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James Coley gets the nod as OC

Kirby Smart tabbed James Coley as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator.
Kirby Smart tabbed James Coley as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator. (UGA Sports Communications)

After days of speculation, Georgia finally made it official Friday when it named James Coley as its offensive coordinator.

Coley, who shared the title last year with Jim Chaney, now has full say over the Georgia offense. Chaney joined Jeremy Pruitt’s staff at Tennessee as the Vols’ offensive coordinator earlier this week.

The Miami native served as Georgia’s wide receivers coach in 2016 and 2017 before taking over the quarterbacks from Chaney. He added new duties as co-offensive coordinator in 2018.

“James has been an critical part of our staff since we came to Georgia,” said Smart in a statement. “He’s done an incredible job in all aspects of his responsibilities including coaching wide receivers for two years, serving as co-offensive coordinator this past season coaching the quarterbacks, and recruiting. James has extensive coordinator experience during his entire coaching career and will transition easily into his new role.”

This won’t be Coley’s first rodeo as an offensive coordinator. The Florida State grad held the same position with Miami (2013-2015) and with the Seminoles under Jim Fisher in 2010-2012). Fisher later tried to lure Coley when he became the head coach at Texas A&M. Instead, the assistant elected to remain with the Bulldogs after receiving a raise.

He also coached tight ends for four years with Florida State, a fact that could fall into play for head coach Kirby Smart as he goes about the business of finishing off his offensive staff.

Coley made $850,000 last year with the Bulldogs and will obviously receive another bump as he takes on the responsibilities of offensive coordinator.

Considered one of Georgia’s top recruiters, Coley is responsible for bringing the likes of Tyson Campbell, James Cook, Tyrique Stevenson, Divaad Wilson, Dom Blaylock, and more, to Athens.

A 15-year coaching veteran, Coley got his start as a graduate assistant with Nick Saban in 2003-2004. He followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins in 2005, where he spent two years as an offensive assistant before joining the staff at Florida State in 2008. He returned home to become the offensive coordinator with the Miami Hurricanes in 2013.

Over his career, Coley has coached a number of NFL players, including former Bulldog wide receiver Javon Wims, who was one of Georgia’s most improved players in 2017.

He’s also coached the likes of former NFL first-round picks Andre Johnson and Dwayne Bowe, along with second round pick Roscoe Parrish. At Florida State, he coached draft picks Kelvin Benjamin and Rashad Greene.