Georgia Tech assistant wrote to Paul Johnson for five years before getting job on staff

Georgia Tech assistant wrote to Paul Johnson for five years before getting job on staff

It’s a pretty rare occurrence when we write about an assistant director of player personnel, but this story deserves some attention.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a great piece about Brag Waggoner, the new assistant director of player personnel under Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech. After a few low-level assistant jobs at Virginia Military Institute and West Alabama, Waggoner has been a long-time coach at the high school level. Between 2000 and this past school year, Waggoner has had coaching stints at eight different high schools in Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Over the last five years while coaching at the high school level, Waggoner wrote to Johnson at Georgia Tech “on a near-weekly basis for about five years” with the hopes of earning a spot on the Tech staff.

He wrote emails and letters, often not hearing back from Johnson. Per the AJC, he heard back “once in 2010 and again in 2011,” but from then until “early this year,” he did not receive a reply.

“My wife, she thought I was crazy,” Waggoner said.

That was until Johnson reached out to him for an interview in January, but that job ultimately went to Pete Hurt. After that, Waggoner made a decision.

From the AJC

After coming so close, Waggoner said he was depressed for about two weeks and wondered if he had missed his chance. He decided he would continue to pursue major-college opportunities for another year. If nothing resulted, he said, “then it’s just meant for me to stay at this level where I’m at.”

A few months later, Waggoner caught a break. Tech’s personnel director was fired and Hurt was promoted, leaving the assistant position open yet again. Johnson, who called Waggoner “the most persistent guy” he’s ever known, contacted Waggoner and offered him the job.

Waggoner started on May 29. He “maintains the database for offensive prospects, keeps communication with high-school coaches and hosts on-campus visits from recruits,” among other responsibilities.

Waggoner says he still hopes for an on-field coaching job for a major college team, but for now his focus is squarely on the job at hand.

“I want to prove to coach Johnson that he’s not going to find anybody that’s going to work any harder than myself for that job,” Waggoner said.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!