Georgia has filled the two openings for assistants on its football coaching staff.
Former Georgia special teams analyst Scott Fountain is leaving his new job as special teams coordinator at Mississippi State to rejoin the Bulldogs’ staff in an on-field role, coach Kirby Smart confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
“To have him back I think is phenomenal for us,” Smart said.
Fountain returns after Georgia lost special teams coordinator Shane Beamer to Oklahoma.
Vanderbilt wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton is also joining Smart’s staff to coach the same position. The former six-year NFL veteran out of Texas Southern has coached Commodore receivers the last three seasons. The New Orleans native coached wide receivers at Dartmouth from 2012-14.
“Cortez, we got to visit and meet with and just thought the world of him,” Smart said. “He carries himself in a first-class manner, the way we want to do things at the University of Georgia. He’s a very intellecutal guy. He also played the position. Anytime you play the receiver position, I think it helps you tremendously with kids.”
James Coley has coached Georgia wide receivers the last two seasons, but has experience coaching quarterbacks.
Tight end signee John FitzPatrick said recently that he was told that offensive coordinator Jim Chaney would have a more “hands-on” role with the tight ends. Chaney has coached the quarterbacks the past two seasons.
Smart was asked about changes to coaching responsbilities on offense.
“That will be to be determined,” he said. “We’ll determine that in the coming weeks. We’ve got a lot of possibilities there because a lot of guys have worked with a lot of different positions.”
Beamer left last month for Oklahoma to coach tight ends and H-backs and serve as assistant head coach for offense. Georgia had two openings on its staff because of the the NCAA ‘s new 10th assistant position.
Fountain, a former special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Auburn, joined Georgia’s staff in an off-field role last May and helped Georgia to significant improvement across the board on special teams.
“He was probably one of the biggest assets in our program last year,” Smart said. “Everybody’s made a big deal about the turnaround in special teams. He was really responsible for coaching our coaches. He was able to bring us some ideas in how we practice and some innovative things that he’s done changing what days we did different things.”
Smart said Fountain has recruited well in Georgia and Florida.
“We’re excited to get him and his family back to Georgia,” Smart said. “I know the (football) coach over at Prince Avenue is really excited because he gets his kids back. He’ll have two starters returning there.”
The Alabama native previously worked on Gene Chizik’s staff for two seasons at Iowa State and joined him at Auburn as player personnel director.