Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson expects to have a defensive coordinator hired before national signing day Feb. 6. Johnson said he has already begun speaking with candidates about the opening created with the midseason firing of coordinator Al Groh.
“I should know what I’m going to do here in the next couple of weeks when I get through” meeting with candidates, Johnson said. “I just want to be real thorough with it. I’m not going to rush into something and then regret it.”
Johnson told 790 the Zone Thursday that he had three or four candidates that he was committed to talking with before making a decision. Interim coordinator Charles Kelly, who replaced Groh, is a candidate. Tech’s defense finished strongly under Kelly, shutting out Florida State in the second half of the ACC Championship game loss and then holding USC to a touchdown in the Yellow Jackets’ 21-7 Sun Bowl win. Johnson told 790 that he spoke Thursday with Kelly about the position.
“I thought he did a good job,” Johnson said. “I thought all our defensive coaches did a good job.”
Johnson said his plan is for Kelly to remain on staff even if he isn’t made the full-time coordinator. Johnson deflected a question about the budget for the hire. Asked if the budget for the hire would be similar to Groh’s slot ($344,000), Johnson said, “We’ll see. It depends on what we have to do.”
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog