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Defensive Coordinator

Ted Roof

Ted Roof - Football - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Ted Roof - Football - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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Ted Roof, a Georgia Tech alumnus that has enjoyed success with the Yellow Jackets as a student-athlete and coach, is in the fifth season of his second stint as his alma mater’s defensive coordinator.

The 2017 campaign is Roof’s ninth overall as a coach at Georgia Tech (1998-2001, 2013-pres.) and his 13th as a member of the Yellow Jackets, including his four seasons as a student-athlete (1982-85). He has helped lead the Jackets to bowl appearances in nine of his 13 seasons with the program.

One of the most-respected defensive minds in college football, Roof has rejuvenated Georgia Tech’s defense since returning to The Flats in 2013, transforming a unit that allowed 28.3 points per game in the season before his arrival (2012) into a group that surrendered nearly four fewer points per game in 2016 (24.5).

Georgia Tech’s defense was particularly stout during a four-game winning streak to close last season, when it forced 10 turnovers that led to 41 points. The Yellow Jackets’ late-season clamp-down also included surrendering just 20.5 points and 393 yards per contest during the season-ending win streak, which included victories at No. 18 Virginia Tech, archrival Georgia and in the TaxSlayer Bowl versus Kentucky.

Other highlights of Roof’s latest stint as the Yellow Jackets’ defensive coordinator include:

  • ranking sixth nationally in fewest first downs allowed and fielding the nation’s most-improved third-down defense in 2015;
  • forcing 29 turnovers (on an NCAA Division I FBS-best 26 percent of their opponents’ possessions) in 2014;
  • converting 21 of the 29 takeaways in 2014 into points, including a school- record six defensive touchdowns;
  • recording two shutouts in 2013 (over Elon and Syracuse), marking the first time that Tech had shut out two opponents in one season since 1985, when Roof was an all-America linebacker for the Jackets;
  • producing nine all-ACC selections and four NFL draft picks.

Roof’s connections to Georgia Tech run deep. He first arrived on The Flats in 1982 and was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at linebacker under head coach Bill Curry from 1982-85. He was named freshman all-America in 1982, was a first-team all-ACC honoree as a senior in 1985 and remains one of Tech’s all-time most prolific tacklers with 417 career stops, which still ranks seventh in program history. His 25 tackles versus Tennessee in ‘85 were just three shy of a single-game school record.

Roof served as a team captain and was part of Georgia Tech’s vaunted “Black Watch” defense in 1985. Alongside all-America linebacker Pat Swilling, he helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 9-2-1 record (Tech’s best record in 19 years), a 17-14 win over Michigan State in the All-American Bowl and a No. 17 final national ranking.

Following his graduation from Tech and a stint as a player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1986, Roof began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Curry at Alabama in 1987 and ‘88. From there, he went on to serve as an assistant coach at West Georgia (linebackers – 1989), Duke (linebackers – 1990-93), UMass (defensive line/recruiting coordinator – 1994; defensive coordinator – 1995-96) and Western Carolina (defensive coordinator – 1997) before returning to Georgia Tech in 1998.

Roof returned to Tech as linebackers coach under head coach George O’Leary but, after one season, was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1999 and held that position for three years. With Roof on staff, the Jackets shared an ACC title in 1998 and played in a bowl game all four seasons.

He departed Georgia Tech in 2002 to become the defensive coordinator at Duke. The Blue Devils, which ranked 113th out of 115th teams nationally in rushing defense the year before Roof’s arrival in Durham, led the ACC in the category in his first season with the program.

Midway through his second season at Duke, Roof was named interim head coach following the firing of head coach Carl Franks. After the Devils went 2-3 with Roof as interim coach, he was named to the role on a permanent basis, which he held for four seasons (2004-07).

After his time at Duke, Roof served as defensive coordinator at Minnesota (2008), Auburn (2009-11) and Penn State (2012) before making his way back to Georgia Tech. During his five years with Minnesota, Auburn and Penn State, he helped lead each team to at least seven wins, highlighted by Auburn going 14-0 and winning the BCS national championship in 2010.

In all, Roof has coached 30 years at the collegiate level. More than 80 of the student-athletes he has coached have gone on to sign NFL contracts and better than 20 are currently on NFL rosters.

A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Roof graduated from Central Gwinnett High School. He and his wife, Pam Ash-Roof, have twin sons, T.D. (a freshman linebacker at Georgia Tech) and Mic (a freshman quarterback at Charlotte).

 Born December 11, 1963
 Family wife Pam Ash-Roof; sons Terrence and Michael
 Alma Mater Georgia Tech, 1986
 1982-85 Georgia Tech (1985 All-ACC First Team LB)
 1987-88 Alabama Graduate Assistant
 1989 West Georgia Linebackers
 1990-93 Duke Linebackers
 1994 Massachusetts Defensive Line / Recruiting Coordinator
 1995-96 Massachusetts Defensive Coordinator
 1997 Western Carolina Defensive Coordinator
 1998 Georgia Tech Linebackers
 1999-2001 Georgia Tech Defensive Coordinator
 2002-03 Duke Defensive Coordinator
 2004-07 Duke Head Coach
 2008 Minnesota Defensive Coordinator
 2009-11 Auburn Defensive Coordinator
 2012 Penn State Defensive Coordinator
 2013-15 Georgia Tech Defensive Coordinator
 2016-present Georgia Tech Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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