Paul Johnson on the hot seat at Tech? Not this century

Paul Johnson: He's the people's choice. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Five out of five Tech fans agree: Paul Johnson is the man. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

While kicking around the Mark Richt question — his seat: hot or not? — I got to wondering. What exactly would it take for Paul Johnson to plop himself down on the baking bench? (He has, after all, lost two of his past three games.) And here’s what I’m thinking:

Paul Johnson could lose the next 12 and get drubbed by Georgia 51-7 and punch Dan Radakovich in the face and it wouldn’t much matter. Because Georgia Tech fans love the man. They love him more than they loved George O’Leary, which is saying something. They love him because he’s not only a really good coach but because he carries himself exactly the way Tech people believe a Tech person should.

Meaning: He’s not deferential to the state school. (Quoth PJ: “What’s the last thing they won?”) All their lives Tech people are outnumbered by Georgia backers, and Georgia backers aren’t just many — they’re loud. Tech people feel no need to apologize for the Institute’s academics or starting salaries in the real world, but they have over the decades developed an inferiority complex regarding football.

PJ does not have an inferiority complex. He has a superiority complex. He’s pretty sure he’s smarter than the average bear (or Bulldog), and in his first year at Tech he beat a Georgia team that began the season ranked No. 1 in the nation. Tech folks have cause to be wary of naming someone coach-for-life — see Hewitt, Paul – but they’d do it for Johnson if they could.

Because he doesn’t just coach: He acts the way every Tech fan wants to act — aggressive, self-assured, disdaining of critics, in awe of no one. If you were drawing up the ideal Georgia Tech football coach in one of the laboratories at the North Avenue Trade School, he’d be it.

So maybe I overstated earlier. Were the Jackets to go 0-12 and get Chan-Gailey’d by the Bulldogs, Johnson might come in for a smidgen of criticism. But Tech folks wouldn’t stop believing. Because they see in PJ everything they didn’t see in those days of Bill Lewis and Gailey. They see the right man in the right spot. They see the new Bobby Dodd.

499 comments Add your comment

[...] For further review: What would it take for Paul Johnson to be on the hot seat at Georgia Tech? [...]

db

June 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

One thing is for sure….the guy does not lack self-confidence. I think he’ll be making biting comments at Tech for years to come.

MLH

June 3rd, 2010
12:00 pm

Saturday Sultan

June 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

Ga Tech always loses to Richt. What, 1 out of 9 over last 9 years? No one expects PJ to beat Georgia, Tech never does.

PJ’s high school triple option is ok when teams only have a week to prepare, but when you get to a Bowl game, his imbalance is exposed. It’s a pretty easy offense to stop for SEC defenses, as LSU & Georgia both proved.

PJ doesn’t finish in the top 10, so Tech ahs no expectations of him.

Richt has what 6 top 10 finishes? Richt’s expectations ar emuch higher, and Richt’s cool with that.

db

June 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

And excellent article Mark. I agree with the entire posting. CPJ is confident and doesn’t worry about what anyone thinks. He has a plan and he’s working that plan.

Gucci Mang

June 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

Ill take Richt over Johnson any and everyday.

park ranger

June 3rd, 2010
12:05 pm

dog fans go to your own fire hydrant blog and get off ours. i just read yours, and didn’t post mind you, and you still have 1/2 the people wanting richt fired. all you guys to is make noise. you make noise when you win and whine when you don’t. are you ever satisfied?

Gucci Mang

June 3rd, 2010
12:05 pm

Good one park ranger.

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
12:07 pm

I think PJ is a perfect fit for Tech. His offense has worked wherever he’s been. Folks calling it HS are just trying to get a reaction. It’s college ball and it doesn’t require the absolute best athletes in the country to run. Tech will always struggle getting the 5 star recruits, but PJ doesn’t HAVE to get those players to be successful. Again, perfect fit.

Volman

June 3rd, 2010
12:07 pm

CPJ is a lot different than Dodd (my grandfather was an All-American on the ‘52 national title team) but Johnson definitely has got the confidence from the fans, players, and alumni. We definitely love the guy. Glad he’s on our team. The dolts on here who say they’ll take Richt over Johnson are just wearing rosy-colored glasses. It’s not a UGA vs. GT thing here…. Johnson is the better coach, period.

Clint

June 3rd, 2010
12:08 pm

you’re an idiot. If he were to go winless, he would be out in a second. Give him 3 losing seasons losing to UGA all three years in a row, and he’ll be on it. College Football has become a win now sport. Coaches will not have the the long tenures like Bowden and Paterno. Johnson will be at Tech for awhile, but no coach is unfireable.

Joey

June 3rd, 2010
12:12 pm

Mark, what if PJ has a couple of more flops in bowl games?

frank james

June 3rd, 2010
12:13 pm

Both schools are very fortunate to have outstanding head coaches. What sad is some people don’t realize it. The majority knows that we need to keep both of them for a long time.

sugarpikegang

June 3rd, 2010
12:14 pm

May time prove you right Mark (and go Jackets)!

THWUGAy

spider

June 3rd, 2010
12:14 pm

does anyone else find it interesting that colorado picked the georgia game too celebrate their half of the 1990 natlional championship?

JB

June 3rd, 2010
12:16 pm

What can he do about the crime around that place…….The India embassy in Washington has already put out warnings to their people. Geez.

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
12:20 pm

Mark,
Are you going to cover the hotseat issue with all coaches in the state?
What about Curry? Is he safe?

wiley

June 3rd, 2010
12:26 pm

Great article. Go Jackets! PJ is 20-7 so far. The next few years look to be interesting down on the flats.

kb

June 3rd, 2010
12:31 pm

Just what makes Johnson a better coach than Mark Richt ? Is it his outstanding bowl record?
Is it winning on the 1AA level? Perhaps his teams ability to beat Duke ? Was Hawaii a powerhouse
when he was the offensive coordinator? Top 10 finishes ? His recruiting prowess? Paul Johnson is a fine coach but has a way to go before he can be considered a better coach than Mark Richt. If Willie Martinez was a bad defensive coordinator,how does that reflect on Paul Johnson?

Worm

June 3rd, 2010
12:32 pm

Mark, He’s just a redneck Bill Curry!

GT Fan

June 3rd, 2010
12:33 pm

Paul Hewitt is the one thats got to go. If GT had a basketball Coach as smart and respected as Coach Johnson… you couldn’t get a ticket to the games. Final Four and more. Players would stay more than one year and done. Fire Paul Hewitt!

The Democratic People's Republic of AJC

June 3rd, 2010
12:33 pm

Glorious Leader Paul Johnson skillful victory over Georgia oppressors, despite losing score! Clearly set sights on better things, win ACC, toughest conference champion of all football! Iowa was really really hard team, no fault in not victory as Georgia is evil oppressors and suck! All things perfect in Georgia Tech!

MissNancy

June 3rd, 2010
12:37 pm

frank james, you got it right. Some morons can only attempt to denigrate others. When those Dawg morons (and I imagine that they are not grads, and never set foot on the Athens campus or in Sanford) start trying to put GT down, most of us just chuckle at the pathetic effort. Hey, GT finished pretty well ranked in football, basketball, and baseball, eh? Care to comment on that, morons?

GetwhatUpayfor

June 3rd, 2010
12:37 pm

Both Coach Johnson and Richt are great Coach. Both schools are lucky to have them. Peace!

Woooooooooo!

June 3rd, 2010
12:38 pm

Ha! If he has just ONE losing season, everyone will be screaming that defenses have finally figured out the offense.

Johnson is as much on a hotseat as Richt.

Reality Check

June 3rd, 2010
12:39 pm

MB, just like last season leading up to the Georgia/GT game all you and JS talked about was how great a coach that CPJ was and CMR could not hold his water bucket. After the beat down on the flats you both shrugged that game off as a meaningless game. The facts are that GT had its best team in years and could not beat UGA’s worst team in 15 years. Why don’t you just come out and declare your allegiance to the Institute of Technology.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, ajc sports editor. ajc sports editor said: Paul Johnson on the hot seat at Tech? Not this century, AJC's Mark Bradley writes http://bit.ly/cg8EnU [...]

CHECK IT FIRST

June 3rd, 2010
12:40 pm

vol
your grandad played on the michigan state 1952 national championship team wow that is awesome

HHM

June 3rd, 2010
12:40 pm

With all the talent UGA has recurited in the last 25yrs+ -top 5 every year-no matter who is coaching-they always come up short-I hate it-GT will always be a cut above the mutts no matter who is coaching-CPJ will haunt the mutt nation for years!

CHECK IT FIRST

June 3rd, 2010
12:42 pm

Wooooooooo is right one mediocre season away from tech fans screaming for a new coach

Dan

June 3rd, 2010
12:42 pm

Saturday Sultan, if facts are of no consquence for you, then your posting is fine. But that high school offense is averaging 35 a game against your puppies. And last I checked, UGA had two weeks to prepare in 2008 and gave up 45 points on their own field.

GetwhatUpayfor

June 3rd, 2010
12:42 pm

Agree with GTFan. Paul Hewitt needs to go.

CJ

June 3rd, 2010
12:46 pm

“What makes Paul Johnson a better coach than Mark Richt?”

That’s not what the article was about, narcissistic UGA fans.

The article is simply about a different coach. Different confidence. Anything can happen with college players, but let’s check PJ’s players’ criminal records… compared to UGA. That. Says. Something.

I’ll take that over a lame bowl win anyday. And I’m not even a Jacket! I’m an EAGLE! Our highschool offense has won 6 national championships, thank you very much. And yes, it’s worth noting.

Some Depa

June 3rd, 2010
12:47 pm

Paul Johnson is my hero!

CHECK IT FIRST

June 3rd, 2010
12:47 pm

i believe saturday sultan stated that tech beat uga 1 out of 9 years , so that is the 45 you speak of the rest of his facts are correct also , so what facts did he have wrong ? (crickets ………)

the TRUTH

June 3rd, 2010
12:51 pm

LOL. PJ keeps on getting whipped up by the DAWGS he is GONE. Maybe he’ll go to a Fish Fry or something.

Todd Blackledge

June 3rd, 2010
12:51 pm

Mark, that is about the lamest thing I have ever read written by you. And that covers a lot of ground.

Dan

June 3rd, 2010
12:53 pm

Ummm, that if you have two weeks to prepare, you can stop it. Also, do you understand how to use a period?

And are Miss St and Vandy considered SEC defenses? Crickets………

Chris

June 3rd, 2010
12:53 pm

To all Tech fans telling Georgia fans to get off of their blog……this story was posted on UGA’s AJC page. The story starts off talking about Richt and Johnson. We’re not on your blog GT. We could care less. We’re just reading Mark Bradley’s latest and dumbest glorification of Tech. Mark, you need to remove your lips from Paul Johnson’s buttox.

Italian_29

June 3rd, 2010
12:54 pm

Mark, will CPJ be able to have his lifetime contract to coach at the Georgia Institute of Technology if he continues to be the Mary Jane of college football, getting SMOKED in bowls, what if he loses to his instate rival the next 2 years and has a 20 point loss margin in his bowl games, GTI will still keep him and offer him a lifetime contract, IE CPH? I think you are smoking the MJ and any GTI fan that says they would is LYING!!!!!!

gadawg6973

June 3rd, 2010
12:54 pm

Whats up with this Tech crap on a Dawg board.Please keep these two teams seprate.TY.GO DAWGS

Dude your hand is melting....

June 3rd, 2010
12:57 pm

Thermite Reactions Party at the Zeta house!!!!

Urban Meyer

June 3rd, 2010
12:57 pm

No fans love their coach as much as the Gators love me but if our team lost 5 or 6 games as I see Tech doing this year…even the Gators would turn on me too! They eat their own you know ….so does Tech!

CJ

June 3rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Love pissing off snobby UGA fans. :)

Dan

June 3rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Italian, it’s GIT, not GTI. Johnson won’t lose to UGA the next two years. Now please move back to Italy or go comment on futbol. But leave football to the Americans.

Dan

June 3rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Which five games would those be, Urban?

WE RUN THIS STATE

June 3rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Italian_29

June 3rd, 2010
1:01 pm

Dan FU, I am an American born HERE!!!! I probably know more about football that you and your whole family. You don’t dispute what I wrote. Now watch out or you will get robbed leaving the meida center and going back to your VW bus on your LOVELY campus DH!

Grant

June 3rd, 2010
1:01 pm

The fact that some idiot reporter or other member of the media would dare proclaim that a coach like Mark Richt is on the hotseat is largly what is wrong with college football. Few coaches have matched the success that man has had in almost a decade with Georgia. Just happened to be visiting home from Montana this week, and I fortunately completely forgot how big a moron Mark Bradley is.