Penn State Football: Defensive Coordinator Ted Roof Ditches PSU for Georgia Tech

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIJanuary 9, 2013

Aug 6, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Ted Roof looks on during practice at the Lasch Football Building practice fields. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprise announcement Wednesday (according to Penn State football's Twitter account), Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof decided to leave the Nittany Lions after one season and take the same position at Georgia Tech, his alma mater.

The move comes less than a week after it was announced that head coach Bill O'Brien, who brought Roof to Penn State with him, would be sticking around as the head coach of the Nittany Lions.

Several defensive recruits, including 3-star linebacker Brandon Bell, were surprised at the news about Roof. Bell told Nittany Nation's Josh Moyer, "I didn't know at all. I didn't see it coming. I had no clue."

Roof, who played linebacker for the Yellow Jackets from 1982-1985, previously worked as the defensive coordinator there from 1999-2001. He also spent time in the same position at Western Carolina, Duke, Minnesota, Auburn and UCF.

In 2010, he coached the Auburn Tigers defense that won the BCS National Championship.

In his one season at Penn State, Roof did a good job of mixing veteran leadership with young talent. He had the luxury of having three of the best defensive players in the Big Ten at his disposal in Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges and Jordan Hill. Roof also saw freshman end Deion Barnes win the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award.

Under Roof in 2012, the Nittany Lions were fourth in the Big Ten in total defense and second in scoring defense.

O'Brien announced on Wednesday that secondary coach John Butler would take Roof's place as the team's defensive coordinator.

Prior to coming to Penn State, Butler was an assistant coach at South Carolina. He also has experience at Minnesota, Texas State, Texas, Midwestern State, Harvard and Catholic University.