Ted Roof leaves Penn State for Georgia Tech

Ted Roof leaves Penn State for Georgia Tech

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Well-traveled coaching veteran Ted Roof is on the move again after leaving Penn State following one season as defensive coordinator for the same job at his alma mater, Georgia Tech.

A statement on Georgia Tech's website Wednesday said Roof's hiring could not become official until he completed a background check which would likely occur next week.

``I've known Ted for a long time and I'm excited that he has decided to come back to Georgia Tech,'' Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson said.

Roof, a Georgia native, also served as defensive coordinator for the Yellow Jackets under George O'Leary for three seasons starting in 1999. Roof played linebacker at Georgia Tech in the 1980s under Bill Curry.

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien moved immediately to fill the void by promoting secondary coach John Butler to defensive coordinator. Roof's departure comes as somewhat of a surprise after a successful season coordinating O'Brien's defense in the wake of landmark NCAA sanctions on the program for the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal.

O'Brien and Roof have known each other for a while - O'Brien also coached at Georgia Tech under O'Leary from 1995-2001. O'Leary is now coach at Central Florida.

``I am very appreciative of Ted's contributions to Penn State,'' O'Brien said. ``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.''

Under Roof's watch, Penn State was second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (19.1 points), first in sacks (34) and first in red-zone defense. He was also instrumental in opening up recruiting avenues in the South for Penn State, including backup quarterback Steven Bench.

Now, Roof will be asked to stabilize Georgia Tech's defense after Johnson fired defensive coordinator Al Groh at midyear. At the time of Groh's dismissal, Georgia Tech was 89th in points allowed (30.2 points) and 90th in total defense (431 yards per game).

Secondary coach Charles Kelly served as interim coordinator the remainder of the season.

Roof came to Penn State last year after serving as Central Florida's defensive coordinator for less than a month. He landed that job under O'Leary just weeks after leaving Auburn following the 2011 regular season.

Roof directed the Tigers defense for three seasons, including the 2010 national championship season. Johnson called Roof ``one of the most respected football coaches in the nation.''

Roof's resume also includes one season as defensive coordinator at Minnesota (2008) and six seasons at Duke. He became the Blue Devils' head coach in 2003, going 6-45 before departing in 2007; O'Brien was offensive coordinator at Duke from 2005-6.

It was at Minnesota where Roof had Butler as his linebackers coach and special teams coordinator.

In Happy Valley, Butler coached a secondary thin in depth that gradually improved through the season and fixed mistakes that led to early woes on third downs. He's perhaps best known to Penn State fans for his animated sideline demeanor while encouraging or positioning players.

Butler has also coached at South Carolina. This will be his first season as a coordinator, though Penn State also has veteran assistants on that side of the ball: defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden.

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

Just two days ago, O'Brien spoke to reporters of the desire to keep his coaching staff intact as much as possible to maintain continuity but also did not want to hold back his assistants from other potential opportunities.


Follow Genaro Armas athttp://twitter.com/GArmasAP


AP Sports Writer Paul Newberry in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately


Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

The Caps signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich, a fifth round selection in 2014 and one of the organization’s top prospects, on Friday morning, the team announced.

Gersich, a left shot who is listed at 5-11, 175-pounds, has already joined the team in Montreal, where the Caps play the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

His contract, which begins this season, carries an average annual value of $925,000.

It’s unclear when Gersich will make his NHL debut, but it could happen at some point in the Caps’ final eight games before the playoffs.


NBC Sports Washington has been told that the primary objective for Gersich in the coming weeks is to get his first taste of the NHL by observing—and practicing alongside—his new teammates in Washington. If the opportunity to get him into the lineup presents itself, then it’s possible he’ll suit up.

The 21-year-old just completed his third season at UND. Here are Gersich’s numbers from junior and college, courtesy of www.hockeydb.com.


At UND, the smooth-skating and skilled Gersich also produced this memorable goal vs. Denver:

Gersich has been assigned jersey No. 63 in Washington, according to the Caps’ website.

The addition of Gersich and subsequent subtraction of Travis Boyd, who was reassigned to Hershey on Friday morning, leaves the Caps with 14 forwards on the roster.

“I think he did a great job at rookie camp,” Caps GM Brian MacLellan said of Gersich in July. “He was one of our best players, if not the best player, at camp. Really happy about the way he’s progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick.”