Georgia Southern has been open since Oct. 22, and earlier this month we reported that Army offensive coordinator Brent Davis has emerged as a leading candidate for the head coaching job.
On Friday, FootballScoop learned another candidate has interviewed for the job: USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.
Martin’s interest in the position is easy to see. Georgia Southern is one of the most successful and tradition-laden programs of its class, and a successful run in Statesboro would open doors to an SEC head coaching position. Martin is a Mobile, Ala., native, and quarterbacked Tennessee to the first BCS national championship in 1998. After his professional career concluded in 2005, Martin coached throughout the South at Morehouse College, a pair of Georgia high schools and on Joker Phillips’s staff at Kentucky. Martin has been on staff at USC since 2012, where he has been a valued member of the staff; he first hired to Lane Kiffin’s staff and subsequently retained by Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton, adding responsibility with each change.
So it’s easy to see why Martin would be interested in Georgia Southern and vice versa. But where it gets interesting is Martin’s difference from Davis. (To be clear, we’re not stating Davis and Martin are the only candidates at Georgia Southern, but they are the two we have confirmed.)
Davis is a multi-stint Georgia Southern assistant and a triple option lifer; his Army offense has run the ball on 91.1 percent of its 639 offensive snaps this season. His hiring would represent a return to the program’s roots. Martin has no relationship to Georgia Southern and, along with the input of Clay and Tyson Helton, runs a pro-style offense at USC; the Trojans have a 52-48 run-to-pass split this season. His hiring would represent a step away from the program’s past.
The ironic point here is that the program was caught in the exact same dilemma following Willie Fritz’s 2015 departure for Tulane, with one camp wanting to remain with the triple option and the other looking to modernize. Colorado State defensive coordinator and former Georgia Southern assistant Tyson Summers represented the compromise choice, and we know how that went.
This time around, though, it seems Georgia Southern couldn’t go wrong with Davis or Martin.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.