Ted Roof leaves Penn State to coach Georgia Tech defense

Penn State defensive coordinator, Ted Roof gives instruction during the college football team's media day practice in State College, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof has resigned after one season to take the same job at Georgia Tech, according to the Twitter account of Nittany Lions football.

A second Tweet on Wednesday said that John Butler, a graduate of La Salle College High School who served this past season as Bill O’Brien’s secondary coach, had been promoted to defensive coordinator.

Roof played linebacker for Georgia Tech from 1982 through 1985, earning All-ACC honors his senior year. He returned to his alma mater in 1998 and served as defensive coordinator from then through 2001 while coaching on the same staff as O’Brien.

“I’ve known Ted for a long time and I’m excited that he has decided to come back to Georgia Tech,” Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson said in a statement. “He’s one of the most respected football coaches in the nation.”

Roof coached the defense on an Auburn team that won the 2010 national championship. He left the Tigers after the 2011 season to join the Penn State staff following the hiring of O’Brien as head coach.

Georgia Tech said Roof must complete a background check, probably taking place next week, before his hiring can become official.

Under Roof’s guidance, the Nittany Lions finished 16th in the nation in points allowed (19.1 per game) and 29th in total defense (353.4 yards per game) last year during their 8-4 season. He was helped by the fact that Penn State had a strong senior presence on defense led by linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges and tackle Jordan Hill.

Roof, who was a head coach for four seasons at Duke, takes over a defense at Georgia Tech that allowed 374 total yards and 28 points per game during its 7-7 season in 2012. But the Yellow Jackets allowed 40 or more points six times.

Butler, 39, who worked with Roof in 2008 on the Minnesota staff before moving to South Carolina and to Penn State last season, coached the secondary and helped with special teams in 2012.

--Joe Juliano