Familiar face guides Tech offense

He didn't get the job done at West Point, but John Bond has certainly landed on his feet. The former Army offensive coordinator now holds the same position at Georgia Tech. Bond is the guy who will be trying to take it to Army's defense this Saturday in Atlanta. Last we saw Bond, he was attending Bobby Ross' introductory news conference in December of 2003.

It's believed that Bond inquired with Ross about keeping his job. But Bobby Ross had his man lined up: Kevin Ross. We all know how the Kevin Ross experiment ended up.

Meanwhile, Bond landed on his feet. While Todd Berry landed in the Bayou at Louisiana Monroe, Bond latched on at perennial Mid-American Conference power Northern Illinois. Bond served three impressive years at Northern Illinois (2004-06). He helped Northern Illinois to three winning seasons and two bowl games, highlighted by a 9-3 record in 2004. That year the Huskies ranked 11th in the nation in rushing offense, 13th in scoring offense and 14th in total offense.

Under Bond's watch, Northern Illinois became one of the best rushing teams in the nation. Bond watched Garrett Wolfe become NCAA's leading rusher in 2006.

Bond sure turned some heads. Before he interviewed at Georgia Tech last winter,the University of Miami looked at Bond for its open offensive coordinator job. Miami hired Georgia Tech's Patrick Nix and Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey gave Bond the call.

"John's success with both the running game and the passing game sets him apart," Gailey said. "The last three years at Northern Illinois, he put together one of the best rushing attacks in the nation, but before that at Army, they threw the ball all over the place." Gailey added: "His experience at Army also shows that he can recruit the type of student-athletes that we recruit at Georgia Tech."

Bond's first year at Georgia Tech has been, at times, difficult. Georgia Tech's offense has been inconsistent and after a 24-10 loss to Boston College on Sept. 10 wide receiver Demaryius Thomas complained about Bond's play calling. Gailey does help Bond with play calling. "I'll tell him, run the football or let's start pounding them," Gailey said of Bond. "You lose the feel of the game from the box, because I've been there. On the sideline, you've got a feel for the game and who's controlling the line of scrimmage."

Gailey added: "I talk to him between series more than I talk to him during series. Sometimes I'll tell him, hey, it's two-down territory if it's third down, and it may make a difference in what he calls on third down if he knows he's got fourth down."

Still, Gailey thinks he has his man: "He's done a good job. He's done a fine job. He's been great. There have been no issues."

Bond might not have had the best tenure at West Point, but he was still a Black Knight, much more level-headed than Berry. It's good to see that John Bond landed on his feet.

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