Auburn Defensive Coordinator Search: Ted Roof is an Option


When it comes to coaching searches of all shapes and sizes, Scott Roussel and the team at FootballScoop are the best in the business. So when Scott gives an opinion on who head coach Gus Malzahn may or may not hire to be the next defensive coordinator at Auburn, it’s wise to listen.

Yesterday on his site, Scott posted a video that discussed two names that have been discussed a lot over the last two days: Will Muschamp and Bo Pelini. Roussel, like many of us, does not see Pelini as a good fit with the Tigers. And truthfully, he probably has better opportunities out there. Muschamp, though, might fit rather nicely.

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“All the buzz is Will Muschamp,” Roussel says, and he’s certainly right. We’ve had a few articles at Fly War Eagle discussing Muschamp as an option, about reported mutual interest between he and the Tigers, and other reports that say he is in fact the top target for the position.

As I’ve said before, Muschamp would be a fantastic hire, both on and off the field.

Like Roussel says in the video, Muschamp is one of the best coaches in the game and he’s a solid recruiter. Roussel also mentions that part of the issue for the Tigers on defense in recent years is that Auburn has not recruited – or rather, has not landed – the right players up front. Muschamp would be a major upgrade in terms of landing the most talented players, and “coaching them up” to run through brick walls for him.

However, as great as hiring Muschamp might be, he’s also got a ton of options and it’s far from a slam dunk that he will make a return trip to lead the Tigers on defense.

Later in the video, when discussing how Pelini is a very unlikely option, Rousell makes an interesting observation.

“Gus has a smaller circle than you think,” Roussel said. “Gus likes guys where he knows what he’s getting, he like familiarity. He wants to hire somebody he knows, he knows what system they’re going to run, he knows inside and out how they operate. That’s why he works so well with Rhett Lashlee on the offensive side.”

That brings up an option Malzahn is very familiar with, and one he’s worked with before. Another former Auburn defensive coordinator, Ted Roof.

Roof was the leader of the Tigers defense from 2009-11, while Malzahn directed the offense, which of course includes the 2010 National Championship season. In 2012, he coached at Penn State, and has been at Georgia Tech – his alma mater – since 2013. It’s actually Roof’s second stint at Tech. He spent four seasons on staff and three as DC from 1998-2001 before going to Duke.

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  • The 50-year old runs a multiple 4-3 defense that has been very successful in both the long and short term. This season, the Yellow Jackets have allowed 24.1 points per game, 167.9 rushing yards and 220.8 passing yards, for an average of 388.8 total yards en route to a 10-2 regular season record and a spot in the ACC Championship Game.

    Those are decent numbers, and the squad has been better towards the end of the season – last week against a top ten ranked Georgia squad, specifically. Georgia Tech defenders have combined for 17 interceptions, 18 sacks, 56 tackles for a loss, have forced 15 fumbles and have recovered 10.

    But, the style of offense the Jackets play means Roof’s unit has only had to defend opponents for 25 minutes per game, on average. That’s a very different situation than at Auburn, which had a 30-30 split on time of possession this year, and could easily swing higher if the offense is operating at premium tempo and scores quickly.

    Roof’s had a great career, and has done well at Auburn and since he left. He might not be the first choice for the job, but if the Tigers can’t land Muschamp, expect him to be in the mix.

    Next: Phillip Marshall Reports Muschamp is Top DC Target

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