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Auburn hires defensive coordinator

AUBURN, Ala. | New Auburn coach Gene Chizik has hired a defensive coordinator, and it isn't South Carolina's Ellis Johnson.

Ted Roof, a successful defensive coach at Georgia Tech who struggled as a head coach at Duke, was hired as the Tigers' defensive coordinator.

Chizik was reportedly interested in talking to USC's Johnson about the coordinator position. Johnson's contract requires a payment of $1.05 million should he leave for another assistant coaches job.

The 45-year-old Roof spent last season as defensive coordinator at Minnesota, which improved from 119th nationally in total defense in 2007 to 79th under his direction.

Roof was a linebacker for the Yellow Jackets in the 1980s. He spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Alabama, then served as an assistant at West Georgia and Duke.

He joined the Georgia Tech staff in 1998 and became defensive coordinator in 1999.

In 2001, the Yellow Jackets ranked 23rd nationally in total defense and 32nd in rushing defense.

He joined the Duke staff in 2002 and became head coach in 2003, going 6-45 before departing in 2007.

"Ted has a wealth of experience and success as a defensive coach, and philosophically, we think alike," Chizik said.

Chizik said he was impressed by Roof's work at Minnesota.

"Ted took a Minnesota defense and made dramatic improvements in his one year as defensive coordinator. It was a defense that was very physical and aggressive, and created a lot of turnovers."