Mike Pelton not retained at Georgia Tech

Mike Pelton watches from the sideline as Georgia Tech plays Mercer. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM



Mike Pelton watches from the sideline as Georgia Tech plays Mercer. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech defensive line coach Mike Pelton will not be retained for the 2018 season.

All of the positions on the Tech defensive staff were under review with the hire of new defensive coordinator Nate Woody, who has come to lead the Yellow Jackets defense from Appalachian State. It is not clear if Woody will make more changes with his defensive staff.

“GT has been a great experience and I am thankful for my time spent with Coach (Paul) Johnson and his staff,” Pelton said in a text message. “Wish GT best.”

Pelton further said he was understanding of the change, saying that Woody wanted a line coach with experience with the 3-4, the alignment (three down linemen, four linebackers) that he uses. Pelton’s background is with the 4-3.

Pelton just finished his fifth season as Tech’s defensive line coach. He was hired when Ted Roof became defensive coordinator in 2013; the two worked together at Auburn in 2011. Roof left Tech in December to become co-defensive coordinator at N.C. State.

Perhaps Pelton’s greatest successes as a position coach were the development of defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu into an All-American in 2013 and defensive tackle Adam Gotsis into an All-ACC selection in 2015. Both were second-round draft picks following their senior seasons. They were two of six Tech linemen tutored by Pelton who have signed NFL contracts. Two more, KeShun Freeman and Antonio Simmons, could have a chance later this year.

However, Tech’s linemen were limited in their productivity in rushing the passer. After the Jackets ranked 25th nationally in 2013 in sacks per game, they did not rank higher than 108th in the four following seasons.

Tech now has two openings to fill – Pelton’s vacated spot and the newly formed 10th assistant coaching position.

The job change was first reported earlier Thursday by Rivals.