Will Paul Johnson Be Fired?
- Updated: August 20, 2013
Is Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson on the hot seat? Will he be fire at the end of the 2013 season if he doesn’t produce a big-time season? Johnson started his tenure at GT with a bang. His first season (2008) he finished with a 9-3 regular season record and a win over the hated Georgia Bulldogs. Then in 2009, he broke through with 10 regular season wins and an ACC Championship.
Neither season resulted in a bowl victory, but with a 20-7 record, a win over Georgia,and an ACC Championship, Georgia Tech fans didn’t really care.
Things have changed since those two very successful season. The past three seasons Paul Johnson has put together a very disappointing 21-19 record, including only one winning season. Johnson has now lost to Georgia four straight times, has a 1-5 record against the Bulldogs, and a 1-5 bowl record.
With Johnson’s hefty $2.6 million per year salary, Georgia Tech is basically getting the same thing that they got from previous head coach Chan Gailey, at more than double the cost.
Detractors point to Johnson’s first two seasons as being fueled by Gailey’s outstanding 2007 recruiting class that included number one NFL draft choice Derrick Morgan, ACC Player of the Year Jonathan Dwyer, stalwart QB Josh Nesbitt, and NFL third rounder Morgan Burnett. They also point to Johnson’s mediocre recruiting, as documented by the scouting services, as the main reason for his failures.
Paul Johnson’s huge contract may be his saving grace. After this season he will still have two seasons left on his contract, and the financially strapped Yellow Jackets will most likely be unable to buy Johnson out. To be on the hot seat, there has to be the legitimate chance that a coach could be fired if he has a lousy season.
Ironically, the man who bought in Johnson and gave him the huge contract, former Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich, is now the AD at conference rival Clemson.