Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson spoke to media on Thursday morning about his decision to resign from his Yellow Jackets coaching position after 11 seasons. Some highlights.
On the go
Johnson said that "you are just tired" of the demands of the job. In fact, Johnson said that without the appointment of athletic director Todd Stansbury after Mike Bobinski's departure for Purdue in 2016, he may have retired at that time.
"To be honest with you, to tell you the truth, if Todd had not come, I was ready to do it before he arrived," Johnson said. "Because it was not very fun. It was painful. I think Todd has arrived, he understands what needs to happen.
He described this season, during which Tech debuted in 1-3, but won six of the next seven, thus winning a difficult climb. But with the Jackets coming to a close and his daughter Kaitlyn starting her career as a professional opera singer, "it just seemed like the right time.
Johnson clearly leaves the door open for a possible return. He said that after 40 years of training, he needed a break.
"I think I'm still young enough to take a break and see if it fits and if that's what I want," he said. "And if not, I hope that the work I have done over the last 40 years, if I decided to do it again, I would go elsewhere."
Johnson said he had also received a number of inquiries on other opportunities following the announcement of his decision.
"I can go out and go, man, why did not I do that five years ago? Or I can be on the field and leave, "I really miss football," said Johnson.
The recruitment schedule gave Johnson the momentum to make a decision. The early signing period starts on December 19th and assistant coaches are on their way to recruiting, including visits to the 15 players who have committed to be part of the 2019 class.
Johnson stated that he did not want to be sitting in front of an engagement and his family and that he was not asked for how long he expected to be coaching if he knew already that he was retiring. The sooner the new coach is hired, the sooner he will be able to communicate with the 15 committed players, some of whom might not match the style of attack or defense he intends to use.
"I think they are good players, but it will be up to the coach and Todd to do what they want with them," Johnson said. "It gives them the opportunity, if the guy does not want them, to do something with the first visits."
Tell the team
Johnson said that informing the team of his decision was "the most difficult thing. It's just right. I think the two most difficult things I've probably done in my life are when I left the Navy, then (Wednesday). It's just difficult. It's emotional. "
Stansbury said he had participated in many team meetings where coaches had to tell their players that they were leaving, "and I can honestly say that I did not never participated in a team meeting like the one in which I was (Wednesday) .Hot emotional.You can certainly see the link between the head coach and his players.And I think that when the team in the end offered an ovation to coach Johnson, I think that's when everything was said. "
On his mandate
Johnson said that "history will be the judge" of his time at Tech and as a coach in general. He invoked a topic of discussion that he sometimes refers to, that some Tech fans are subject to a "revisionist story" about the strength of the team in the past.
He said he would maintain his record: he finished first or second in the Coastal Division seven times in eleven years, playing three ACC championship games and two Orange Bowls games. At Georgia Southern, he won two I-AA Division Nationals and five Commander-in-Chief awards at the Navy.
"It's a good race, that's what I'm going to say," he said. "In my head, I am satisfied."