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New FIU DC Geoff Collins (2nd update)

Gcollins Geoff Collins is on his way to FIU this afternoon to sign a contract to be the Panthers next defensive coordinator.

Will update this post later today. Hopefully with an interview with Collins.

Still waiting to hear from Collins at some point today, but here are some of his coaching and recruiting accomplishments.

At FIU, Collins takes over a defense that was ranked No. 119 in the country last season after FIU permitted 491.5 yards per game.

It won’t be the first time Collins inherits a defense in need of help.


In 2002, Collins was named defensive coordinator at Western Carolina and took one of the worst defenses in the FCS and led it to a No. 14-ranking nationally in 2003 and No. 12-ranking in 2004.

Before joining the Knights, Collins served as director player of personnel at Alabama where he helped bring in the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.

Collins had the same responsibility at Georgia Tech the year before joining Alabama and helped the Yellow Jackets sign the nation’s No. 11 recruiting class and No. 1 in the ACC.Chili


Don't discount Collins's recruiting ability for FIU as we are just 26 days away from National Signing Day.


Speaking to a friend and UCF fan in Orlando, the good people of the Disney area are pissed that Collins left, because of his impact on recruiting and his tremendous upside as a coach. Plus, his enthusiasm -- one of his favorite sayings is: "Get your chili, hot!" We'll have to ask him about that.

At UCF, Collins helped the Knights' run defense to a No. 4 national ranking this past season.

Collins will get a chance to face his former employer in 2011 when FIU and UCF begin a four-game series with two games at each school’s on-campus stadium.  




Suddenly, there are plenty of college free agents that are or were planning to spend the next four years inBull_market Tampa, but with the firing of South Florida coach Jim Leavitt today -- free agency has started in Tampa.


Don't be surprised to see FIU among other schools to start a full-court press on high school stars like defensive tackle Todd Chandler.




Rice offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher and Toledo quarterbacks coach Scott Satterfield are expected to interview for the FIU OC job joining the list of coaches that were posted on the GPP a couple of days ago.


And there are several other OC candidates expected to check out FIU next week. Will have them on here when they do.


Before Rice, Zaunbrecher was the co-offensive coordinator with former FIU OC Bill Legg at Purdue. Satterfield helped the Rockets explosive offense and QB Aaron Opelt's development. FIU got a firsthand glimpse of the Toledo O this past season in the high-scoring game at FIU Stadium.




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Good Hire, MC!!!

Lets go FIU!

Sweet! Can't wait to see who lands the OC position...

Leavitt canned at USF !!! Wooooooooooooo !!

Now let's get Todd Chandler, Jose Jose and Tiger Powell down here !! The only other offer for Powell was from FIU. This could get very interesting folks.

Great move by MC with the Geoff Collins hire. Good luck Coach Collins - I'm looking forward to the Spring Game.

Welcome to FIU, Coach Collins!...and hope you can help in bringing in a tough, cohesive defensive unit to Panther Nation!!!

Pretty crazy that Leavitt got fired. Are college football players all becoming a bunch of cry baby momma's boys or what? So the coach knocked your block off, suck it up, it's football. I would take Leavitt over MC in a heartbeat. Whatcha thinkin PG?

FIUPIKE, hopefully we can pick up those three and a few of Collins' recruits from UCF.

Welcome to FIU Coach Collins!

this is getting really exciting ! cant wait for the recruiting season

I am here to formally take back what I have said about MC in the past and to promise to not criticize him in the future.

I ran into MC on campus today. He and the other coaches were showing recruits the school and from a distance I yelled "Hey Coach! Any new coordinators?" He walked up to me, shook my hand and spoke with me for a few minutes regarding the new OC (Collins) and the recruits that were visiting. He says he is very pumped up and wants FIU to succeed. What I got out of all this was that he made me feel like I mattered. He spoke with me in such a personal and direct manner that I felt like he was listening to everything I had to say.

I can see why he is considered a good recruiter. I believe he just needs to surround himself with better coaches and I hope that the hiring of this Collins guy is a step in that direction.

If MC were smart, he would head to the AFCA convention starting Sunday and running till Wednesday in Orlando. There, he'll be able to speak and interview a bunch of possible candidates for the OC position (like my suggestion, Shannon Dawson...still think he is the guy. i love that offense).


I concur about MC being a class act. I sent an email to the FIU sports department asking about future schedules and plans about recruiting nationally (e.g. do they often travel out of state to recruit). Additionally, I sent them a couple tips about unsung recruits up here in NC (from a friend).

Coach Cristobal was forwarded the email, and he personally wrote me back about a page answering my questions and explaining his recruiting process. We conversed a couple of times back and forth over email. I mentioned that to my boss who went to Tennessee, and he was shocked that MC was that approachable. As was my father, who went to Ohio State. Although I'd bet Jim Tressel would love to answer every email he received, knowing his personality.

That all being said, I commend MC for his communication with the fans/alumni base and his approachability.

Also, welcome Coach Collins!

Geoff Collins ...... Defensive Coordinator and LB
Popovich, Jeff ..... Defensive Backs ........ popovich@fiu.edu
Godette, Cary ..... Defensive Line .......... cgodette@fiu.edu

TBD .................. Offensive Coordinatior and QB
Mirabal, Alex ..... Offensive Line......... mirabala@fiu.edu
Cassano, Mike ... Running Backs....... cassanom@fiu.edu
Laferre, Greg ...... Tight Ends ............. laffereg@fiu.edu
Ponce, Frank ..... Wide Receivers....... poncef@fiu.edu
Wright, Apollo .... Special Teams........ wrighta@fiu.edu

Does Apollo Wright work with any of the position coaches or does devote full time to special teams only?
Is Geoff Collins going to bring in new DB and DL position coaches?
The defensive team needs help and could certainly use more than 3 coaches.
Any talk about eliminating one offensive position coach and adding a defensive position coach?
Will the new OC be bringing in a couple of position coaches?

Phil Ockinga new - Defensive - graduate assistant.
2010 FIU Defensive Graduate Assistant
2009 FIU Football Operations Assistant
2008 - ?
2007 Fort Hays State University - WR
2006 Fort Hays State University - ?
2005 Fort Hays State University - ?
2004 Fort Hays State University - ?
2003 Hasting College RB [graduate assist ??]
2002 Hasting College LB [graduate assist ??]
1999-2001 Hasting College
1997-1998 Wyoming University

Phil Ockinga
Wide Receivers

Assistant coach Phil Ockinga is in his fourth season as a member of the Tiger coaching staff. He will work with the wide receivers in 2007.

Prior to his stint at Fort Hays State, Ockinga was a member of the coaching staff at Hastings College (Neb.) from 2002-03. He coached the running backs in 2003 and the linebackers the previous year. Ockinga played from 1999-2001 at Hastings College after transferring from Wyoming University, where he played from 1997-98.

Ockinga earned bachelor’s degrees in Physical Education and History in 2002 and a master’s degree in Social Science in 2003 from Hastings College. He earned a second master’s degree from Fort Hays State University in 2006 in Sports Administration.

Apollo is also a DB coach he works with the corners and Popovich works with safeties.

Big things coming our way Great Hire!

GOOD stuff Alt its good to hear you talk good about MC. We all have to face it ... little by little we should have a decent team. It just takes time. I hope to see some pleasant surprises. GO FIU!

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