Source: Roof, Hixon among new PSU assistants
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Defensive coordinator Ted Roof is leaving Central Florida after a month to take over the same position at Penn State under new coach Bill O'Brien, a person familiar with the hiring said.
The same person also confirmed Wednesday night to The Associated Press that O'Brien was adding Buffalo Bills receivers coach Stan Hixon to coach the same position with the Nittany Lions.
The person requested anonymity because O'Brien wanted to formally announce the bulk of his staff at the same time. An announcement was expected as soon as Thursday.
Several news outlets have reported the additions.
Roof had been named Central Florida's defensive coordinator Dec. 8 after leaving Auburn following the regular season. He previously spent three seasons as the Tigers' defensive coordinator, including the 2010 national championship season. Auburn was ninth in the country in rushing defense that year.
He had signed a three-year contract with Auburn paying him $500,000 a year, but a young Tigers' unit was 78th in total defense (406 yards per game) and 79th in scoring (29.3 points per game) before he departed for Central Florida. The Knights' website no longer listed him on the coaching staff Wednesday night.
Roof was also defensive coordinator at Minnesota in 2008, and spent six seasons at Duke. He became the Blue Devils' head coach in 2003, going 6-45 before departing in 2007.
O'Brien was offensive coordinator at Duke from 2005-6. O'Brien and Roof were also on the same staff at Georgia Tech from 1995-2001 under George O'Leary, the current head coach at Central Florida.
Roof's arrival in Happy Valley is another sign that longtime Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, a holdover from former coach Joe Paterno's staff, is likely on his way out. Bradley interviewed for the head-coaching job and had served as the interim coach after Paterno was fired Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Hixon this month finished his second season coaching receivers for the Bills. His most notable pupil was wideout Stevie Johnson, who had two straight 1,000-yard seasons. Hixon has also coached with the Redskins and LSU, and he was on staff at Georgia Tech (1995-99) with O'Brien.
As he's putting his new staff together, O'Brien is finishing up his duties as offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. Denver visits New England in an AFC divisional round game this weekend.
Also coming to O'Brien's staff is South Carolina special teams coach John Butler, who is from Philadelphia. Butler decided to move back to his home state after a year with the Gamecocks.
Butler told Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier on Wednesday he was moving on, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke to The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity since neither South Carolina nor Penn State have announced Butler's destination.
Tennessee Titans assistant Charles London has told The Tennessean of Nashville he has accepted O'Brien's offer to become the Penn State running backs coach.
Two holdovers from the Paterno regime are expected to return. O'Brien is retaining defensive line coach Larry Johnson, and linebacker Michael Mauti has said his position coach, Ron Vanderlinden, has indicated he plans to come back.
Paterno's son, quarterback coach Jay Paterno, and secondary coach Kermit Buggs have not been retained.
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