Yesterday, Penn State announced that secondary coach John Butler was being promoted to defensive coordinator. The move was necessary because current defensive coordinator Ted Roof had left the program to take the same job at his alma mater Georgia Tech!
Penn State recruits were shocked to hear that Roof was leaving, but it doesn’t sounds like any commitments are set to be broken… yet. Josh Moyer has some prospect quotes behind a subscription wall at ESPN.com. The guys he talked to sound surprised, but it sounds like they have good relationship with other Penn State coaches as well.
The fact that a Georgia kid is sticking with PSU is a great sign that the impact of Roof’s departure on recruiting will be minimal. However, with Butler having never been a defensive coordinator before, the effect on the actual field is yet to be seen. Here’s Bill O’Brien’s thoughts on Butler, from the Penn State release.
John did an outstanding job with the secondary this past season and brings tremendous experience, energy and a passion for tenacious defense to the field and in the meeting room. John quickly developed a great relationship with all our players on defense and special teams and his ability to teach and relate to the players on and off the field will greatly assist in making this an easy transition.
Butler didn’t have a whole lot to work with this season considering the lack of depth in the defensive backfield, but he made the secondary work well enough. Plus, Butler has a lot of experience beyond the defensive backfield. In 2011, he was the special teams coordinator for South Carolina, and from 2007-2010, he coached linebackers and special teams for Minnesota. The variety in Butler’s experience probably helped him get the promotion over longtime PSU coaches Larry Johnson, who has been coaching the defensive line for 13 years, and Ron Vanderlinden, who just finished his 12th season as linebackers coach.
There were also reports yesterday that Penn State was going to move Virginia off of its 2013 schedule and replace it with FCS program Rhode Island. However, the URI athletic director has since announced that while talks between the two schools existed, no agreement was reached. As of now, Penn State will still be playing Virginia at home on September 14.