Geoff Collins explains SWAG coordinator, modeling a staff after a racing team

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday February 17, 2017




Geoff Collins once had a “Swag Chalice” at Mississippi State, so it’s no surprise he recently created the position of SWAG Coordinator at Temple.

Collins announced earlier this week that Dave Gerson was promoted to the role. Gerson is entering his seventh year on the staff, moving from student video assistant to operations graduate assistant over his tenure. Why did Collins promote him? Because he went above and beyond what he was asked.

“He’s been a YouTube sensation for the Temple Owls since he was 8 years old,” Collins said on The Cube Show. “He’s been the No. 1 fan for Temple University, bleeds cherry and white. He was a lowly recruiting GA when I came here for the bowl prep. I asked him to do a few things for me, and he did them better than I thought. Then I asked him to do a couple high level things, excelled at that. So I just created a position.

“People around the country have these positions, where it’s social media, it’s graphics, it’s all these other things. We’re just creating swag for these recruits to look at and be excited about. His official title is multimedia director / specialist with advanced graphics. I just thought that was a cool title. The first four letters of those words ended up being SWAG. Ten years from now, when people look at his bio, it’ll say, ‘Specialist with advanced graphics,’ but we all know he’s the coordinator of the swag, giving the insight to your fans, giving the insight to recruits and showing what Temple football is all about.”

In putting together his staff, Collins said he modeled it after a NASCAR crew. He watched a documentary years ago about Hendrick Motorsports, and the company used a personality matrix and skillset matrix to hire people that checked different boxes.

He didn’t want a staff full of similar people. He wanted different perspectives and backgrounds, and he believes he has that.

If I hire everybody that’s like me, that’s not a recipe for success,” Collins said. “I need people with different backgrounds, different energy types, different disciplinarian tactics, whatever the piece may be, recruiting styles. If everybody’s like me, you’re setting up a recipe for disaster. I need people surrounding me to have different backgrounds, different styles, different energy levels and approaches with the kids.

“Every one we hired in this program is checking off boxes of different skillsets. Fundamental skillset, recruiting skillset, public relations, whatever the case may be. We make sure we fill all the boxes with each hire we make. I think we’ve got a great balance and our players appreciate that. There’s somebody each single player can relate to, build relationships with. It makes for a unique staff, an energetic staff and one that relates to everybody in the university.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.