This is a discussion on How will (should?) Paul Johnson be remembered? within the Georgia Tech Football forums, part of the Georgia Tech Sports Message Boards category; Love him or hate him, without some radical departure from our recent football fortunes for the better, Paul Johnson's tenure ...
Love him or hate him, without some radical departure from our recent football fortunes for the better, Paul Johnson's tenure as our coach is coming to a close. How will he be remembered? I honestly don't have much cause to even think about Chan Gailey and his time at Tech. I spoke briefly with him at functions here in Tampa, but his entire body of work seems so non-descript to me now. Will that be the case with Coach Johnson, that he simply slips off into the sunset and fades from our collective memory? I know for me personally, he delivered some very exciting, almost watershed wins. Georgia and Miami in 2008, VPI and Clempsen and Clempsen in 2009. He's 2-0 against Bowden and the Seminoles. The OT swagger against Wake. He beat Virginia in Charlottesville when it looked like we never would.
Will he be remembered fondly as a guy that raised our APR, graduated kids, and did things the right way, while at the same time winning most of his games?
Or will he be forever known as triple option disciple that brought his smoke and mirrors show to the big leagues in hopes of stunning the football world, only to fail to make a lasting impact and be sent packing back to the minors? Will his years at Tech be mostly remembered as good years, or will the enduring theme be that the Johnson Years were typically unremarkable?
I hope I don't remember this guy at all. Just forget him.
I think highlights from the UGA win will always play on the big monitor before football games. Maybe the VT win with the goal posts coming down, and the Orange Bowl win over Clemson. He has contributed some memorable items to GT football folklore, and those will never be taken away. But, he won't get that statue that some were planning on erecting either. Memorable moments, but thats all, IMHO.
Go JACKETS! THWG!
As the GT coach that took a 7-6 team and turned them into National Champions the following year!
His fans will fondly recall the first 2 years of success whilst blaming his detractors for the slide into mediocrity of his last 5-6 years.
His detractors will recall the memorable moments of the first 2 years, the seemingly endless potential after 2009...and then have nothing else to recall but big wins over high school teams.
Not fan on hiring Paul but mainly due to his offense not his coaching ability but even then I thought we would(1)enter into a era of finally getting good athletes coming to Tech from inside the state,(2)getting a winner who understood how important it was and is to beat Georgie(3)a coach who would inspire or fire up the fan base state wide.(4)get us in top 20 each and every year.........well first two years Paul did wonderful job of transforming a offense left by Chan and players into a great year.Then with many coming back I expected better and even though a good year we looked bad at times running the offense.The losses at the bowl games when I thought many times we were better hurt also but all in all not much difference at all between Chan and Paul so not many memories to spread around.
Remembering PJ is or could be summed up with old adage ......what have you done for me lately .......different ideas from many people.
I think he should be remembered for both his early successes and his failure to build/sustain a top notch program. I know the people who hate him will not give him any credit for the first couple of years for the simple fact that they hate him so much.
Some of my best memories of college were going to the games in 2008 and 2009. Man, it was a lot of fun. FSU, Miami, and UGA were all ranked and we beat them in the same season. It was unheard of when you look at the mediocre history of Georgia Tech football. I thought we were about to enter into the golden era of Georgia Tech football. How could you blame a young GT fan for being optimistic about the future with this guy when our team did things that hadn't been done before/often?
However, I will also remember the failure to take advantage of the momentum of the 2008 and 2009 seasons. I gave him a pass in 2010 because of the injury to Nesbitt. In 2011, we start off the season 7-2 with a win over #5 Clemson and have a Thursday night home game against VT to win the Coastal. We take the lead. It's 3rd and long and it looks like we're about to get the ball back, score and again and beat VT and win our division for the 2nd time in 3 years. Again, unheard of for Georgia Tech football. IMO, this is the turning point in the PJ era. We know what happens next. Logan Thomas gets punched, VT goes down and scores, we lose and end the regular season 8-4, lose in OT to Utah and we're 8-5. If we win that game against VT, we likely go 9-3 to end the season and who knows what happens against Clemson in the ACCCG. Maybe we beat them again, likely lose in the Orange bowl and finish the season 10-4. Instead of trending downward, we're trending upward with a coach that has taken our mediocre football program to new heights. His first four season consisted of two 10 wins seasons, two ACCCG appearances, two orange bowl appearances and three 9+ win seasons.
But that didn't happen. Instead, we were so close, yet so far away. PJ could not take advantage of a golden opportunity. More than likely, PJ will be looked at differently in 5 years than he is looked at now. Not sure how he will be viewed but I'm confident in that statement. Gailey was the same way. When Gailey was here, he was an idiot, had a terrible eye for talent (why would Reggie Ball start all of those years?), was a terrible recruiter and his teams were worse at the end of the season than they were at the beginning. Everyone pretty much agreed that he was a bad football coach. Now, Gailey is viewed as a great recruiter, he could find the diamond in the rough players and develop them and was only a QB away from dominating the ACC and beating Georgia consistently. He is viewed much differently now than when he was here. The same will happen with PJ.