It came as little surprise when news came that Auburn Assistant Coach Ted Roof was leaving the Plains to take a similar position at Central Florida.
When a defensive coordinator for a major college program has been in charge of a defense that has given up four blow out losses including a big one at home to their No.1 rival, the usual result is that coach will be moving on shortly after the season. That is especially true when that college program is Auburn University, a place that has always been a bulwark of defensive football.
It doesn't matter that he had to work with units that were hampered by injuries and youthful inexperience. With Coordinator's, success is measured in results. No other position on a coaching staff gets more credit or more blame than the offensive and defensive coordinators. Even the most tenacious Roof supporter had to know after the Iron Bowl that Coach Roof would be working at a different place next season. Such is the life of a college coach.
I believe Ted Roof is a good coach and a good man. Before his Auburn tenure Roof was a success everywhere he had been. And I believe he will be successful at his next stop
People in the business all like Roof. I know high school coaches that know the man and attest to the quality individual that is Ted Roof. I have been told that you can't find a nicer guy in the coaching profession. I had the pleasure of meeting him once and found him to be every bit the great guy that I had heard about.
I was particularly impressed with an article written by Phillip Marshall yesterday about Roof as a good coach and a good person. He said that Roof always handled himself with class.
"He never once complained ...As the screams of those who didn't know or didn't want to know what he was up against grew louder, he never once tried to shift blame.
The young men who played for him know he had their backs, know he cared, and they love him for it. His departure won't be easy for them to swallow.
I'll never forget the locker room after Auburn beat Oregon in the BCS Championship Game. New York Times sports writer Pete Thamel asked a smiling Roof if he expected to be able to keep the national championship. Roof, at first, didn't understand the question. Then, as it dawned on him what Thamel had said, the expression on his face changed. The glare that came next was priceless.
As Thamel went away to try to ambush someone else, Roof looked at me and said "Who is that guy?" I told him, and he shrugged his shoulders. "Never heard of him," he said. I was disappointed Thamel wasn't around to hear that."
For me folks, that's class. You can read the entire Marshall piece at Auburn Undercover.com
Now that Ted is gone though, Auburn has three weeks to get ready to play Virginia in the Peach Bowl. Will they face the Cavaliers with a new Defensive Coordinator? If so, who might be the next Auburn DC?
As usual in these circumstances, a lot of names are being thrown around. Some that might be on Coach Chizik's list and some that have never crossed his mind. Only Gene knows. I hope for recruitment reasons that he hires someone soon. But he may have to wait till some of the best prospects are through with their bowl games.
In the mean time I'm thankful for the three years of hard work, long hours, and class that Roof gave to Auburn University. Good bye Ted and best wishes.