Ted Roof hired as Tech coordinator

Ted Roof, once a Georgia Tech star linebacker and later an accomplished assistant, is returning to Tech once more.

Roof has been hired as the Yellow Jackets’ new defensive coordinator as the full-time replacement for Al Groh, fired in October. Roof leaves Penn State, where he had coached one season, for his alma mater.

In his only season at Penn State, the Nittany Lions ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (19.1 points per game), fourth in total defense (356.3 yards per game) and first in sacks (34).

“I’ve known Ted for a long time and I’m excited that he has decided to come back to Georgia Tech,” coach Paul Johnson said in a statement.  “He’s one of the most respected football coaches in the nation.”

Roof served as linebackers coach for former Tech coach George O’Leary for one season (1998) and then defensive coordinator for three. He left to become defensive coordinator at Duke in 2002 with the changeover in head coaches. During that time at Tech, he worked with Bill O’Brien, now Penn State’s head coach.

He later became Duke’s head coach 2004-07, getting fired after a 1-11 season. He was coordinator at Minnesota for one season, then coordinated the defense at Auburn 2009-11, helping the Tigers to the 2010 national championship. He left Auburn to become coordinator at Central Florida for O’Leary, but left shortly after for Penn State.

Roof used a 4-3 defense at Penn State. He said last August that “the main core is I want us to be aggressive. I want us to play fast. I want us to be physical.”

In 2009, while at Auburn, he described his philosophy as using 4-3 some of the time.

We’re pretty multiple in what we do,” he said. “You have to have a system that’s adaptable to different types of people — especially if you’re coming into a new situation. It’s one thing if you’ve been at a place several years and you recruit to a specific system. It’s another thing when you come in, you’re new and you have a system that’s broad enough and diverse enough to handle whatever personnel. This league, you don’t trick people. You have to out-hit people. There won’t be much tricking going on.”

With the departure of interim coordinator/secondary coach Charles Kelly for Florida State, Johnson still has one more opening on his staff to fill.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

355 comments Add your comment

Scott

January 9th, 2013
5:29 pm

Looks like a good hire to me. Can’t be worse that what we’ve had for the last four years.

Simba

January 9th, 2013
5:34 pm

I’m actually pretty surprised with this. This seems like a pretty good hire, which I honestly didn’t expect from CPJ after it was announced Kelly was leaving.

Jarrett Jack

January 9th, 2013
5:43 pm

Looking at his resume, i wonder where he will be coaching next year after he leaves Tech?

GT65

January 9th, 2013
5:46 pm

WELCOME BACK ROOF!
Great job CPJ..Roof will do a good job, now get him some help. Go Jackets.

Silly Mutts

January 9th, 2013
5:47 pm

Great Great Hire!!! He is a former player, a former coach, a former DC, is from Georgia, has head coaching experience and most importantly his defenses never ever SUCKED which is what GT’s has been for 4 yrs straight (save the last 1 and 1/2 games. Love it!!

Matt Ryan's Dad

January 9th, 2013
5:48 pm

Hopefully he can recruit some talent at defense.

Rick James

January 9th, 2013
5:48 pm

Biff

January 9th, 2013
5:48 pm

Obviously better then Groh but not a huge improvement. Johnson and the budget limits options, so probably about as good as could be expected for Tech.

Scott

January 9th, 2013
5:49 pm

Keep in mind a few things:
1. He went to Tech
2. He played at Tech
3. He formerly coached at Tech
4. He is from Lawrenceville

I don’t see Roof jumping ship in a year or two. The more I consider it the more I like the hire. He’s done a great job both coaching and recruiting at Auburn and PSU, he knows the landscape at Tech, and he knows the state when it comes to bringing in new players.

BuzzBelle

January 9th, 2013
5:50 pm

Thrilled! Welcome home!

fuzzybee78

January 9th, 2013
5:52 pm

Ted, welcome back home! I look forward to an aggressive attacking defense again and I know we will get your best work!

Oh yea— and please get us out of this awful 3-4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GT Girl

January 9th, 2013
5:54 pm

Woohoo! Welcome back Ted Roof! Go Jackets!

gtfanfrom1951

January 9th, 2013
5:54 pm

Great hire the defense will way better

for you nay sayers

January 9th, 2013
5:54 pm

in both his stints at gt and auburn he worked for head coaches (oleary and chitsnick) that were former dc’s. rumolr has it that they both micromanaged ted while he was dc at both those places. so imo the results he got there are not representative of what he can do.

the pros as i see them…

-he has fire in his belly similar to the hc a fla. muschamp
-he has a lot of experience and is still young
-cpj likes him
- he has the rep for being a stellar recruiter
- he had good success at penn state.
- he had good success at minnesota.
- he was part of a team that won a nc while at auburn. a team that held oregon’s o to just over 100 yards.
- he is a tech man through an through
- if he is successful at gt we have less to worry about his using gt as a stepping stone.

fuzzybee78

January 9th, 2013
5:56 pm

Now get Gif Smith back on staff and all my dreams will have a chance to come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tek

January 9th, 2013
5:57 pm

Ted, can’t believe you are coming home. Excited and happy for you, your family and GT.

Tech Fan Since 1950

January 9th, 2013
5:58 pm

I like it! Great hire for Tech! We now have an experienced defensive coach; a top of the line recruiter; and one of Georgia Tech’s great former football players. Coach Johnson deserves great credit for this hire. Tech people by nature are truly stubborn and I am convinced that 40 percent of the “Hive” followers never like anything and that is why they do not show up at games the way they should with their support(sounds a bit like our country) Get with the program now people. 2013 is the year for the Jackets and Ted Roof will be a big part of it. Crank up the Ramblin’ Wreck! Defensive players (offensive players too) pay attention to Coach Roof. He is a person you will want to be like in the years to come.

for you nay sayers

January 9th, 2013
5:59 pm

one other thing… unlike auburn and gt previously…. ted will have the chance to do it on his own. cpj will not micromanage him but rather let him do his thing.

Ol'JacketFan

January 9th, 2013
6:00 pm

I have to admit I had not thought about Roof but the more I think about it the better I like it. He is a Tech man and lord knows his work ethic can’t be questioned! His D at Penn State was solid and he authored a pretty fair D at Auburn when he was there. Welcome back to the Flats Coach!

Blue Fox

January 9th, 2013
6:01 pm

For all the reasons given, Roof is an outstanding hire for CPJ, e.g., see the PSU performance this year under horrible circumstances. He’s relatively young, recruits D talent well, and unlike Groh, has the correct philosophy that you have to out-hit people, not out-trick them.

MiltonFan

January 9th, 2013
6:06 pm

I would suggest that looking at the real numbers shows the underlying reason that Coach Roof was hired.

tl/dr; He turns around defenses with repeated success.

In 1998 before he became DC at GT, our defense was ranked 82nd. During his three years on the flats, the defense was ranked 100, 22, and 37. That seems like solid improvement for a first time DC. Prior to Roof’s arrival at Duke, their defense was ranked 116. His first squad ranked 83 and his second ranked 76, That was enough to earn him a gig as the HC (yes, it didn’t go well but he was only paid about $300k a year – Cutcliffe got $1.6M to succeed him and it’s taken years to make Duke competitive, but I digress…).

Again, prior to his arrival at Minnesota, the defense was ranked 110. His first year as DC they jumped to 61. In 2009, the Auburn defense was ranked 76. In Roof’s first season as DC, Auburn won a national championship and the defense improved to 53. Only at PSU did the defensive unit rank drop (from 5 to 16) but this year there were a number of issues that PSU dealt with.

For those who say he shifts jobs constantly – not really. In the 15 years since he first coached at GT, he spent 4 years on the flats and 6 years to Duke. He only left GT when Gailey was hired (don’t you wish Braine had felt the same about Chan-the-Man?).

I suspect that CPJ saw a chance to hire an experienced coach who can take our current batch of talented players and make them special. With so much positive going for the offense, it could be a special year.

Wild Bill

January 9th, 2013
6:06 pm

Was thinking about not renewing my season tickets because of Tech’s poor season but this hire will change that thinking. A pleasant surprise!

GTJohn2

January 9th, 2013
6:06 pm

Good news! Great hire! Welcome back coach Roof!

Coach

January 9th, 2013
6:08 pm

Welcome back, Ted! A quality coach to run our defense, and a great recruiter. This guy can deliver!

D

January 9th, 2013
6:09 pm

Go get giff as asst DC, DL coach and RC

AGTFan53

January 9th, 2013
6:10 pm

Any longtime Tech fans are thrilled.

black watch

January 9th, 2013
6:11 pm

Good hire for GT
and IMMEDIATE RESULTS, not some silly 2 to 3 year plan,

Unbiased Sometimes

January 9th, 2013
6:11 pm

Any chance he brings some big time recruits with him from PSU? There is more then one reason this seems like a possibility.

1 4 GT

January 9th, 2013
6:12 pm

From what I remember about Ted Roof as a player, he was pretty dang good. I think his playing style has transferred over to his coaching philosophy too. Tech will have a good, hard hitting effective defense under CTR. Y’all remember, if we can be top 30 or better statistically on defense, GT will be dang hard to beat. All of Ted’s previous years stats show that kind of defense. Welcome home to CTR & family. GOOOOO JACKETS THWGeorgie And good luck to Coach Kelly too!

GT Alum

January 9th, 2013
6:14 pm

Thanks for the background MiltonFan. I had kind of lost track of Roof after he was fired by Duke. I was thinking he had been a part of some of our poorer defenses back in the late 90s, which he was to some extent, but obviously he was part of a vast improvement. Hopefully he will lead the same kind of turnaround now.

GTBob

January 9th, 2013
6:14 pm

Really surprising hire, but im on board with it. Welcome back Ted!

dealrue

January 9th, 2013
6:14 pm

If GT defense can handle the USC hogs up front then why can’t they handle UGA’s. Maybe with Roof the defense will handle all of the Hogs no matter what school??? I would say we have a good chance now of winning 10 games this next season!!

Wrong

January 9th, 2013
6:17 pm

Wow. What a bad hire.Ted Roof’s defenses have consistently under performed! Seriously, he is not a good hire people, but who cares – its GA Tech football.

ignition

January 9th, 2013
6:18 pm

This guy has never coached a Top 10 defense, has been fired at Duke, fired at Auburn after producing the WORST defense in thier recent history, coached a Tech defense that gave up 30+ points per game. His defenses are completely inconsistent and his career the epidamy of mediocrity.

This is an uninspiring retread hire. Blah.

Always a Jacket

January 9th, 2013
6:20 pm

He was run out of Auburn. He had more talent at AU than he will ever have at GT so looks like more of the same for GT defense.

Douglas

January 9th, 2013
6:21 pm

Some of you guys are delusional. He is a terrible DC. I believe he was at GT before and UGA ate his defenses alive. I’m glad he is back so we can kick your butt again and again. Go back over time and see how well he did.

ibidGT

January 9th, 2013
6:22 pm

Meh…mixed feelings about this hire. I guess we shall see next season.

hey ignition

January 9th, 2013
6:24 pm

nobody cares what a closet dwag fan like you thinks.

roof’s black watch . i like it!

gt4ever

January 9th, 2013
6:24 pm

dealrue,,, you funny man… Get off the sauce!

I like Ted Roof.. Good job CPJ. Now get us a good OC… :)

ha

January 9th, 2013
6:24 pm

Good Hire???? Are you all high as he11? He was terrible maybe the worst coordinator Tech ever had. I was happier to see him go than Groan. This is a very very very very BIG mistake!

WG-GT Alum

January 9th, 2013
6:25 pm

CTR is intense. I just hope that the defense takes on that personality. Wonder if he could talk Glenn Spencer (currently at Okie St.) into coming back as well.

Lee

January 9th, 2013
6:25 pm

I like Ted and the hiring of a good Tech man. Go Jackets!

Tokyo jacket

January 9th, 2013
6:25 pm

When Roof was the LBC, we set a record with 9 consecutive games with a defensive touchdown. We had a decent D back in those days. All we need now is decent.

I like the hire. Roof is a Tech guy. He left AU to coach with one of his friends and former colleague at Tech…a colleague who was focused solely on offense. He was at Duke for several years before ultimately not being able to turn the program around.

I put the hire as a 7/10. He’s not Kirby Smart and he’s probably not the recruiter Lance is, but his teams generally play pretty solid defense. My only concern is whether or not he’s learned to play the run and the pass. My recollection from his DC days at Tech is that he was a stop the run guy, but we would often get torched. The biggest question now is whether or not our players can convert to the 4-3. I think we’ll be able to, and probably well. We’ve got 270-300lb guys in all four DL spots, Watts and Attouchu can cover out of the backfield, and Hunt Days in the middle will be a prototypical guy. Looking forward to Tech football next year.

Smyrna Gold

January 9th, 2013
6:26 pm

Great hire. I think this is the absolute best person available for the job. Ted is a good person and a great defensive football mind. Welcome home Ted.

Tokyo jacket

January 9th, 2013
6:27 pm

@Douglas, we won three in a row against UGA while CTR was on staff (1 as LB, 2 as DC)

White&Gold

January 9th, 2013
6:27 pm

You’re right, Douglas. He was at Tech in ‘99-’01. Both years he was there, we had great defenses. I seem to recall that we won two of those three years. Seems like you’re the one who is delusional.

BigTimeTECHFan

January 9th, 2013
6:27 pm

Douglas – he was the DC at Auburn that smoked UGA and won National Chanpionship.
Come back when UGA has a national championship winning DC instead of a reject NFL position coach.

ha

January 9th, 2013
6:27 pm

Good Hire…someone should kick you in the sack so you can reset your brain.

Tech1986

January 9th, 2013
6:29 pm

The years with OLeary we beat UGA 3 times, he was going with OLeary to ND and when he came back after that mess, he was going to coach Linebackers, but Gailey said he’d only pay him about 1/2 of what he was making, he went to Duke from there. He was a nasty leader of the Black Watch Defense. Just need the Jimmy and Joes, Roof knows the X’s and O’s.

Destin Dawg

January 9th, 2013
6:30 pm

great hire no surprises…. he knows GT and his family must like Atl… very affordable big City.. good luck except against the SEC East Champ UGA Dawgs !!!