Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:26AM - 242 Views

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Penn State managed to hold onto its head coach but has lost its defensive coordinator.

Ted Roof has resigned from Bill O'Brien's staff after one season to take the defensive coordinator job at Georgia Tech, his alma mater.

Roof will be replaced by defensive backs coach  John Butler.

Georgia Tech announced the move Wednesday afternoon. Penn State confirmed Roof's departure and announced that secondary coach John Butler will replace him as defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions.

John did an outstanding job with the secondary this past season and brings tremendous experience, energy and a passion for tenacious defense to the field and in the meeting room, O'Brien said in a statement.

John quickly developed a great relationship with all our players on defense and special teams and his ability to teach and relate to the players on and off the field will greatly assist in making this an easy transition.

For Roof, the move is a return home. He and his wife are Georgia native and Roof himself played linebacker for the Yellow Jackets and is in the school's athletics Hall of Fame.


Roof previously served as defensive coordinator for Tech from 1999-2001 after a year as linebackers coach. Both he and O'Brien were assistants for the Jackets under George O'Leary during that stretch.


O'Brien and Roof have remained close friends since that time, with Roof giving O'Brien his first coordinator job while head coach at Duke.


I am very appreciative of Ted's contributions to Penn State, O'Brien said. Ted and I have known each other a long time and coached together at Georgia Tech, his alma mater.


Ted is a great coach and person. He earned the respect of our players and they enjoyed playing for him. We wish Ted and his family well.


Quick transitions are nothing new for Roof. After reaching a split with Auburn at the end of the 2011 regular season, he rejoined O'Leary to be the coordinator at Central Florida. That lasted for just a month before he was hired by Penn State.


In promoting Butler, the Lions will keep the same coaching structure that has been in place on defense for over a decade. Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden, the lone holdovers from Joe Paterno's former staff, will remain as defensive line coach and linebackers coach, respectively.


Penn State will now look for a new secondary coach to replace Butler. Though he was one of seven new hires for the staff last January, Butler was the only one not to have previously coached with O'Brien. Butler's link was actually Roof, whom he coached with at Minnesota for one season.


It will be the first major coordinator job for Butler, who was hired by O'Brien last January. He previously served as an position coach at FBS schools South Carolina (2011) and Minnesota (2007-10) as well as FCS schools Harvard (2003-06), Texas State (2001-02).


Butler began his career as defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Division III Catholic University, and at Division II Midwestern State. The Philadelphia native attended LaSalle College High School along with Penn State strength coach Craig Fitzgerald.


For more, check back to timesleader.com and see Thursday's edition of The Times Leader.

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