Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams announced the hiring Sunday night.
“I’m bouncing off walls right now,” said an excited Bohannon, who found out he was KSU’s choice Sunday afternoon. “I’ve been so excited. I wanted to be the guy. Kennesaw State is an awesome place. People don’t know enough about (KSU) yet, but they are going to.”
Bohannon will be introduced at a press conference Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
“He fits what we are about at Kennesaw State,” Williams said. “He’s more than qualified, more than ready, and we are going to take this journey together. I can’t wait to kick off Owls football in 2015.”
Other known finalists for the job were Georgia Tech linebackers coach, recruiting coordinator and Marietta native Andy McCollum, and Murray State head coach Chris Hatcher.
The 42-year-old Bohannon has spent the last five years at Georgia Tech, but he has been a member of Paul Johnson’s coaching staff for the last 17 years including stops at Navy and at Georgia Southern, where they helped lead the Eagles to the 1999 and 2000 Division I-AA national championship. During the last five years, no team in college football has rushed for more yards than the Yellow Jackets as they have averaged more than 4,000 yards a season.
While it means Johnson will be losing one of the key members of his coaching staff, the Georgia Tech coach was happy to find out Bohannon got the job.
“I am excited for Brian and (his wife) Melanie,” Johnson said. “He has been a big part of our success the past 17 years. I’m glad he has an opportunity to run his own program.”
For Bohannon, not only will he be getting to run his own program, but he gets to build it from the ground up. The job will also be his first as a head coach. In his career, Bohannon has not yet been a coordinator, either.
Williams said that was not much of a deterrent because Bohannon has always been surrounded by success, not only with Johnson and the winning staffs at Georgia Tech, Navy and Georgia Southern, but also back to high school when he played for his father, Lloyd Bohannon, at Griffin. The elder Bohannon had a career record of 156-58-1.
“He’s a product of his environment,” Williams said. “There are just some things you cannot buy. He understands what it means to be a success, he knows how to bring it out of the kids and he knows exactly what it takes to get them there.”
Bohannon said he doesn’t see his lack of experience as a coordinator or head coach as a challenge as much as an opportunity to learn and create something that will be great situation for a long time.
“I’ve coached on all levels,” he said. “I’ve been at Division II, (Football Championship Subdivision), the academies and (Football Bowl Subdivision). I’m at the point in time in my career you know its time to take that next step.
“Everybody has to have a first time. I believe Coach (Vince) Dooley’s first (head coaching) job was at Georgia. I think that turned out all right. I think Urban Meyer’s first (head coaching) job was at Bowling Green. I think he turned out all right, too.
“I’m ready to take that next step, and I am going to bring energy and enthusiasm to the job. And I think that’s what has helped me get to this point to be the head coach.”
Dooley — the former Bulldogs coach and athletic director who led them to the 1980 national championship — was chair of the Kennesaw State Football Exploratory Committee and consultant to Williams in the coaching search. He said the former Georgia wide receiver, who played in Athens from 1990 to 1993, was a quality choice.
“I think (Bohannon) has an excellent background,” Dooley said. “I’ve followed his career, he comes from good stock and he really wanted the job.”
Bohannon has been a key architect of the triple-option offense with Johnson. He said that offense will follow him to Kennesaw State, but he also said there may be some tweaks to it.
“We are going to be a spread team, and we are going to look a lot like Georgia Tech,” Bohannon said. “But were going to have a package under center, we’ll have a package in the gun and we’ll do some zone read like Colin Kapernick and the (San Francisco) 49ers and (Robert Griffin III) with the (Washington) Redskins.
“The first thing we have to do is find the right dual-threat quarterback and go from there.”