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Smart adds James Coley, Dell McGee, and Marshall Malchow to new staff

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Dell McGee is carried off the field by his players following Georgia Southern's first FBS bowl win, in which he served as the Eagles' head coach.
Dell McGee is carried off the field by his players following Georgia Southern's first FBS bowl win, in which he served as the Eagles' head coach.
Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

According to a release this afternoon from the athletic department Kirby Smart has put a few more pieces together for his inaugural staff.

Veteran college assistant James Coley comes onboard as wide receivers coach. Coley was a Miami high school coach before moving to the college ranks with LSU, where he served as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher. Like Kirby Smart he followed Saban to the NFL's Miami Dolphins, but returned to college to serve as offensive coordinator at Florida International under current Alabama assistant Mario Cristobal. Coley then reunited with Fisher at Florida State in 2008, where he served as recruiting coordinator for the Seminoles until 2012. Coiley then returned to Miami, this time to work under Al Golden as offensive coordinator for the past three seasons. Coley is known as an outstanding recruiter, especially in south Florida. He provides a key connection to that fertile recruiting ground which has been so good to the 'Dawgs under Mark Richt.

Georgia Southern running backs coach Dell McGee will take on the same position in Athens. McGee coached for eight years at Carver-Columbus, where his standout players included Isaiah Crowell and Jarvis Jones. He left Carver to serve as an off-field analyst for Gus Malzahn at Auburn (where he also played cornerback in the 1990's) before taking the running backs job under the recently departed Willie Fritz in Statesboro. McGee in fact recently served as interim coach for the Eagles' 58-27 thrashing of Bowling Green in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. His unit led the nation in rushing yards per game in each of his two seasons by the banks of Eagle Creek, and Bulldog fans can attest to the toughness of that group this past season. You may recall that McGee also famously barred Georgia from recruiting his school for a while after a miscommunication regarding his star quarterback.

Marshall Malchow joins the staff from the University of Washington, where he'd served as Director of Player Personnel. Malchow began working with Chris Petersen at Boise State in 2012 and followed him to U Dub, but his roots are squarely in the south. Malchow is a native of Augusta, where he (and his brother who later played at Wake Forest) starred for Aquinas (the school which also produced Brendan Douglas). Malchow attended undergrad at Alabama, where he worked in the Tide recruiting office and with the Alabama football camps. The release says only that Malchow will "lead the recruiting effort", which sounds like a similar player personnel role rather than an onfield coaching position.

There's a lot to recommend each of these hires. One common thread is that Smart appears to be choosing some coaches and staff he's worked with before, and coaches known as great recruiters. The group now includes coaches who have spent time all over the SEC, working with Smart and Nick Saban, but also with other staffs. It's a veteran group, many of whom should be an invaluable resource for the young head coach as he tries to build his own legacy in Athens. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!