Seven thoughts on Todd Monken and what his hiring means at Georgia

Tanya Simon
January 18, 2020

An OSU source said Mike Gundy talked to Monken about returning to Stillwater, after Cowboy offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson left to take the same job at Rutgers.

The change came after a talented offense, led by quarterback Jake Fromm, running back D'Andre Swift and a deep offensive line, finished only fifth in the Southeastern Conference with 30.79 points per game. Monken spent last season as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. First, it was Alabama that evolved from a more traditional run-heavy, pro-style offense to a pass-happy attack that flourished in recent years with Tua Tagovailoa, and in 2019 the whole world saw what happened when LSU made a similar change. The role of James Coley, Georgia's 2018 offensive coordinator, has not been defined. Georgia has emerged as an SEC power and played in the 2017 national championship game. The Bulldogs finished with a 26-14 win over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Cleveland's new coach, Kevin Stefanski, did not retain him. Smart says Monken has a history of coaching explosive offenses. He moved to the Bucs in 2016 after three years as the head coach at Southern Miss.

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Monken was the head coach at Southern Mississippi from 2013-15, compiling a 13-25 record, and then became offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also has worked as an offensive assistant at Oklahoma State, LSU and Louisiana Tech, among other schools and was wide receivers coach with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

It will be interesting to see if Monken brings a new approach to Georgia's offense. Fromm, Swift and three offensive linemen are leaving early to enter the National Football League draft. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit had perhaps the strongest praise, calling the addition of Monken as well as Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman, "exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed". Top receiver Lawrence Cager and tight ends Eli Wolf and Charlie Woerner are leaving Athens, while tackle Cade Mays has transferred to Tennessee.

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