Ted Roof, a championship-winning defensive coordinator and former Power Five head coach, joined Vandy after helping guide Appalachian State to a superb 13-1 campaign in 2019 and a ranking in The Associated Press national poll.
With the 2020 season marking his 33rd year in college football, Roof has mentored nearly 90 student-athletes into the professional football ranks with more 20 of his former pupils currently appearing on NFL rosters.
Roof has been part of teams that combined for 13 bowl appearances, including a Bowl Championship Series national title run as Auburn’s defensive coordinator following the 2010 season. Roof’s experience as a defensive coordinator includes tenures at Appalachian State, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Minnesota, UCF and Duke where he also served four years as head coach.
In 2019, Roof’s defense helped pave the way for Appalachian State’s sixth conference championship and fifth bowl victory in the past decade. The defense also played key roles in Appalachian State road victories against South Carolina and North Carolina.
The Mountaineers in 2019 ranked among the nation’s best in scoring defense (21; 20 points/game) and total defense (25; 336.1 yards/game). The unit also ranked ninth nationally in third-down defense (30.7 percent), 16th in interceptions (14) and 19th in quarterback sacks (36).
Roof served as co-defensive coordinator at NC State in 2018 under head coach Dave Doeren, helping the Wolfpack to a 9-4 record and Gator Bowl appearance. He also held the title of associate head coach.
The Wolfpack ranked 29th nationally in rushing defense (131.5 yards/game), 45th in scoring defense (24.9 points/game), 17th in third-down defense (33.3 percent), 19th in red-zone defense (76.7 percent) and 25th in quarterback sacks (35).
From 2013-17, Roof served as defensive coordinator under head coach Paul Johnson at his alma mater, Georgia Tech. During the stint in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets captured the 2014 Orange Bowl after winning the ACC Coastal Division title. Georgia Tech showed significant defensive improvement under Roof, ranking among the top-30 nationally in scoring defense and total defense in 2013. Two seasons later, Georgia Tech ranked sixth nationally in fewest first downs allowed and fielded the nation’s most-improved third-down defense.
Roof coached four NFL Draft selections and nine All-ACC performers during his five-year stretch as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator.
Roof was a four-year letter winner and three-year starter at linebacker under head coach Bill Curry at Georgia Tech from 1982-85. He was named a freshman All-American in 1982 and a first-team All-ACC honoree as a senior in 1985 and remains among the school’s all-time top-10 with 417 tackles.
Following his graduation from Georgia Tech in 1986 and after a brief stint as a player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Roof began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Curry at Alabama from 1987-88. He went on to serve as an assistant coach at West Georgia (linebackers, 1989), Duke (linebackers, 1990-93), UMass (defensive line and recruiting coordinator, 1994; defensive coordinator, 1995-96) and Western Carolina (defensive coordinator, 1997) before returning to Georgia Tech in 1998.
After one season back at Georgia Tech as linebackers coach, Roof was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1999 and held that position for three years. During that time, Georgia Tech shared an ACC title in 1998 and played in four consecutive bowl games.
In 2002, Roof was named defensive coordinator at Duke. After the Blue Devils ranked 113th nationally in rushing defense in 2001, Roof’s unit led the ACC in the category in his first season with the program. Midway through his second season at Duke, Roof was named interim head coach then was promoted to the role on a permanent basis serving for four seasons (2004-07).
After his time at Duke, Roof served as defensive coordinator at Minnesota (2008), Auburn (2009-11) and Penn State (2012) before his return to Georgia Tech. During his five years with Minnesota, Auburn and Penn State he helped guide each team to at least seven wins highlighted by Auburn’s 14-0 campaign and BCS national championship in 2010.
A native of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Roof graduated from Central Gwinnett High School. He and his wife Pam Ash-Roof have twin sons, T.D. (a linebacker at Appalachian State) and Michael (a quarterback at Charlotte).
The Roof File
2020 – Vanderbilt – Defensive Coordinator
2019 – Appalachian State – Defensive Coordinator
2018 – NC State – Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
2013-17 – Georgia Tech – Defensive Coordinator
2012 – Penn State – Defensive Coordinator
2011 – UCF – Defensive Coordinator
2009-11 – Auburn – Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2008 – Minnesota – Defensive Coordinator
2004-07 – Duke – Head Coach
2003 – Duke – Interim Head Coach
2002-03 – Duke – Defensive Coordinator
1999-01 – Georgia Tech – Defensive Coordinator
1998 – Georgia Tech – Linebackers
1997 – Western Carolina – Defensive Coordinator
1995-96 – Massachusetts – Defensive Coordinator
1994 – Massachusetts – Linebackers
1990-93 – Duke – Linebackers
1989 – West Georgia – Linebackers
1987-88 – Alabama – Graduate Assistant