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Roof returning home to Tech again as defensive coordintator

For the second time in his football coaching career, Ted Roof is coming back home.

Georgia Tech announced Wednesday in a press release it has brought the 1982 Central Gwinnett grad and former Yellow Jackets linebacker and assistant coach for a second stint as the team's defensive coordinator.

The release stated Roof's hiring won't become official until a background check is completed, which likely will not occur until next week.

The 49-year-old Lawrenceville native was a four-year letter winner and an All-ACC linebacker as a player for Tech from 1982-85 before beginning his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Alabama in 1987.

He first came back to Tech as linebackers coach under then head coach George O'Leary in 1998 before being promoted the following year to defensive coordinator.

Roof then left in 2002 to become the defensive coordinator at Duke before being promoted to head coach the following year, with the Blue Devils going 6-45 in four-plus seasons.

Since then, he has had several stops as a defensive coordinator, including at Auburn during its national championship season in 2010, and most recently at Penn State.

In Roof's only season as coordinator, the Nittany Lions ranked second in the Big Ten (16th nationally) in scoring defense, first (15th nationally) in sacks, first (tied for first nationally) in red-zone defense and third in turnover margin during an 8-4 campaign this past fall.

"I've known Ted for a long time and I'm excited that he has decided to come back to Georgia Tech," Jackets head coach Paul Johnson said in a statement released by the Institute on Wednesday.

"He's one of the most respected football coaches in the nation."

Roof inherits a Tech defense that has struggled in recent years, including giving up an average of 28.3 points and 374 yards per game in this past season's 7-7 campaign, resulting in the firing of his predecessor Al Groh.

However, the Jackets did show some signs of improvement under interim coordinator Charles Kelley, including shutting out Florida State in the second half of a loss to the Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game and holding Southern California to just seven points in the Sun Bowl. Tech returns eight starters next season.

Kelley is expected to become linebackers coach at Florida State, according to recent media reports.