Paul Johnson to Georgia Tech is a ‘done deal’

Of course, nothing is a done deal in today’s crazy coaches market. But, the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting:

Navy coach Paul Johnson has an agreement in principle to become the next head football coach at Georgia Tech, two people close to the hiring process told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday morning. But as has been the case during this crazy season of the coaching carousel, it is not a done deal until Johnson’s name is on the dotted line.


* As we discsused in previous entries, we think Johnson is an excellent hire and is going to do a fantastic job at Georgia Tech. So, if PJ was inevitably going to be coaching at a school not named NC State in the ACC then we are glad that it is in the Coastal division instead of our Atlantic.

* Now that Johnson is off the market (presuming he signs the GT deal), it would be particularly nice if Michigan would come calling for Jim Grobe.

* There may be residual fallout from Johnson’s move to Georgia Tech that would be positive for NC State. It seems that Boston College offensive coordinator, Steve Logan, may be a potential candidate to replace Johnson as the Head Coach of Navy.

* Don’t overlook our Friday Bytes.

* Since we are talking about Georgia Tech football, you may enjoy this entry.

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29 Responses to Paul Johnson to Georgia Tech is a ‘done deal’

  1. WolftownVA81 12/07/2007 at 1:44 PM #

    I’m thrilled that we landed TOB last year. However, I’m just curious as to what would make GT more attractive than NCSU to Paul Johnson? Was it a timing issue, $ or somthing else? Appreciate any input.

  2. MadWolf92 12/07/2007 at 1:48 PM #

    I don’t think that you can read into this that GT is more attractive to PJ than State. We hired someone higher up our board than PJ.

  3. RedTerror29 12/07/2007 at 1:53 PM #

    I think there’s no doubt PJ would have came here had we offered last year. I even think he would have chosen us over UNC.

    I look forward to a future PJ vs. TOB “I told you so” showdown in the ACC championship (not that I would say that, it would just be fun) in the near future.

  4. VaWolf82 12/07/2007 at 2:12 PM #

    Personally, I think that PJ will do an excellent job at GT and would have done an excellent job at State. However, if I had been in Fowler’s shoes when deciding which coach to pursue….I would have pursued TOB as well.

    Most coaching searches involve one of two things….large bags of money (See Davis, Butch or Spurrier, Steve) or some degree of risk. Hiring TOB minimized the extremes from either end of the equation.

  5. bTHEredterror 12/07/2007 at 2:12 PM #

    If he retains Tenuta, they will be a serious contender in just a couple of years. PJ is a solid game coach and should be able to provide the type of offense that will support Tenuts’s style and actually allow him to take more chances.

    They are fairly well stocked at RB with Dwyer and Evans, decent on the line though they will have to rebuild the middle this year, and have been run-oriented, their problems are usually at QB. PJ will blossom with even the comparatively limited recruiting postion of GT, he did a great job plucking jewels from the rough at GSU.

    I agree with SFN this is the best hire for GT, and we are fortunate they aren’t in our division. Yet another roadblock for UNC. And those Ga-Ga tech games are gonna be dandies for the next few years.

  6. McPete 12/07/2007 at 2:16 PM #

    It’s interesting that Logan’s name has come up for both the Duke job and now apparently the Navy job. i listened to his radio show religiously last year when he was here and he made it perfectly clear that he didn’t think non-BCS jobs could compete anymore with BCS schools and that the BCS was to blame, and that he thought Duke was a wasteland. i remember many back handed comments Logan made about Duke, so i can’t think he’d be that interested unless he’s just a hypocrite looking for a payday (which he didn’t seem to be). and he also made it clear that he despises the recruiting process, so you’d think that would scare alot of ADs off.

    i thought he made it pretty clear that after the ECU gig, he wouldn’t want a rebuilding job or a non-bcs job. like any coach he wants to win big, and get paid handsomely.

  7. McPete 12/07/2007 at 2:18 PM #

    and just as soon as PJ gets that forward pass concept down, he’ll realize that GT has no quarterback!

  8. CarnifeX 12/07/2007 at 2:24 PM #

    I wonder if he’ll try to employ the ‘triple-spread’ offense there or if he’ll resort to something more traditional?

  9. Par Shooter 12/07/2007 at 2:35 PM #

    This development should make Fowler a bit uneasy. PJ is a very, very good coach and could have a lot of success at GT. If PJ’s teams are consistently out-performing TOB’s teams here then the fact that Fowler chose TOB over PJ will be a thorn in his side. I don’t think there is any doubt that we had Johnson if we wanted him and a lot of supporters wanted him.

    You can’t really fault Fowler for going with TOB and I hope that the next several years validate that as the correct choice. I think there is a good chance that will happen. TOB’s track record and approach made him a nice, safe choice. However, if Johnson wins big at GT and we kinda muddle along then Fowler should get a lot of heat. It will certainly be interesting to have PJ in the ACC since he’s been linked with jobs at a few schools over the years.

  10. gopack968 12/07/2007 at 2:35 PM #

    Schiano turned down Michigan.

    TOB listed in the MSNBC article as still a possible.

    Is Bill Martin this year’s LF?

  11. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 12/07/2007 at 2:39 PM #

    Lest us not forget that Chan is leaving GT in far better shape than Amato left NC State.

  12. haze 12/07/2007 at 2:45 PM #

    If true, I’m pretty excited to see PJ in major D1 ball.

    I have little doubt that, long term, he’ll be successful at the 7-8 win level but it’ll be interesting to see if he can go to the 9-11 win level. Also, will he do it with a flexbone ground game or a flexbone pass focus or some other thing.

    The awesome part about having PJ as your coach is that you don’t have to worry about losing your offensive coordinator. He is your offense and he can run either pass or run focused stuff. Dangerous guy.

  13. Pack92 12/07/2007 at 2:54 PM #

    I’ve been waiting on this one myself. I think this is a good gig for PJ to get introduced to a higher level of D1 play. He has certainly shown he can coach at the other levels (Navy being D1 but not ACC D1). IF he keeps Tenuta, the team they could develop could compete for a NC. Bobby Ross did it so it can be done. Talk about the GT-GA rivalry heating up! PJ will get the same type (some of them) smart players he had at the Naval Academy who can execute his style of football. DIdn’t the QB from 4 yrs ago- Godsey- have a 3.8 in ME or something like that?

  14. RickJ 12/07/2007 at 2:55 PM #

    There are reports that Johnson will be making over 2 million a year for his contract. Will Johnson be making almost twice as much as Grobe & O’Brien from the get go? If so, Ga. Tech’s AD better hope Johnson doesn’t string together 3 or 4 straight seven win seasons.

  15. Great Dane Guy 12/07/2007 at 3:03 PM #

    The big knock on PJ last year was that he couldn’t recruit the type of player needed to his system in the BCS conferences. That other coaches would negatively recruit against him. I guess GT didn’t worry about it. I am happy with TOB.

  16. BJD95 12/07/2007 at 3:07 PM #

    I’d take O’Brien over Johnson every day of the week (and twice on Sunday). SFN documented why we believed TOB > PJ in an entry last offseason.

  17. bTHEredterror 12/07/2007 at 3:14 PM #

    /\Twice on Saturday!

  18. RAWFS 12/07/2007 at 3:15 PM #

    ^ That they did, and I think that we got the right coach — a guy who develops and maximizes talent, someone who can recruit, someone who can coach a game and someone who is an asset to the university publicly.

    Folks, TOB will rebuild our program and with the exception of why we didn’t put Burke in during the 3rd quarter of the UMD game, I’ve not questioned his tactics.

  19. Par Shooter 12/07/2007 at 3:30 PM #

    I think (hope) you guys are right that TOB > PJ. However, my main point was that if that turns out to be reversed then Fowler will have some splainin’ ta do. Of course, poor performance has never been held against Fowler in the past so it will mostly just be folks on sites like this pointing out his foibles.

  20. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 12/07/2007 at 3:37 PM #

    I have many problems with Fowler and most high ranking ‘public officials’ that stay in one job longer than 8 years, if the limit is good enough for the President good enough for the rest of them. However, I don’t think you can blame Fowler if Johnson turns out to be more effective at Tech than O’Brien at State. I don’t think you can expect anyone to have a crystal ball and O’Brien was a very good hire but we can hope Fowler is gone by the time we can compare the O’Brien and Johnson tenures.

  21. packpigskinfan23 12/07/2007 at 3:37 PM #

    I dont normally stick up for Fowler, but seeing past records- TOB was the best choice. He was a PROVEN ACC coach. Johnson is a great coach as well, but we dont know what he would have been able to do here. We KNEW what we were getting with TOB.

    SFN: What did Lee Fowler have to do with this? Chuck Neinas led our ‘search’ and the powers that be were thrilled that TOB had reached out to us. There wasn’t much a ‘choice’ to be made.

    Hell, Wendell Murphy said the following about Lee Fowler’s ‘involvement’

    “(The NCSU football search) was done professionally, and it was done quietly. The consultant did the work, Lee (Fowler) kept it quiet, and no one was tracking my airplane on the internet. … “

  22. buttPACKer 12/07/2007 at 4:57 PM #

    I still feel a little nervous with TOB on Michigan’s list. . . I know it would be unlikely, but I still can’t help but worry a little.

  23. Wolf-n-Atl 12/07/2007 at 5:19 PM #

    I don’t think we need to watch how PJ does at GT to determine if we made a good hire. If we win 7-9 games a year, beat UNC more than they beat us and compete for division/conference – then I would feel we made the correct choice.

    If PJ wins 8-9 wins a year at Tech, beat UGA more than once a decade, compete for the ACC championship – then the Jackets fans will be happy.

    We can both win in this game.

  24. haze 12/07/2007 at 6:13 PM #

    I think you can be impressed with PJ and still think that TOB was the right hire for NC State.

    Both are very good but, in a direct comparison last year, PJ came off as the higher risk candidate with similar upside. Both guys were good everywhere they’d been (as assistants & HC’s). PJ had gaudier records (and championships at GaS) at smaller schools while TOB had amassed very good records in BCS conferences. PJ was his own coordinator (a plus in my mind). TOB’s rep was a strong, program-oriented HC with very good and loyal assistants. As negatives, TOB isn’t flashy and PJ runs quirky offenses. Are those negatives? Not to me.

    Anyway, the data was there to support whichever guy you’d have liked to choose but I think TOB’s BCS conference success was the clincher. I’d have made the same call.

  25. SuperStuff 12/07/2007 at 11:02 PM #

    Kids in Georgia know all about PJ winning national titles at Georgia Southern. That is a plus for Georgia Tech. All they have to do for an example similar to this is Trestle winning national titles at Youngstown State and translating that into a job at Ohio State with success as well.

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