After a single year at Lumpkin County, Brad Waggoner is on the move again.
This time around, the scenery is on a much larger scale.
The Indians’ 2013 head football coach is making his return to the college ranks for the first time in a decade as an assistant director of player personnel at Georgia Tech.
Waggoner was named to the position Thursday, officially marking his return to The Flats after playing for the Yellow Jackets in 1994.
“It’s been a dream of a mine to get back in (to college),” said Waggoner, who also played for Liberty University from 1995-96. “I love coaching football and I love coaching at the high school level, but it’s almost been my ambition to get back in (to college).
“I’m very thankful that (Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson) gave me the opportunity, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to work with Georgia Tech.”
Waggoner leaves Lumpkin County after a going 2-8 with the Indians last fall, while serving as athletic director. Former Chestatee assistant coach Ty Maxwell has since replaced him as head coach.
Prior to his time in Dahlonega, Waggoner served as head coach at Decatur in 2012 and Chattooga from 2009-2011. His all-time head coaching record is 25-26.
Waggoner also served as an assistant at Sandy Creek, near his hometown Fayetteville, where he coached future Georgia Tech wide receiver and now Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson.
His college coaching experience from 1997-2000 included stops at Virginia Military Institute as a video coordinator, Alabama as a graduate assistant and West Alabama as a full-time assistant.
“I’ve tried to get back with Georgia Tech the past four years, and it just hasn’t happened,” Waggoner said. “I’ve constantly pursued an opportunity with coach Johnson. I’ve interviewed with him before and didn’t get the job.
“I kept on pursuing it, and it was just the right time where it worked out.”
Now back on a college campus, Waggoner will focus primarily on the recruiting aspects of the Yellow Jackets’ program.
He’ll serve as a liaison between Georgia Tech coaches and coaches of high school recruits, coordinate unofficial visits by recruits and manage scouting databases based off online recruiting organizations such as Scout and Rivals.
“Hopefully I can use some of the contacts to help Georgia Tech,” Waggoner said. “How football has become in college, it’s 90-95 percent recruiting.”
The assistant director of player personnel is a relatively new position among football programs, but continues to pop up in new places as football recruiting becomes more and more competitive.
Waggoner is one of two assistant directors of player personnel employed by the Yellow Jackets. Both work under the director of player personnel Pete Hurt and alongside recruiting assistant Joe Hamilton, who was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
“It’s not a complicated setup, but everybody has their job responsibilities and you have to do your job the best you can,” Waggoner said.
Waggoner hopes the move to Georgia Tech opens the door for a return to college coaching, despite not holding a position at that level in more than a decade.
He’s familiar with the Yellow Jackets’ run-based wishbone offense under Johnson, and has implemented the scheme in high school offenses in the past.
“I don’t have a set position I’d want to coach,” Waggoner said. “I played linebacker in college and I’d love to coach linebackers. Right now, my goal is to make sure we’re successful at Georgia Tech. From there, maybe that will lead to something somewhere down the road.”
Georgia Tech finished the 2013 season 7-6, capping off the year with a 25-17 loss to Mississippi in the Music City Bowl. The Yellow Jackets open the 2014 season against Wofford at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 30 in Atlanta.