Friday morning news broke that Georgia Football head coach Kirby Smart has hired former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken to his staff.
Smart has not named Monken’s title yet, but it has been confirmed by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach that he will take over play-calling duties this upcoming season.
Monken will take over the play-calling abilities from offensive coordinator James Coley as the Bulldogs’ offense struggled this year. It’s believed that Monken will help UGA’s passing attack next season as this past year it ranked 72nd nationally averaging just 223 yards per game.
“We are excited to add Todd to our staff,” Kirby Smart said in a press release. “He has a history of establishing explosive offenses at each and every stop in his impressive career in both the National Football League and at major college football programs.”
This past year, Monken worked under former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchen’s before he was fired after the end of the NFL regular season. The year before, Monken served as offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Monken, 53, brings a ton of college experience to Athens as he has had coaching gigs with LSU and Oklahoma State before transitioning to the NFL in 2016. He spent a few seasons in Tampa Bay before moving to Cleveland to take over as offensive coordinator.
It seems like he’s had success wherever he goes.
In 2018, the Buccaneers led the pros in passing offensive and finished third in total offense. Led by Winston and Fitzpatrick, the offense set multiple organization records in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and total yards.
“Coach Monken sees the game through the quarterback’s eyes. He is aggressive and calls a game based on the strengths of his players,” said Fitzpatrick. “He does a great job of teaching and instilling confidence in the entire unit.”
Before Tampa Bay, Monken spent three seasons in Hattiesburg at Southern Miss serving as head coach (2013-2015).
Monken took over a program that went 0-12 in 2012, to winning the Conference USA’s West Division in 2015, and advancing to the conference title game, where the Golden Eagles fell to Western Kentucky. That season Monken led the Golden Eagles to a 9-5 record, and a birth in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Before Southern Miss, Monken spent two seasons in Stillwater at Oklahoma State (2011-2012) as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. This was his second stint with the Cowboys, after having spent time there from 2002-2004.
During his second time at Oklahoma State, the team set school single season records in total offensive yards, passing yards, completion percentage, total points scored, and passing touchdowns. He crafted quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Both players were first round draft picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.
“From my first conversation with Coach Monken on the phone, I knew he was what we needed to pick up where we left off from the 2010 season,” said Weeden. “He came in and embraced what we had and put his finger print on it and did an unbelievable job. I think guys respected him immediately because of his time in the NFL and even more once we got to work. He’s an innovative coach who brings that fire and passion you need. He’s one of my favorite coaches I had the opportunity to play for and great guy as well. We were lucky to get him and it worked out for both sides. “
Prior to his second go-round at Oklahoma State, Monken spent four seasons (2007-2010) as the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Monken coached receiver Reggie Williams, who set an organization record with 10 touchdowns in 2007.
Before deciding to coach in the NFL, Monken served as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at LSU from 2005-2006. He helped develop quarterback Jamarcus Russell, and future wide receiver first rounders Dwayne Bowe and Buster Davis.
He began his career at Grand Valley State as a graduate assistant in 1988-1989, before he held the same title at Notre Dame. He also worked at Eastern Michigan as the defensive backs and wide receivers coach in 1993-1997, before being promoted to the offensive coordinator in 1998.
He also spent time at Louisiana Tech serving as the running backs coach in 2000, and then as the wide receivers coach in 2001.
Monken was a three-year letter-winner at quarterback for Knox College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in education leadership from Grand Valley State. Monken is a member of the Knox College Athletic Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Terri, have one son, Travis.