UPDATED 2:34 P.M. ET: Georgia Tech confirmed in a press release that Paul Johnson has stepped down as the head football coach of the Yellow Jackets. In a statement, the 61-year-old Johnson said it was time for him to take a break from the coaching profession.
“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.”
(The original post appears below.)
Paul Johnson entered the 2018 regular season on many a coaching hot seat list, but his Yellow Jackets had helped play him off of most of them. In the end, though, the unconventional coach will indeed leave, albeit under his own terms.
According to multiple media outlets, Johnson is stepping down as Tech’s head coach and retiring from the profession. According to a school official, an announcement on Johnson’s future with the football program will be released later on this afternoon.
Johnson is expected to meet with his players in the next hour or so and make his plans known to the team.
Johnson is in his 11th season as the head coach of the Yellow Jackets. Tech has gone 82-59 overall and 51-37 in ACC in that span, winning four division championships and one conference crown. The last division title, as well as the last 10-win season, came in 2014. In the last four seasons, including 7-5 in 2018, the Yellow Jackets have gone 24-24.
It’s expected Johnson will coach the team in its bowl game before stepping down.
With Johnson apparently stepping aside, Tech joins Colorado, Louisville, Maryland and Texas Tech as Power Five schools searching for a new head coach. Additionally, there are four Group of Five members looking as well — Central Michigan, Charlotte, Texas State and UMass.