
What’s There To Like: For starters he really wanted the job before he was turned down due to his lack of experience in 2013. He was the defensive coordinator of FIU’s best team ever in 2010 when they won the Sun Belt and led the conference in total defense and scoring defense a year after FIU’s defense was one of the worst in the country.
He’s recruited the Sunshine State before as a heavyweight at Florida and an underdog at FIU and UCF. With four more years of experience under his belt with stops at SEC programs he should be well-suited to run the program this time around.
Why They Should Proceed With Caution: Similar to Manny Diaz, he has zero experience on the offensive side of the ball. He’s never been anywhere for more than four years so that could concern the FIU faithful.
Why He Would Take The Job: Collins really wanted the job a few years ago. As lackluster as FIU’s facilities are coupled with Pete Garcia’s penchant to be difficult to get along with that’s a major plus. Defensive coordinators don’t get too many chances at becoming a head coach. Earning your first head coaching job at a familiar place isn’t a bad idea to kick start your head coaching career.
Analysis: Unlike any of the other potential candidates I’ve done so far Collins has been at FIU before, and was there during FIU’s best year ever as an FBS member. He interviewed for the job before and was really hoping he would get the opportunity to run the program. Should Garcia offer him the job this time around he will probably take it.
His name is a bit under the radar so unlike Diaz who they may have to extend a hefty offer for while potentially competing against other schools for his services, Collins could potentially come to FIU on the cheap. Hiring defensive coordinators are always worrisome but this is a program that can’t worry about that too much. This hire makes sense and appears to be the name FIU fans want the most to become their next head coach of the football program. Immediately both parties will start with some good PR and good PR never hurts. On a scale of 1-10 I would rate this hire an 8.