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Dell Yeah, Baby: Georgia State Hires New Football Head Coach, Dell McGee

Updated: Mar 1

By: Mac Brown, @SSN_GSU

Photo taken by Greg Poole - Bulldawg Illustrated

Georgia State's search for a head coach lasted eight days. Eight long days of wondering who the next leader of the up-and-coming Panthers would be. I wondered if the next man in charge would be a 'Georgia boy'. I was wondering if the next head coach would have the track record and ability to recruit in the talent hotbed that is the Atlanta metropolitan area. And I was wondering if this program was headed in the right direction. That wondering has ended for the Panther family, and all of our questions have been answered.

Cobb and his crew have found their guy in ex-University of Georgia running back coach and running game coordinator, Dell McGee. Dell is a 'Georgia boy' who not only recruits the Atlanta metropolitan area, he just might be the best at it. dubbed McGee the 2018 National Recruiter of the Year after UGA signed the consensus No. 1-rated recruiting class. In a profession dominated by the ability to connect with young athletes and their families, McGee could very well be the best one out there. His coaching pedigree alone should get anyone excited, but combining that with his recruiting ability should make a Georgia State fan jump for joy. This isn't just a home run hire for the Panthers; this is a Jorge Soler Game 6 in 2021 home run. And just like that home run in 2021, this could eventually lead to championships (albeit conferences) in the ATL.

Dell McGee was born and raised in Columbus, GA, and coached high school football in the Peach State for nearly a decade. His roots in this state are deep and have likely always played a part in his approach to the game. Out of high school, McGee attended Auburn and helped them go undefeated in 1993 as a player. After a few years in the NFL and even a couple in the XFL (that's right, that one), he returned to Georgia to do what he was destined to do: coach. He made a couple of stops before he ended up back in Columbus, GA, as the head man for the George Washington Carver High School football team. He quickly turned Carver into a force to be reckoned with and showed that he had what it took to move up to the next level. Showing he has what it takes, he spent a single year at his alma mater, Auburn, in 2013 as an analyst. Auburn lost to Florida State on essentially the last play of the National Championship Game in 2013. Auburn is 73-55 (.570) since 2013. Do what you will with this information.

Once Coach McGee had a year of college experience under his belt, he was on his way to coaching, and his first stop would be an interesting choice. Many in the Panther Family probably do know at this point, but CDM did spend a couple of years down in "State'sboro" as their running backs coach. He even served as the interim head coach in late 2015, leading the Eagles to their first ever bowl win. Many believe he should've been offered the job at Southern, but GS went with Tyson Summers instead, and CDM headed up to Athens the next season. Summers would finish with a 5-13 record during his year and a half at the helm down south. McGee would go on to help UGA win two national championships. Needless to say, Tom Kleinlein, the then-GS athletic director, made the clear wrong choice, and judging by the reactions of the Southern fans on the internet to the McGee hire by GSU, they agree with that notion. Because of this, the rivalry between these two schools may be the most heated it's ever been. CDM will understand this rivalry and what it means better than any candidate the Panthers were looking at. This should give every member of the Panther family confidence that GSU's winning record in this rivalry should not be jeopardized anytime soon.

The next move for CDM would be the one that put him on the map in the coaching landscape. Once in Athens, he would help shape one of the best rushing attacks in the nation and help the Bulldogs reach heights their program had never reached before. CDM spent seven years in the Classic City and coached four different 1,000-yard rushers, most notably Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. UGA has had five different running backs taken in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft since CDM took over those duties, and all of the players heavily contributed their successes to McGee. It wasn't just the run game that experienced success while McGee was at Georgia, but the offense as a whole as well. UGA ranked in the top five the last two seasons in points per game and yards per game. Any football fan knows the run game opens the passing game, and that's exactly what UGA was able to do with McGee coordinating the rushing attack. It may not be instant, but Georgia State should expect some of the same at Center Parc Stadium in the fall going forward.

This could very well be the hire that could one day put GSU on the national map in the world of college football. If Dell McGee can build a metaphorical "border" around the city of Atlanta and tap into the pool of talent this area has to offer, he could be GSU's version of Howard Schellenberger. That may sound like a stretch at this time, but Miami was on the verge of dropping its program due to how unsuccessful it had been before Schellenberger arrived in 1979. Within four years, he had Miami's first national championship. This shouldn't necessarily be the expectation right away for McGee, but rather an example of what can happen when the right people are in charge. The sky truly is the limit for this leader and this program. Now the wondering for the Panther family can be wonders of grandeur instead of uncertainty, and we have one man to thank.

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