A Roof on Top

March 31, 2004

After a five-week audition for the job, Ted Roof was tapped by athletics director Joe Alleva and a football search committee as Duke's new head football coach. He beat out three other candidates--former Detroit Lions head coach Bobby Ross, Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, and Colgate head coach Dick Biddle '71.

With the departure of head coach Carl Franks on October 19, Roof was named interim coach for the remaining five games in the regular season. Under his leadership, the team won key contests against Georgia Tech and North Carolina. He gained the support of players and fans. The win against Tech broke the program's thirty-game losing streak, and the victory over the Tar Heels, the first in thirteen years, returned the Victory Bell to Durham.

"I've known what I've wanted to do since I was seventeen years old," Roof, a former Georgia Tech linebacker, told Sports Illustrated. "I wanted to become a head football coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference." Having signed what Alleva called a long-term contract, Roof has done just that.

Senior linebacker Ryan Fowler, speaking for his teammates, endorsed Roof a week after he took over the interim post. Fowler told The Chronicle, "We wanted to give Coach Roof a fair shot at the job next year. He's done so much for this team since he took over. Give him more time and he'll do more and more."

Before returning to Duke as defensive coordinator in February 2002--Roof was outside-linebackers coach under Duke's Barry Wilson from 1990 to 1993--he coached at Alabama, West Georgia, Western Carolina, Massachusetts, and Georgia Tech. Duke is his first head-coaching job.