Georgia Football: Bulldogs Correct to Promote James Coley

Georgia Football, Georgia Bulldogs mascot UGA (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Georgia Football, Georgia Bulldogs mascot UGA (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Jim Chaney left his post as offensive coordinator for Georgia Football for a raise and the same position with the Tennessee Volunteers. Rather than signing a high-profile offensive coordinator, the Dawgs made the correct choice to promote James Coley.

Jim Chaney recently announcing his departure to accept the offensive coordinator job at Tennessee, was a surprising development. Many Georgia Football fans were hoping for a big name coordinator. Rumors surfaced that UGA had offered the job to Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. Jake Rowe of 24/7 Sports reported the rumor here.

Ultimately Dawgs coach Kirby Smart decided to promote quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator James Coley to call plays for UGA.

James Coley has experience as an offensive coordinator at the major college level. He was first promoted to the position in 2010 with the Florida State Seminoles, his alma mater.

Coley worked under Jimbo Fisher at Florida State a man who he had previously served under as a graduate assistant at LSU. Coley did not call plays at FSU, because Fisher called them himself.

James Coley was offered and accepted the role of offensive coordinator with play-calling duties by then Miami Hurricanes coach Al Golden. Being a Miami native, he got a chance to call plays for his home town school. The Canes fared well in year one for Coley. They scored 33.8 points per game, ranking the team number 33 in the entire country.

Unfortunately James Coley and his staff were unable to build on the success of 2013. The 2014 Miami Hurricanes dropped to 29.2 points per game, ranking nearly 30 spots lower at number 61.

The declined continued in 2015. Coley’s Hurricane offense slipped even further, dropping to just 27.8 points per game and ranking number 71 in the NCAA.

James Coley took a job at UGA in 2016 after Al Golden was fired at Miami. Coley coached wide receiver for Georgia Football for two seasons.

Prior to the 2018 season, Jimbo Fisher attempted to pry Coley away from the Dawgs and hire him as offensive coordinator. Coley decided to stay in Athens with a promotion. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator.

Looking at Coley’s background, he clearly has the experience to call plays at the major college level. However the real value that James Coley provides to a team is his recruiting.

In his first full season as a recruiter with the Dawgs, James Coley got off to a somewhat slow start at first glance. He was ranked just number 54 in the country by 24/7 Sports. However a closer look shows his ranking was lowered by signing two-three star players and one two star player.

Yet Coley also helped the Dawgs land key contributors such as cornerback Mark Webb, right tackle Isaiah Wilson and wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman. In 2018 Cooley took a huge leap. He jumped 34 spots to number 20 in the 24/7 Sports recruiter rankings.

James Coley helped land several key players in the Bulldogs vaunted number one overall recruiting class. He was the primary recruiter on five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell and four star running back James Cook. In fact all six of the recruits that Coley landed were ranted as four star talents or higher.

Coach Coley is rising up the recruiter rankings more and more each season. He currently ranks number nine in the upcoming 2019 cycle. He already has commitments from six blue chip prospects, all rated at least four stars.

Five star wide receiver Dominique Blaylock leads James Coley’s commits. He’s also joined by four star running back Kenny McIntosh, four star athlete Makiya Tongue and four star quarterback Dwan Mathis who was wrestled away from Ohio State.

Most recently James Coley was instrumental in securing the commitment of four star defensive back Tyrique Stevenson. Stevenson announced his decision at the All-American Bowl high school all-star game. Dawn of the Dawgs’ Allistair Penny covered the Stevenson Commitment.

James Coley being from South Florida, is a master at recruiting his home area. That is essential for the Bulldogs, as the South Florida region is one of the best recruiting hotbeds in America. The Dawgs also recently added a second coach with a foothold in South Florida by hiring Todd Hartley from the University of Miami to coach tight ends.

The 24/7 Sports profile for James Coley

With James Coley’s experience calling plays, combined with his recruiting prowess, Kirby Smart made a wise choice, that is in fact the best choice.

Hiring an experienced offensive coordinator while increasing the likelihood that James Coley would leave if a play calling job opened, was a gamble that Kirby Smart and Georgia Football were not willing to take. Coach Smart is living up to his last name.

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Georgia Football, Georgia Bulldogs mascot UGA (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /