Collins’ final Tech record is 10-28, the lowest winning percentage (.263) of the team’s 13 full-time coaches. Stansbury’s term as the division’s ninth athletic director completes after six years.
Relieving the football coach and sporting director of their duties on the same day with more than half of the season remaining is a highly unusual scenario for the technology, whose proponents are more proud of their thoughtful approach to football and athletics than some of their more frantic and moneyed neighbors. It is perhaps a reflection of changes in the college sports industry, with mid-season shootouts becoming more common, as well as the frustration created by Collins’ shortcomings. In his 38-game stint, Jackett lost six games by 40 or more points. The previous six happened over 42 seasons
Of the four full-time coaches fired, only one was sent off per season (Bill Lewis, 1994), and that was with three games remaining in the season. While some of his predecessors undoubtedly felt the pressure, Stansbury became the first tech AD to leave the position not on their own. Perhaps none of the previous eight cherished the job as Stansbury, a technical graduate and former football player and longtime Homer Rice protege who has declared his intention to be at his alma mater until the end of his career. His term expires after only six years.
After three straight seasons of three wins, Stansbury set a mandate for Collins to show progress and earn more wins in his fourth season. The 42-0 loss on September 17 at home to the Ole Miss, which outperformed Jackets 547-214, made the case for progression very difficult. Saturday’s 27-10 loss in Central Florida was a knockout.
Ulster continued to make mental mistakes and failed to execute, a challenge they failed to meet in Collins’ first three seasons. Almost unbelievably, Tech allowed four prohibited balls in his first four games, all of which resulted in a touchdown. Devastatingly for Collins, he oversaw the shooting unit and was unable to fix the problem.
For Stansbury, who was appointed in 2016 from Oregon to run his university’s sports department, it was his alliance with Collins, whom he appointed in December 2018 from Temple to succeed Paul Johnson, that put his job in jeopardy.
Collins offered Stansbury a plan to lead the Yellow Vests into the elite of college football while prioritizing brand and culture, the former to attract the best recruits to Tech and the latter to keep them there. The vision, as well as Collins’ declared love for technology, having been born and raised in Metro Atlanta and worked with former coaches George O’Leary and Chan Gailey, won Stansbury. Stansbury awarded him a seven-year contract, a deal of an extraordinary length he said was necessary to attract a coach given the turnaround that would be necessary to succeed Johnson and his offending option. Furthermore, the contract had favorable terms for Collins in the event of a shooting. Collins is contractually entitled to the full amount remaining in his final three years, $10.5 million. Both the length of the deal and the purchase have raised questions among supporters, particularly as the jackets’ losses mount.
The two remained aligned even as Jackitz struggled for three straight seasons with three wins. Towards the end of the 2021 season, with calls for a Collins job growing louder, Stansbury took the questionable step of siding with Collins, not only confirming that he would return for the 2022 season but taking the extra step of calling him “my man.”
Stansbury’s decision to ride with Collins and make more investments in the team at a time when the finances of the athletics department were (and still are) firmly convinced by major donors that he should not hack Collins in his fourth year, Stansbury should not be given the privilege of hiring a Collins replacement, a message that has arrived Without a doubt to Cabrera’s ears.
There is a big change ahead for technology. A new coach will likely mean new assistant coaches, new support staff, and a new direction for the team. The new AD will have to attract a new coach at a time when resources are weak and the team may be the weakest in the ACC. Tech ended fiscal 2021 with a reserve fund of $12.1 million in the red. On top of buying Collins, the division will have to cover the costs of Collins’ assistant coaches, such as offensive coordinator Chip Long and offensive line coach Brent Key, whose contracts are guaranteed after this season.
The story will be updated.
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