Roof's departure is a little surprising, but not shocking. Roof is no stranger to moving boxes and 401k roll-overs, having been, in the last 13 months alone, on 4 different payrolls. But the timing is a little odd (but not too odd, considering PSU's current situation) as LOI signing day is just 3 weeks away. Roof proved to be a competent recruiter, adding some ties to the south, and headed up a decent defensive effort during his one season with the Lions.
I didn't (and still don't, really) want to like Ted Roof - due the public's sentiment against him and some mostly petty reasons (but are they?). In the end, I found that I really didn't care that much about him, one way or the other. I'd get twinges of dislike here and there, but also moments of empathy/tolerance/whatever. The fact that he's left PSU after 1 season, to me, is a mere technicality, I'm not going to read too much into it or wish him ill. We may lose a current recruit or two, but it doesn't seem like it will have too great of an impact on the team.
Back in January, 2012 I wrote a post about O'Brien's staffing picks. Admittedly, my main point was the seemingly endless ties to George O'Leary, but here's what I wrote about Roof:
And finally, Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator - this is the one hire that most people have some concerns about - his resume is impressive - National Championship at Auburn, working for Alabama and Minnesota; but it's the actual performance of his squads that have most fans worried. He was at Minnesota for 1 season 2008 (was there with Butler) - Which is indicative of his career, having worked for 11, now 12 teams in the last 25 years. AND from 1998 - 2001 he worked at Georgia Tech. And he was slated to move with O'Leary to Notre Dame (he went to Duke instead - wait, who else went to Duke?). Roof worked for Auburn 2009 - 2011 but at the end of the season (okay 1 month ago) he was relieved of his duties - on his way to being Penn State's DC he made one quick stop - he was hired as UCF's DC - for one month.Similar to my fellow fans, I had serious concerns about Roof's actual coaching record, but also about what sort of atmosphere this new coaching staff would create. In the end though, I believe that the coaches were more affected by the atmosphere created by the players (and fans) this past season.
So, like I said, I'm really not glad or sad that Roof has left.
But I am seriously surprised that his replacement (and so quickly) is John Butler. I don't think it's totally clear as to when Roof "left" but Butler's promotion seems to have been a decision made quickly and without much hesitation.
Here's my January, 2012 (same post) opinion of John Butler,,,
Let's move on to John Butler - oh John Butler - if this works out, you are destined to be my favorite - consider yourself warned. Butler (gotta love the name) will coach Dbacks (fav players too). I would/should put Butler at the end - but I'm going to try and be optimistic (this will make more sense later). Butler got his coaching start in 2001, at SouthWestern State, and has spent time at Harvard and Minnesota. And, (all together now) since 2011, he has worked at South Carolina (eep! Steve Spurrier) as Special Teams Coordinator - BUT DON'T WORRY - he coached d-backs at South Western State. Still cute.Coaching the secondary is completely different from coaching the front 7 - the players, game plans, and even film are just different. Per his resume, Butler has had some success coaching a variety of positions on the defense - and this will, hopefully, help him with relating to players and devising his defensive schemes. He has, in his short time at Penn State, shown a real passion and commitment to the team, recruiting and his job. The secondary was a real concern when he was hired - and although they weren't perfect by any definition, they were dependable and nowhere near the liability we had feared.
Only time will tell. Butler seems to be a bit of an O'bie fan boy and, obviously, untested in the Coordinator (defensively anyway) role - but his success will be our success so naturally, we wish him (quite) well.
Also, this probably means that photo ops will increase 10 fold, which is only a good thing.
UPDATE: Per "sources" Roof & O'Brien had their talk yesterday, and the decision to promote Butler was made very quickly.