Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof watches linebacker T.D. Roof (his son) go through footwork drills at practice.
Photo: Danny Karnik/AJC
Photo: Danny Karnik/AJC

How Ted Roof is handling coaching son T.D.

T.D. Roof may be Ted Roof’s son, but at Georgia Tech’s preseason practices, the elder is trying to put that relationship to the side.

“He’s always my son, but when he’s out on the field, he’s a ‘bronco’ linebacker that’s No. 45,” Tech’s defensive coordinator said.

Meeting with media Tuesday, Roof made clear that he is treating his son as he does his teammates. T.D. is playing linebacker, which is the position group that Roof leads in addition to his coordinator duties. His response to a question about the depth chart at weakside linebacker demonstrated his approach.

“We’ve got several guys,” he said. “We’ve got Vic (Alexander) and Terrell (Lewis) and Jakob Brashear, Chris Dandaneau, T.D. Roof, Jaquan Henderson. We’ve got some guys there.”

There was no pause or inflection as he ticked off his son’s name.

“He’s like all the freshmen,” Ted Roof said. “His head’s spinning, but he’s worked hard like the rest of them, and he’s got a long way to go like the rest of them.”

T.D., whose twin brother Mic is a freshman quarterback at Charlotte, said in June that playing for his father was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” that he couldn’t turn down. His father acknowledged the same, asking “How many fathers get to see their sons when they go away to college every day? Not many.”

It’s Ted’s first time coaching either of his sons since they were 5 and he was head coach at Duke. It was a coach-pitch baseball league.

“And the biggest thing was where we were going after the game to get the snack,” he said.

For now, Ted Roof is keeping any warm fuzzies private. Coaching his son, he said, is not different than coaching anyone else.

For Ted Roof and family, a Father’s Day like no other

“Right now, it’s like every other linebacker,” he said. “When he does good, I tell him he does good. When he makes a mistake, we correct him. There really hasn’t been any issues so far, and I don’t anticipate there being (any). He knows he’s accountable for his action and his performance. All he wants is what he earns. As a dad and as a coach, that’s what he deserves, whatever he earns. Like I said, he’s got a long way to go, but I’m proud of him, just like I’m proud of all of them.”

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