Why building a culture with Geoff Collins is more important than winning

After being given the tough task of moving on from a triple option offense, Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins will now enter his fourth year at the Flats in 2022 with a seat hotter than ever. I knew that things would get ugly when former head coach Paul Johnson left, so where the program is right now doesn’t surprise me at all. Playing mostly underclassmen his first two seasons, Collins is trying to get the ball rolling with some player leadership during the 2022 season from the players that have stuck with him.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – OCTOBER 23: Head coach Geoff Collins talks to Jahmyr Gibbs #1 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

I don’t think that there is a possible way for Geoff Collins to improve the Yellow Jackets in the win column, but that doesn’t meant that improvement won’t happen. Georgia Tech fans have been calling for the school to release Collins since the team was outscored by Notre Dame and in-state rival Georgia 100-0 to end last season, which I will admit was a very embarrassing look for the team that I love. However, I was able to see improvement from this team throughout last season in aspects such as a revamped rushing attack and fewer mental mistakes, such as penalties and turnovers.

Collins has done something that I have yet to see from the Georgia Tech program since I have followed the team: excitement. Incoming recruits are excited to play at Georgia Tech and we now get frequent visits from four star recruits in the offseason. Georgia Tech fans like to call Collins a “used car salesman”, but even that definition means one thing: he can sell his product, which at the moment happens to be Georgia Tech football. Collins has made sure that the recruits he brings in are more than just athletes, but also willing to learn and grow with the program.

Nov 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets wide receiver Nate McCollum (8) runs against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

To me, this brand building is something that is much needed for the Yellow Jackets, as they try to find their identity as a program moving forward. I can take losses, which Collins has plenty of with the Yellow Jackets, given that he has gone 9-25 with the team since he became the head coach. It is important during this stage that we establish ourselves before we try to worry about style points, such as expecting to win week in and week out. The Yellow Jackets have a difficult schedule in 2022, so wins aren’t the category that I am focusing on improving in 2022, but to at least see growth within the program. I think that firing Dave Patenaude in the offseason was the best move that Georgia Tech could have made in the offseason, as the offense didn’t really show a lot of signs of progress last season. Chip Long has since taken over the offensive coordinator position for the Yellow Jacket, which I think is a tremendous step forward.

Geoff Collins is someone that I think could eventually have success in the win column at Georgia Tech, but fans must remain patient. I get it, I’m tired of losing too, but to expect the wins to come so easily is something that isn’t going to happen any time soon if we don’t identify ourselves first, no matter who the head coach is.