Roof leaving for Georgia Tech

Less than a week after Bill O'Brien decided to stay at Penn State, one of his top assistants made a different decision.

Ted Roof, who was Penn State's defensive coordinator in O'Brien's debut season, will accept the same position at Georgia Tech, pending a background check, both schools announced on Wednesday.

"I am very appreciative of Ted's contributions to Penn State," O'Brien said in a statement issued by the university. "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."

Penn State defensive backs coach John Butler has been promoted to defensive coordinator, said a team spokesman.

The Nittany Lions finished second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (19.1 points per game) and fourth in the conference in total defense (356.3 yards per game) under Roof this past season. Penn State allowed more than 24 points just three times in 12 games.

It's the second time Roof, who played linebacker for the Yellow Jackets in the mid 1980s, has returned to coach at his alma mater. He was the linebackers coach in 1998 and the defensive coordinator under George O'Leary from 1999-2001. O'Brien also served on that staff. The two coached together again at Duke, where Roof held his only head coaching job from 2003-07.

Under Paul Johnson and two defensive coordinators -- Al Groh, who was fired in October, and interim DC Charles Kelly -- the Yellow Jackets (7-7) finished 43rd in the nation in total defense in 2012 and allowed an average of 28.3 points per game.

It will be the sixth different coaching stop for Roof since 2007.

Butler, who also coordinated Penn State's special teams this past season, took over a secondary that had lost all four starters from the previous season. After a rough start in losses to Ohio and Virginia, the secondary jelled, helping Penn State finish 28th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

"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 the 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."

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