Ge­or­gia Tech coach Paul John­son re­tir­ing af­ter 11 sea­sons

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - By Paul New­berry AP Sports Writer

Paul John­son, the longest­serv­ing Ge­or­gia Tech coach in a half­cen­tury and ar­chi­tect of a triple-op­tion of­fense that was an anom­aly among Power Five schools, an­nounced his re­tire­ment last Wed­nes­day af­ter 11 sea­sons with the Yel­low Jack­ets.

The 61-year-old John­son re­vealed the sur­pris­ing de­ci­sion af­ter meet­ing with his play­ers. It came just four days af­ter Ge­or­gia Tech closed the reg­u­lar sea­son with a lop­sided loss to No. 4 Ge­or­gia .

John­son, who also coached at Ge­or­gia South­ern and Navy, com­piled a ca­reer record of 82-59 at the At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence school, in­clud­ing eight bowl ap­pear­ances and three trips to the league cham­pi­onship game.

He will stick around for an­other month, lead­ing the Yel­low Jack­ets for the fi­nal time in their bowl game. Most pro­jec­tions have them go­ing to the Mil­i­tary Bowl on Dec. 31.

“Af­ter 40 years of coach­ing, it’s time to take a break,” John­son said in a state­ment. “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 planned to dis­cuss his de­ci­sion at a Thurs­day morn­ing news con­fer­ence. Dur­ing an in­ter­view with WXIA-TV out­side Bobby Dodd Sta­dium , he said the de­ci­sion to re­tire was en­tirely his but didn’t rule out a re­turn to coach­ing.

“I’ve been think­ing about it for a while,” he said. “I’m not sure I’m done coach­ing, but I need a break. I’m go­ing to take some time off with the fam­ily and de­cide if I like it. If it works, it’ll be great. If it doesn’t, I’ll resur­face some­where else.

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