Declaring that he's found a new football home -- which happens to be very close to his family home -- Kennesaw State University football coach Brian Bohannon said he's eager to get started creating a program from scratch.
Bohannon, 42, a former University of Georgia wide receiver who has been quarterbacks coach at Georgia Tech for the last seven years, was introduced Tuesday as he begins to guide the Owls from a long-term idea to on-the-field reality in two years.
"I felt there was something special here," Bohannon said during his first press conference, held at KSU's Fifth Third Bank Stadium near campus. "All football is going to do is open that up for everyone to see."
Bohannon's hiring was announced by KSU on Sunday, after a coaching search that included former Marietta High School and current Georgia Tech assistant Andy McCollum.
KSU received final permission to add football from the Georgia Board of Regents last month after several years of preparations.
Bohannon, who settled in Woodstock after taking the Georgia Tech job, raved about the "awesome, awesome" community he has chosen for his family, and which will form the basis of KSU's first team, which will take the field in 2015.
He has been recruiting the Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding areas for Georgia Tech, and his roots in Georgia are deep. A native of Griffin, Ga., Bohannon has been an assistant for Tech head coach Paul Johnson for 16 years, previously at Georgia Southern and the Naval Academy.
Bohannon's voice choked with emotion when he talked about his father, Lloyd Bohannon, a football coach in Griffin. Also in attendance was former UGA head coach Vince Dooley, for whom Bohannon also played and who led KSU's football exploratory committee.
He thanked them both, along with Paul Johnson, for whom he served on one of the most prolific offensive attacks in the country. Bohannon coached former Kell High School running back Jonathan Dwyer, who led Tech to the ACC title and was named ACC player of the year in 2009.
Dwyer now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL.
Bohannon said while he "knew about Kennesaw State" in his recruiting exploits, "I never really knew what was here" until he began the interviewing process for the job.
"This is a special place," he said. "It's been 16 years since I had a job interview. I don't interview for a job unless I want it. I want to be here for the long haul."
Bohannon said he will begin immediately to begin hiring assistant coaches, and will start next month to start recruiting players.
Kennesaw State will be competing a level below Georgia and Georgia Tech in the Football Championship Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. FCS schools are allowed a maximum of 65 full-ride football scholarships.
The terms of Bohannon's salary were not released. The AJC reported his salary at Georgia Tech last season was $212,500.
KSU also has to find a new conference for football since the Atlantic Sun Conference, in which the Owls currently compete in other sports, does not sponsor football.
"Today is about progress, it's about what we are striving to be," KSU athletics director Vaughn Williams said. "This is a humongous task, but we are striving for excellence."
Said Bohannon: "If I never move again I will the luckiest man alive."