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Virginia football coach search update: What do we need to know about Josh Gattis?

uva footballSo, Tony Elliott, at this writing, has us on hold, though that could change any minute. Now we’re learning that Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis may or may not have been in Charlottesville for an interview Thursday night.

Sorry to hedge there. Just trying to be careful.

What is the Josh Gattis story?

Gattis, 37, is a Wake Forest alum, and was a first-team All-ACC safety in 2006, and have five interceptions each of his last two seasons at Wake, before a brief NFL career.

He went into coaching in 2010, serving as a grad assistant on the staff of then-UNC coach Butch Davis for a season, working in 2011 as wide receivers coach at Western Michigan, then moving to Vanderbilt and later Penn State on the staff of James Franklin.

He worked on the staff of Nick Saban at Alabama in 2018 as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, before Jim Harbaugh hired him at Michigan to be his OC in 2019, a job that he has held now for the past three seasons.

That’s a lot in a short time. Gattis has worked with some good coaches – Saban, Harbaugh and Franklin – and has experience in the ACC as a player and coach.

And he’s young, just 37, and you’d have to assume with his age would come hunger to prove himself.

Looking at the resume, honestly it’s deeper, though he’s five years younger, than that of Elliott, whose experience is entirely in the state of South Carolina, the last 11 years at Clemson.

I’d assume that a guy like Gattis, with stops at several different schools, might have a wider range of contacts in terms of possible assistants to be able to tap into.

I say all of this, and again, at this writing, from what even Elliott has said, it’s his decision to make right now.

I don’t know that I’d look at Gattis as Plan B, though, is what I’m getting at.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
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