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Behind Enemy Lines: What the New ACC Coaches Bring to the Table

The ACC added three new coaches to the conference. Here’s what to look for when Hurricanes will face off against all three.

Charlotte Observer

Manny Diaz isn’t the only new coach in the ACC. The conference added three new coaches all of whom, the Miami Hurricanes play in the upcoming season. With new coaches comes fan base rejuvenation and playbook reinvention. Here’s a quick look into what the Canes can expect from Geoff Collins’ first run with the Yellow Jackets, Scott Satterfield’s insertion into Cardinals’ territory, and Mack Brown’s return to the Tar Heels.

Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech (Week 7)

Geoff Collins


Collins was a defensive coordinator for the University of Florida and Mississippi State University before heading over to helm Temple. Underneath Jim McElwain in Gainesville, Collins captained a defense that ranked No. 6 in scoring defense in 2016 and No. 11 in 2015. Collins groomed draft products like Keanu Neal and Vernon Hargraves during this stretch. Following the 2015 season, Collins was interviewed to replace former Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary, as the head coach at UCF. The position ultimately went to Scott Frost.

In December 2016, Collins was named as Matt Rhule’s successor at Temple. In Collins’ first season, Temple went 7-6 and won the 2017 Gasparilla Bowl. This was the institution’s first bowl win since 2011 and the 3rd bowl win in the overall school’s history. In Collins’ second season at Temple, the program finished with 8-4 overall and 7-1 in conference play. The Owls went on to the 2018 Independence Bowl. The Owls were blown out by the Duke Blue Devils 56-27. The team was led by interim head coach Ed Foley.

Collins now has the task of washing away the remnants of Paul Johnson’s option offense and bringing Georgia Tech into the future.

Gameplan Glimpse

For the last 11 years, the Yellow Jackets have been synonymous with the triple-option.The power dives, pitches, and misdirection plays were the identity of the scheme. Collins will not be running the option and has made that known. Collins brought Dave Patenaude along with him from Temple to run the offense. The scheme features many facets and wrinkles which Johnson’s didn’t. Slot receivers, tight end usage, and more pro-style concepts will be abundant in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets haven’t had that emphasis for 11 years. Collins took over a roster with thirteen running backs and zero tight ends. His new scheme and will be put to the test when he takes on Clemson in week one.


Scott Satterfield, Louisville (Week 10)

Scott Satterfield
Louisville Athletics


After Lousiville parted ways with Bobby Petrino, Jeff Brohm was the program’s main candidate. Brohm chose to stick with Purdue, which led the Cardinals to the doorstep of Scott Satterfield in Appalachian State. In his last four seasons with App State, Satterfield was 51-24, 38-1 in conference play, and had a 3-0record in bowl games. He was key in switching App State from a power-I to a spread offense.

Satterfield was promoted to head coach after the former coach Jerry Moore was not retained following the 2012 season. Whether he was coaching WRs, RBs, QBs, or the primary signal caller, Satterfield’s offenses routinely hung in the top ten of NCAA I-AA offensive categories.

Gameplan Glimpse

Satterfield’s scheme lives for outside-zone plays. In his time at Appalachian State, a back would tote the rock at least 18 times per game. No Louisville running back had that many rushing attempts in any game since Bilal Powell in 2010. Last season, two backs for the App State Mountaineers totaled more than 100 carries individually. Satterfield’s offense permeates a need for balance. Statistically, Satterfield produced a top 35-50 offense in his years at App State.

Satterfield brought defensive coordinator Bryan Brown to Louisville with him from Appalachian State. App State had the 21st ranked rush defense, they allowed the lowest 4th down conversion percentage in college football (6 for 22), and was a top-15 3rd down defense. They were also the 5th ranked total defense.

All of these statistics would be an in improvement on the 122nd ranked total defense in 2018.


Mack Brown, North Carolina (Week 2)

Mack Brown
Sports Illustrated


National Championship winning coach Mack Brown doesn’t need much of an introduction. Brown returns to Chapel Hill twenty-one years after he left the institution for Texas. At 67, Brown is the fourth-oldest coach in FBS and the oldest leading a Power 5 team. He’s a two time Big 12 Champion, a former ACC Coach of the Year, and has an overall record of 244-122-1. Brown is also 13-8 in bowl game appearances.

Brown led the Tar Heels to five consecutive bowl games in his first run with the program. They were ranked in the AP Top 25 every week for three-straight seasons (1992-1995). Brown’s tenure in Texas was crowned by a 2005 National Championship. After the 2013 Alamo Bowl, Brown resigned from Texas. On November 27, 2018, he was announced as the new head coach of the Tar Heels after a 4-year absence from coaching.

Gameplan Glimpse

Mack Brown hired Phil Lingo as his offensive coordinator. He was previously the OC and quarterbacks coach at Ole Miss. The Rebels ranked seventh nationally in yards per play (7.1) and ninth in total offense (510.5 ypg) in 2018. Last season, Ole Miss averaged 33.9 points per game, and tallied 346.4 passing yards in each game. Brown spoke about the new offense earlier in this offseason:

“We’re going to be very similar to Oklahoma on offense...I told Coach Longo I want to score 50 points a game and have two Heisman Trophy quarterbacks back-to-back. I said that about three times and he said, ‘I got it, I heard it the first time… He started studying the Mike Leach tree a long time ago. We’re not going to be Mike Leach. And then he got to be very close friends with Kliff Kingsbury. And I like Kliff a lot. Then he’s taken what they did with the Oklahoma system with Lincoln Riley and he’s combined the power running game with a wide open passing attack. And that’s who we’ll be.”

Now back with the Tar Heels, Brown will go up against South Carolina and coach Will Muschamp in week 1.


Whether it’s new faces in new places or old names in familiar stomping grounds, the coaching shuffle in the ACC will add complexity to the Hurricanes’ matchups this year.