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Bulldog Football Adds Pair To Coaching Staff

Leland Barrow

Senior Associate Sports Communications Director – XC, T&F, FB

University of Georgia Athletic Association

ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia football is adding James Coley as wide receivers coach and Josh Crawford as run game coordinator/running backs coach, according to an announcement from head coach Kirby Smart Monday.


Coley is replacing Bryan McClendon, who is now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receivers coach, and Crawford is filling the spot vacated by Dell McGee, who is Georgia State’s new head coach.


We are excited to have Coley and his family back in Athens,” Smart said.  “He is a tremendous teacher and leader of young men. His previous experience on our staff will make this a seamless transition. As for Josh, I’ve had the pleasure of observing his career unfold over the years and have been consistently impressed. His hard work and the significant impact he's had coaching football in our state have earned him this opportunity.”


Prior to accepting a similar position with South Carolina in January 2024, Coley was hired in 2020 as the Texas A&M tight ends coach.  He was named the Aggies’ co-offensive coordinator in 2022 and also worked with receivers while in College Station.


Regarded as one of the elite recruiters in college football, Coley has spent the past 16 years as an assistant coach at a Division I Power-Five school.  Most recently, he logged four seasons on Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M staff. 


In 2020, Coley helped the Aggies post a 9-1 record, including an 8-1 regular season mark against an all-SEC slate.  A&M concluded the season with a win over North Carolina in the program’s first New Year’s 6 Bowl game. 


Prior to his stint in College Station, Coley spent four years in Athens, helping the Bulldogs to three SEC Championship appearances and a spot in the College Football Playoff.  He was part of a 2017 staff that led Georgia to a record-tying 13 victories, including its first SEC Championship since 2005.  That season the Bulldogs also made their first appearance in the CFP, as well as first appearance and victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl CFP semifinal and first appearance in the CFP Championship Game.  Georgia’s offense finished first in the SEC and ninth nationally in rushing offense (258.4 yards/game), third in the SEC in scoring (35.4 points/game) and fifth in total offense (435.3 ypg). 


The Bulldogs followed up in 2018 with another SEC Eastern Division Championship, 11-win season and appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.  Georgia finished first in the SEC in total rushing offense, rushing offense per game and second in the SEC in total offense, touchdowns scored and scoring offense. In 2019 the Bulldogs reached the SEC Championship for the third consecutive season before capturing the Sugar Bowl title over No. 7 Baylor. 


Coley’s two seasons of coaching Bulldog receivers produced a pair of NFL draft picks: Isaiah McKenzie (Denver) and Javon Wims (Chicago).  In 2018, Coley coached sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm who posted the second-best completion percentage in school history at 67.3, which was 12th nationally, and second-best passing efficiency for a QB at 171.21, which ranked fifth nationally. 


Prior to his time in Athens, Coley served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami (Fla.) from 2013-15.  While at Miami, the Hurricane offense led the nation in “explosive plays” all three years and they produced two 1,000-yard rushers in Duke Johnson (1,652 yards in 2014) and Joe Yearly (1,002 in 2015).  Coley coached quarterback Brad Kaaya who earned Freshman All-America honors and broke the single season record for passing yards and touchdowns at Miami (3,198 yards, 26 TDs) in 2014.  Wide receiver Allen Hurns broke the single season receiving record with 1,162 yards in 2013. 


Coley worked as the offensive coordinator/tight ends coach (2010-12) and tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator (2008-09) at his alma mater, Florida State.  At FSU, Coley mentored three first round draft picks in quarterbacks Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel and Jameis Winston.  The Seminole offenses were high-powered, averaging 31.4 points per game in 2010, 30.6 in 2011, and 39.3 in 2012. 


In 2014, his Miami offense averaged 430.3 yards per game and seven of Coley’s offensive players earned All-ACC honors with running back Johnson and Shane McDermott receiving first team recognition.  In addition, tight end Clive Walford earned AP All-America honors. 


A native of Miami, he served as an offensive assistant with the Miami Dolphins in 2005-06.  His coaching resume also included a stop at 2003 national champion LSU where he served as a graduate assistant coach while earning his master’s degree in 2004.


Coley and his wife, Kenia, have two children, Madison and Brady.


Crawford, who earned his master’s degree from Georgia in 2012, was most recently Georgia Tech’s wide receivers coach for the 2023 season.


Crawford’s single season with the Yellow Jackets produced a Freshman All-American in Eric Singleton Jr. as he hauled in 48 catches for 714 yards and six touchdowns.  Georgia Tech had 14 different players catch balls, including Malik Rutherford who finished with 46 catches and more than 500 yards receiving. 


Crawford made an immediate impact in recruiting as well as he signed Singleton Jr. and another talented group in 2024.


With a decade as one of the state of Georgia’s most successful and respected high school coaches, Crawford entered into collegiate coaching in 2021 at Western Kentucky and helped guide one of college football’s most prolific offenses for two seasons.  He served as WKU’s outside receivers coach in 2021 and was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2022.  In his two seasons at WKU, Crawford’s wideouts combined for 10,339 receiving yards and 94 touchdowns.


Prior to making the jump to the college ranks, Crawford established himself as one of the nation’s top offensive coaches in the high school ranks, coaching at five of Georgia’s most storied and successful programs – Colquitt County H.S., Valdosta H.S., Lee County H.S., Jefferson County H.S. and Greater Atlanta Christian (2010-12 – running backs/tight ends). 


During his 11 seasons in the high school ranks, Crawford helped lead three teams to Georgia 6A state championships and one national title.  He coached six all-state receivers, four of which went on to play at the Power Five level.


Crawford played collegiately at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was a running back from 2004-06.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse in 2007 and master’s degrees from both Georgia and Valdosta State (2020). 


He and his wife, Jessica, have two daughters – Ava Louise and Asha.

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