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Thursday, Dec. 08, 2011

Auburn football: Defensive coordinator Ted Roof reportedly leaving Tigers for same job at Central Florida

- jerickson@ledger-enquirer.com
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AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof has agreed to take the same position at Central Florida, according to a report from AuburnUndercover.com Wednesday.

Roof, who was George O’Leary’s defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech from 1999-2001, will take the same position under O’Leary, the head coach at Central Florida.

The Golden Knights finished the season ranked 11th in the country in total defense, but O’Leary fired defensive coordinator John Skladany and linebackers coach Al Seamonson after Central Florida’s final game.

Roof handled the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach duties for Auburn.

It’s not immediately clear who will lead Auburn’s defense in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia.

A Central Florida spokesman said nothing could be confirmed Wednesday afternoon, and the Ledger-Enquirer’s calls to contact Roof were not returned.

A couple of Auburn players mentioned Roof’s departure on Twitter.

“Wish luck to Coach Roof,” redshirt freshman linebacker Jawara White tweeted shortly after the AuburnUndercover.com story was posted.

Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen also tweeted “Gonna miss Coach Roof. He’s a great man!!!” before apparently deleting the tweet later in the day.

Roof was hired as part of Auburn head coach Gene Chizik’s staff before the 2009 season. Of that original staff, Roof is only the second member to leave. Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker left after the 2010 national championship season to take the same job with the Tennessee Titans.

Roof’s defense reached its peak in 2010, when a run defense led by defensive tackle Nick Fairley (a first-round NFL draft pick) linebacker Josh Bynes and linebacker Craig Stevens ranked first in the SEC, giving up only 109.1 yards per game. But the Tigers finished only 60th in the country in total defense, the highest a Roof defense placed in three years at Auburn.

Working with a much younger roster this season, Roof’s defense finished the regular season ranked 78th in the country after giving up 405.8 yards per game, a number that puts Auburn on pace to break a school record for the most yards per game allowed in a season. The record of 389.1 yards per game was set in 1979.

Auburn’s defense is ranked 99th in the nation against the run this year at 194.8 yards per game.

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