After taking part in coach Paul Johnson's press conference on Thursday morning, Georgia Tech Sports Director Todd Stansbury left the campus to catch a plane. He said he was heading to Grapevine, Texas, to join the college football playoff selection committee, which will meet to determine the playoff ground.
The group will be busy watching the conference championship games starting Friday night and then determining the four playoffs and the top 25 Sunday mornings.
"I think it can be positive to let things settle a bit," Stansbury told AJJ. "Right now, my phone is exploding and everyone calls with a tip or knows a guy."
It can start sooner than that. Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, a technology graduate and teammate from Stansbury, is scheduled to meet with Stansbury this weekend. according to a tweet Thursday night Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL reporter.
Stansbury also has at least two candidates who would like to speak with him about the opening. Clemson's offensive co-coordinator, Tony Elliott, and coach of Alabama's offensive lineup, Brent Key, would have an interest in succeeding Johnson.
Elliott has led the Tigers' offense over the past four seasons, helping Clemson to win the last three ACC Championships and to play his fourth consecutive victory on Saturday. He won the Frank Broyles Award in 2017 as the country's best assistant coach and is seen as a beginner.
Key, who started the offensive line for four years at Tech at the time of George O'Leary, has been coaching the Crimson Tide's line since 2016 after 11 seasons in central Florida, where he was last coordinator. Stansbury was the third consecutive year of UCF.
Both are young (Elliott is 39 and Key is 40), has experience in Powerhouse programs and enjoys a reputation as an excellent recruiter. None have experience as a head coach.
They are among the many names that have been traded since the announcement of the news about Johnson, including Temple Coach Geoff Collins (former Technical Assistant and Director of Personnel), the coach of the 39th Army Jeff Monken and Kennesaw State Coach Brian Bohannon. were longtime assistants to Johnson.
Stansbury said that at the press conference he had no conversations with any candidate.
Stansbury has not given any schedule, but ideally, he would have a successor in place before the start of the signing period, Dec. 19, to give Tech's 15 committs and the new coach the opportunity to get to know each other and decide if to sign a letter of intent. Stansbury said Johnson and his staff will continue to recruit and organize official visits on weekends.
"I think the sooner the better, because it brings some clarity and everyone will know what's going on," Stansbury said. "But I would not sacrifice that to have the right person."
Stansbury is not attached to a particular system, namely versions of Johnson's extension option offense. He said that he wanted an innovator, someone who understands that Tech is a different kind of school "and has a plan, OK, how are you going to take what you've already done and implement it strategically successful here.
Among factors such as the experience of the head coach, the links with Tech or a particular program, he stated that "because there are so many things that make the coach great, I think you have to examine everything.
Stansbury reiterated his belief that Tech can participate in the ACC Championships and, by doing so, a place in the college football playoffs.
"At the end of the day, I just want to win games," he said.