The UCF has a new defensive coordinator but it is not a new name to head coach George O’Leary who handpicked now former Auburn Tigers defensive coordinator Ted Roof to replace John Skladany. Roof becomes the fourth person to fill the position during O’Leary’s tenure joining Lance Thompson (04-06), Skladany (2007, 2011), and Dave Huxtable (09-10).
Roof served as O’Leary’s defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2001 at Georgia Tech before moving on to Duke to take the same role and eventually taking over the head coaching responsibility for the Blue Devils. After his dismissal from Duke, Roof resumed defensive coaching responsibilities at Louisville, Minnesota, and most recently Auburn.
His defenses at Georgia Tech, Duke, and Minnesota were highly regarded for their noted improvements under his tutelage while his work at Auburn the past few seasons has come under mixed reviews with the defense ranking low in total defensive rankings as it would spend upwards of seven more minutes on the field than the fast-break offense Auburn put on the field. The numbers worked very well when the school had Cam Newton running the offense and a force like Nick Fairley on the defensive line but when those two factors were removed, the results dropped.
Roof’s schemes are more aggressive than what Skladany employed last season and are more along the lines of what Huxtable had in place when UCF went to back to back bowl games in 2009 and 2010. Roof also has a reputation as an excellent recruiter which was another need on the Knights’ coaching staff with the departure of lead recruiter David Kelly.