Another member of Georgia’s football staff will be joining Mel Tucker in Boulder.
Tucker, Colorado’s new head coach, is set to hire Travares Tillman as a defensive backs coach, according to multiple BuffZone.com sources.
A defensive quality control assistant with Georgia and former NFL veteran, Tillman will remain with the Bulldogs through their Jan. 1 matchup with Texas in the Sugar Bowl before starting his job at CU, according to one source.
Tucker was hired by CU earlier this month after three years as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Georgia. Tillman will be the third member of Georgia’s staff to join Tucker at CU, along with offensive coordinator Jay Johnson and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers.
Since Tucker left Georgia, Tillman has helped to fill the void by coaching the Bulldogs’ defensive backs in preparation for the Sugar Bowl.
Tillman, 41, has worked closely with Tucker the past three years, including the 2016 and 2017 seasons as a graduate assistant.
A native of Lyons, Ga., Tillman played safety and cornerback at Georgia Tech in the late 1990s and was twice named second-team All-ACC. He was selected in the second round (58th overall) of the 2000 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. Tillman played seven seasons in the NFL, retiring in 2008 because of injury.
From 2012-15, Tillman coached defensive backs and track and field at Calvary Day School in Savannah, Ga. After receiving the NFL Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship in 2013, he spent that summer working with the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive backs.
At CU, Tillman will be one of three coaches working with defensive backs, along with Summers and Tucker. During his national signing day press conference on Thursday, Tucker said, “We’re going to be in nickel or dime probably 90 percent of the time.”
Summers’ background gives CU some flexibility with its staff, though, because Tucker said, “He can coach any position on defense.”
CU likely won’t officially announce Tillman’s hire until after the holidays. To this point, CU has officially announced seven of the 10 full-time assistant coaching positions. Tucker has been interviewing candidates for the other vacancies this week.
“We’re just looking for the right fit and the best people that we can find to do what we need to do, and there’s no shortage of candidates out there,” Tucker said. “I’m looking for guys that have versatility and guys that, first and foremost, are a good fit from a character standpoint and integrity — and obviously recruiting.
“There are different ways you can comprise a staff. I’m looking for the best combination.”
Tucker’s staff to this point is loaded with experience.
On offensively, Johnson, offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic and receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini have all been coordinators. Defensively, Summers, defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and linebackers coach Ross Els have all been coordinators, and Summers spent two seasons as a head coach at Georgia Southern.
Running backs coach Darian Hagan hasn’t been a coordinator, but has worked at CU the past 14 years, including eight seasons coaching the backs.
As a first-time head coach, Tucker said it’s important to him to surround himself with experienced and talented assistants.
“I never want to be the smartest person in the room or the most experienced,” he said.