UPDATE >> The university has announced Johnson will coach their bowl game and then step away. The official verbiage used in the school’s release is that PJ “has elected to step down.”
From the official release from the school:
“After 40 years of coaching, it’s time to take a break,” Johnson said. “My family has sacrificed a lot over the years. I want to watch my daughter [Kaitlyn, a professional opera singer] perform and do some things with my wife [Susan] that we’ve never had a chance to do. It’s been a great run for the last 11 years here on The Flats. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and am looking forward to having the chance to coach this team one last time at our bowl game next month.”
“After 40 years of coaching, it’s time to take a break.”
— Georgia Tech Football (@GeorgiaTechFB) November 28, 2018
The release adds that Johnson will hold a press conference tomorrow at 9am.
Jeff Schultz is reporting the Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson is retiring.
Paul Johnson is indeed retiring, a source tells me. @TheAthleticATL
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) November 28, 2018
A staunch believer in the option game, Johnson has been the head coach at GT since 2008, compiling a 82-59 record, including a 7-5 mark this year.
Prior to taking over in Atlanta, Johnson was the head coach at Navy, where he went 45-29 from 2002-2007. PJ got his first head coaching opportunity at Georgia Southern from 1997-2001, where he led the program to two I-AA (now FCS) national titles in 1999 and 2000, going 62-10 overall before leaving for Annapolis.
In seven of his 11 seasons leading the program, GT finished first or second in the Coastal division.
His overall record as a head coach is 189-98, including a 5-7 mark in bowls, and an impressive 14-3 record in the I-AA playoffs.
Prior to getting his shot as a head coach, Johnson was the offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern, Hawaii, and Navy and also spent a few seasons coaching the defensive line at Georgia Southern before taking over the offense.
Because of their history, placement in the ACC Coastal (opposite of Clemson), and location in talent-rich Atlanta, this is going to be an opening that should draw a good deal of interest from some good coaches and elite recruiters. How the new head coach transitions a roster built for the option should be really intriguing to watch.
Georgia Tech becomes the 13th head coaching job to come open this off season. Bowling Green (Scot Loeffler), Kansas (Les Miles), North Carolina (Mack Brown), and Western Kentucky (Tyson Helton) have all been filled. Keep track of the latest NFL and college head coaching movement here.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.