Georgia Tech loses 2 QBs to injury, Gibson to start vs. UNC

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech has lost two quarterbacks for the rest of the season with former starter Jeff Sims nursing a foot injury and No. 1 backup Zach Pyron out with a broken collarbone, interim coach Brent Key said Tuesday.

Sims, the team’s starter since 2020, will spend the rest of the season in treatment and will not be a part of team activities, Key said.

Sims dressed the last three weeks and was listed as available on an emergency basis but he didn’t take a snap when Pyron was injured and had to leave last week’s 35-14 home loss to Miami in the fourth quarter. Sims initially injured his foot in a loss Oct. 20 to Virginia.

“He’s frustrated he has an injury that’s preventing him from being full speed and allowing him to be part of the team,” Key said. “Just because on paper you medically can (play), every day you wake and feel a little bit different. The ability for him to go out and be the person he wants to be on the field didn’t present itself at the time.”

Zach Gibson, a transfer from Akron, will start when Georgia Tech (4-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) visits No. 13 North Carolina (9-1, 6-0) on Saturday. Taisun Phommachanh, a transfer from Clemson, will serve as the primary backup. Phommachanh, who played in 13 games over three seasons as a backup with Clemson, has not taken a snap this year.

Pyron will have surgery on Thursday.

Gibson has completed 25 of 51 passes for 224 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

“We’ve got enough quarterbacks to be able to take a snap,” Key said, “and we’ll prepare all those guys to be able to play at their best on Saturday.”

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”