Georgia football: Paul Johnson retires from Georgia Tech

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 28: Head Coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets walks away after congratulating Head Coach Mark Richt the Georgia Bulldogs (second from left) after the game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 28: Head Coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets walks away after congratulating Head Coach Mark Richt the Georgia Bulldogs (second from left) after the game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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After losing his eighth game to Georgia football, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson retired Wednesday. His career accomplishments includes two D1-AA National Championships at Georgia Southern.

Well, the Paul Johnson era is over at Georgia Tech. Johnson retired Wednesday, ending his tenure in Atlanta after 11 seasons. He led the Yellow jackets to an 82-59 record, one ACC Championship and 4 ACC Coastal Division Championships. Of course those successful years were sprinkled in with losing seasons in 2010, 2015 and 2017. His overall record is an impressive 189-98, with most of his success coming in his five years spent at Georgia Southern, where he won two National Championships and competed for one more.

But the successful seasons aren’t his primary legacy. Nor are the unsuccessful seasons scattered through his career at Georgia Tech. No, his legacy is being the culmination of Georgia Tech’s full blown case of an inferiority complex. He’s the last step of a program the fell from National Championship contender to “needs to run the triple option to negate talent.”

A college football outsider should assume Georgia Tech would still be a powerhouse. They’re a power-five school in the middle of Atlanta, a city with 38 Top-500 players located within an hour of the cities center. Of course, Georgia Tech should be great. But they aren’t. None of those 38 players are even considering Georgia Tech.

The best player in the entire state who is committed to the Yellow Jackets is Jordan Huff, from Morgan County High School, an hour away from Atlanta. He’s ranked no. 695 nationally. Their best commit from the Atlanta area is Zach Owens of Pope High School in Marietta. He’s ranked no. 858.

Let me be clear, I do not think the triple option is what’s wrong with Georgia Tech football. It’s the lack of a plan-B. Johnson is a triple-option coach, he doesn’t understand the passing game or traditional offenses enough to coach them. With a more open minded approach, and an offensive coördinator who has spent time coaching contemporary offenses to success, Georgia Tech may have won more games and championships, even with the triple option as their base.

But Johnson wasn’t hired to win games, let alone the ACC Championship. He was hired to piss off Georgia. To run an offense that would give us problems at the end of the year. It worked to perfection three times in 11 years. Nearly worked four other times. That’s why it wouldn’t surprise me if the next head coach at Georgia Tech is Jeff Monken, his former assistant at Southern, Navy and Tech. Another triple-option guy who runs the style to negate talent.

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If Georgia Tech was smart, and actually cared about winning, they don’t necessarily need to hire a pro-style head coach. What they need is a good recruiter, with an open-mind and knowledge of contemporary offenses. But I’m not so sure they care. Keeping Johnson for 11 years tells me that Georgia Tech cares about only one thing at the end of the day; beating, or at the very least, frustrating Georgia.