For his role in Georgia Tech’s Orange Bowl championship season, defensive coordinator Ted Roof has been rewarded quite well.
Roof was given a new three-year contract Feb. 11 that will pay him $750,000 annually. A copy of the contract was obtained through an open records request. Roof’s original deal with the school upon his hire in Jan. 2013 was a three-year contract worth $600,000 each year, including a $50,000 annual retention bonus, with the possibility of subsequent raises.
He made $622,000 in the 2014 season, according to a USA Today coaches salary database. In the 2014 season, Roof oversaw in-season improvement by a Tech defense that had lost six seniors from the 2013 team who all made NFL camps, particularly in the area of takeaways. The Jackets had 10 in the first seven games, but 19 in the final seven.
In 2014, according to the USA Today database, there were three ACC defensive coordinators who had a higher salary than Roof’s new contract will pay – Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster ($1,356,000), Louisville’s Todd Grantham ($975,000) and Clemson’s Brent Venables ($875,000). Coach Paul Johnson said he was glad to keep the staff intact – defensive line coach Mike Pelton interviewed with Oklahoma in February, but will stay – but wants more from the defense. Tech finished 114th in the country in third-down defense and 111th in yards per play, while tied for 29th in takeaways.
“We’ve got to play better,” he said. “We want to be better over there.”
Johnson said he was also hopeful for the rest of the staff that “everyone will get a little bump.”
Pro day: Tech will hold its pro day March 13. Guard Shaquille Mason, wide receiver Darren Waller and linebacker Quayshawn Nealy are among the former Yellow Jackets expected to perform for NFL scouts, coaches and executives.
Who won’t be there is interesting. Several seniors off the 2014 team made the somewhat unusual choice to forego an attempt at the NFL in order to start their careers. A-backs Charles Perkins, Deon Hill and Tony Zenon and nose tackle Shawn Green, all of whom started games and made important contributions to Tech’s 11-3 season, are among those who are now working.
“I think some of those guys were very realistic,” Johnson said. “They understand that you can be a really good college football player and you’re not going to the NFL, just like you can be a really good high school football player and you’re not going to play in a power-five conference. Why wait? Those guys had their degrees and they had internships and job offers and they were smart enough to grab one of them.”
Minor violation: Special-teams coordinator Ray Rychleski was reprimanded for a Level III recruiting violation committed in November. Rychleski sent a handwritten note that included the intent to offer a scholarship to a junior, a violation of NCAA rules. It was deemed an official offer, which can’t be made until Aug. 1 of a prospect’s senior year. Johnson called it “just a brain (cramp), really.” A Level III violation is considered a “breach of conduct” that is isolated or limited in nature and provides no more than a minimal advantage.
After the violation was filed in December, the school prohibited Rychleski from initiating phone calls or writing prospects for one month and did not allow him to recruit off campus through signing day. Further, Tech chose to end its recruitment of that prospect. The NCAA accepted the school’s self-imposed penalties.
Said Johnson, “I doubt there’s very few schools that don’t have some of that.”
Spring practice coming: Tech will begin spring practice March 23. It will run four weeks, concluding with the spring game April 17. Offensive tackle Chris Griffin, center Andrew Marshall and defensive lineman Tyler Stargel will be held out, having had unspecified surgeries after the season, Johnson said.
A-back Broderick Snoddy, who suffered a break of the tibia and fibula in his left leg in the Clemson game Nov. 15, is rehabilitating the injury.
“I don’t know how much we’ll get out of him (in spring practice), but he’s doing well,” Johnson said.
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