Nov. 3, 2014
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word
There was little buzz in the Edge Center Museum when Georgia Tech Assistant AD Chris Yandle announced that Georgia Tech’s 35-10 win over Virginia on Saturday afternoon was Paul Johnson’s 100th as an FBS coach and 161st overall prior to Johnson’s postgame press conference. While reporters made mental notes about No. 100, the milestone went pretty much unnoticed.
Johnson didn’t address it in his postgame remarks.
Of course he wasn’t asked about it — and likely would have brushed it aside had he been — more likely deferring to the win and getting ready to go after No. 101.
The Good Word took a look at Johnson’s 100 wins, especially the 55 since he took over at Georgia Tech prior to the 2008 season. Here’s some of what we found.
- Johnson’s 55 wins at Georgia Tech rank him fourth in Yellow Jackets history behind only Bobby Dodd (165 between 1945-66), William Alexander (134, from 1920-44) and John Heisman (102 from 1904-19).
- Johnson came into the 2014 season averaging 8 wins per season (48 wins in six years). That number is higher than Dodd (7.5 in 22), Heisman (6.4 in 16) and Alexander (5.4 in 25). He may put some distance between himself and the big three as the Yellow Jackets have already won seven games with three to play. By the way, his seventh season ties him with Bill Curry and George O’Leary for the third-longest tenure in Jackets history.
- Johnson has won 33 of his 45 games at Bobby Dodd Stadium, including a 4-1 mark this season. His .733 winning percentage at Grant Field ranks third in school history (minimum 10 home games) behind only Dodd, who won 77.3 percent of his games at home (105-29-5) and Heisman, who won 76.9 percent of the time at home (88-24-7). Technically, Dr. Cyrus Strickler also ranks ahead of Johnson. In fact, he ranks ahead of every Georgia Tech head coach, having a perfect 3-0 mark in 1901, his lone season at the helm.
- Johnson’s 35 conference wins put him in fourth place in GT history. Should Georgia Tech beat Clemson on Nov. 15, Johnson would tie George O’Leary for third place. He also would tie O’Leary with 22 home conference wins. Johnson has a ways to go to catch the Dodd and Alexander for conference W’s, as Dodd won 82 games, all in the SEC, from 1945 to 1963, while Alexander was victorious 74 times in the SIAA (1916-21), the Southern (1922-32) and the SEC (1933-44).
- The Jackets’ .648 win percentage in conference play under Johnson (35-19) ranks behind only Dodd’s .672 (82-39-4).
- Johnson has had only two losing seasons, in 13 as a head coach and only once, in 2002, his first season as an FBS coach, when Navy went 2-10, has one of his teams won fewer than six games. His other sub-.500 season was 2010, when Georgia Tech was 6-7. Both the 2003 Midshipmen and 2011 Yellow Jackets bounced back to win eight games.
- Yellow Jackets teams have rolled up at least 400 yards 55 times in 88 games under Johnson, 62.5 percent of the time. They have won 70.9 percent of those games.
- Johnson’s teams have scored at least 35 points in 60 of his 100 career wins and have won by at least 10 points 67 times.
- Since going 0-4 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams Boston College, Duke, NC State and Wake Forest in 2002 at Navy, Johnson’s teams have gone 40-22 against the ACC (5-3 over his final five years at Navy and 35-19 and counting at Tech), a .645 winning percentage.
- Johnson also has gotten even with the three of those four teams that beat him in ’02, having beaten B.C. and Wake Forest two out of three since and going 11-1 against Duke, including beating the Blue Devils every year from 2003 to 2013, a streak that ended this past Oct. 11. The only one of those four teams to stay even with Johnson is NC State, which is 1-1. He plans to change that on Saturday.
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