Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson stepping down after 11 seasons

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is stepping down after 11 seasons. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is stepping down after 11 seasons. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

Paul Johnson’s time at Georgia Tech has come to an end.

After multiple reports emerged earlier Wednesday afternoon, the school announced that Johnson has “elected to step down” as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach after 11 seasons with the program.

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“After 40 years of coaching, it’s time to take a break,” Johnson said. “My family has sacrificed a lot over the years. I want to watch my daughter [Kaitlyn, a professional opera singer] perform and do some things with my wife [Susan] that we’ve never had a chance to do. It’s been a great run for the last 11 years here on The Flats. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and am looking forward to having the chance to coach this team one last time at our bowl game next month.”


Johnson, 61, has an 82-59 (51-37 in conference play) record during his time at Georgia Tech and a 189-98 overall record as a Division I head coach, including his previous stops at Navy and Georgia Southern. Johnson is most known as one of the few coaches in the country who runs an option-based offense — one that led the country in rushing this season with an average of 334.9 yards per game.

The Yellow Jackets started this season 1-3 before rallying by winning six of eight down the stretch to finish 7-5. Johnson will coach the team’s upcoming bowl game, which will be announced on Sunday.

Johnson led the Yellow Jackets to the ACC title in 2009 and an Orange Bowl victory in 2014. In 2014, Tech beat Clemson and Georgia and finished ranked in the top 10. As a result, Johnson won his third ACC Coach of the Year award.

In the years since the Orange Bowl win, Georgia Tech has gone 3-9, 9-4, 5-6 and 7-5 this year. Georgia Tech will have played in a bowl game in nine of Johnson’s 11 seasons leading the program.

“I was saddened when Coach Johnson informed me that he was going to step down as our head coach,” Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury said. “Not only is he Georgia Tech’s winningest head coach in more than 50 years but he is also an incredible mentor for the young men in our football program and has helped develop countless student-athletes that have gone on to great success after graduation.

“I wish him and Susan nothing but the very best as he steps away from coaching football for the first time in 40 years and ask the entire Georgia Tech community to join me in thanking him for his hard work and contributions to the Institute over the past 11 years.”

Johnson and Stansbury will hold a press conference on Thursday at 9 a.m. The school said plans for a “public celebration” of Johnson’s career will be finalized in the near future.

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