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Sunday August 30th, 2015 7:56AM

Roof returns to Tech as defensive coordinator

By staff
ATLANTA -- Ted Roof, defensive coordinator at Penn State in 2012 and at Auburn when the Tigers won a BCS national championship following the 2010 season, will return to Georgia Tech to serve as defensive coordinator for his alma mater.

Roof's hiring cannot become official until the Institute has completed a background check, which likely will not occur until next week.

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

Roof has strong ties to Georgia Tech. He was a four-year letterwinner as a linebacker under head coach Bill Curry from 1982-85. As a senior, Roof was co-captain and a first team All-ACC selection on a team that finished 9-2-1 and defeated Michigan State in the All-American Bowl. Roof is in the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame.

Roof returned to Georgia Tech in 1998 to serve as linebackers coach under head coach George O'Leary. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1999 and held that position for three years. The Yellow Jackets shared an ACC title in '98 and played in a bowl game all four years during Roof's tenure.

A native of Lawrenceville, Roof attended Central Gwinnett High School.

This past season, Roof served as defensive coordinator under another former Georgia Tech assistant coach, Bill O'Brien. The Nittany Lions exceeded all expectations by posting an 8-4 record. Roof's defense ranked second in the Big Ten Conference in scoring defense (19.1 ppg), first in sacks (34), first in red-zone defense and third in turnover margin.

Nationally, Penn State ranked tied for first in red-zone defense, 15th in sacks, 16th in scoring defense, 23rd in rushing defense, 28th in pass efficiency defense and 29th in total defense.

Roof will inherit a Georgia Tech defense that returns eight starters from a unit that struggled early in 2012 before making great strides the second half of the season. The Yellow Jackets closed the season by shutting out Florida State in the second half of the ACC Championship game and holding Southern California to just seven points in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
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