When you have as much success as Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs have in recent years you can expect your coaching staff to be in high demand every hiring season. And sure as the sun rises, the Red and Black have lost a key contributor to a familiar foe.
Georgia offensive analyst Buster Faulkner was announced yesterday as the new offensive coordinator on Brent Key’s first staff at Georgia Tech. Faulkner isn’t as high profile a name as UGA staffers like Mike Bobo and Will Muschamp. But he’s been an instrumental part of Todd Monken’s successful staff that’s converted the Bulldog attack from a plodding ground-based affair to a modern, multi-faceted gem. After a standout career as a quarterback at Valdosta State and Texas A&M-Commerce Faulkner has built a steady career as a quarterback instructor and offensive coordinator.
More recently Stetson Bennett singled him out as the “mediator” between he and Todd Monken on game days, a keen football mind/communicator who can get what Monken sees in the booth executed on the field. In fact, one aspect of Faulkner’s departure may be what it signals about Monken. The 43 year old Lilburn native has long been hailed as a potential replacement for Monken should he leave for a head coaching position. So his departure could signal that Monken isn’t on the way anywhere just yet.
But I’m less convinced. One of the hallmarks of Kirby Smart’s staffing has been the ability to bring in people arguably overqualified for their duties, and Faulkner is a great example. He has offensive coordinator experience of his own from stints at Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State and Southern Miss. He was bound to get another shot to call the shots, and doing so at the Power 5 level is the kind of opportunity that comes your way when you play a part in winning a national title and polishing a Heisman finalist.
One thing we can say is that Faulkner’s new gig is further advertising for Georgia as a great place to burnish your resume for big time coaching opportunities. Kirby Smart’s coaching tree has become pretty impressive in its own right in a relatively short period, and I’d expect him to add some interesting newcomers to the staff shortly. Until later…