Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins completed his assistant coaching staff Saturday with the hire of Valdosta State defensive coordinator Jason Semore, who previously served on Collins’ staffs at Temple and Tech in non-coaching roles.
Semore will coach linebackers, which previously was the responsibility of defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker. According to the news release announcing the hire, Semore’s hire will enable Thacker “to focus entirely on developing and implementing the Jackets’ defensive game plan and leading Tech’s revamped defensive staff.”
“My wife, Jessy, and I could not be more excited about returning to The Flats. We love everything about Georgia Tech and the city of Atlanta,” Semore said in a statement. “We are very appreciative of coach Collins for the opportunity and are excited to be a part of his vision and plan for the future success of Georgia Tech football.”
Semore served on Collins’ staff in 2019 and 2020 as a defensive analyst before taking the job running the Valdosta State defense. He also was a senior defensive advisor for Collins in the 2018 season at Temple. The powerhouse Blazers reached the Division II championship game with Semore’s leadership, finishing in the top three in the eight-team Gulf South Conference in scoring defense, total defense, red-zone defense, passing defense and sacks per game.
Semore will be one of two new coaches on defense. Collins hired Michigan State cornerbacks coach Travares Tillman (a former Tech defensive back) to coach defensive backs and coordinate the defensive pass game after dismissing cornerbacks coach Jeff Popovich and safeties coach Nathan Burton. Collins also has indicated that he’ll play a larger role in helping coach the defense. Semore’s hire filled the last remaining vacancy on Collins’ 10-man assistant-coaching staff.
Semore joins a defense that is in need of significant help. Tech tied for 110th in FBS in scoring defense (33.5 points per game) and finished 117th in total defense (455.0 yards per game) and will lose at least five starters.
Notably, while Semore has been coaching since 2006, this will be his second on-field coaching job at the FBS level and first at a power-conference school.
“Jason is a proven defensive coach who has a great track record of player development and success at every stop of his career,” Collins said in a statement. “We missed his expertise on the defensive side of the ball this past season, and we’re grateful to welcome him back to our team.”