NASHVILLE, Tenn. (VUAD)— Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason announced Saturday the hiring of three assistant coaches to his staff including offensive coordinator Todd Fitch and defensive coordinator Ted Roof.
Peter Rossomando has also joined the Vandy staff as the program’s offensive line coach.
Fitch, a 35-year college football veteran, comes to West End after a successful stint with head coach Skip Holtz at Louisiana Tech where he helped the Bulldogs to four consecutive postseason victories.
“Todd Fitch has a reputation as one of the nation’s top offensive minds and coordinators and I’m very pleased to welcome him to the Commodore family,” Mason said. “Todd is a tremendous addition to the Vanderbilt family. I have followed Todd for several years and he’s consistently developed innovative and productive offensive attacks. I look forward to Todd leading our offense into an exciting future.”
Fitch has helped 16 teams make postseason appearances in his collegiate career.
In 2019, the Louisiana Tech offense played a critical role in the Bulldogs’ 10-3 campaign capped by a shutout win over Miami (Florida) in the Independence Bowl. The unit ranked 36th nationally in scoring offense (32.5 ppg), 37th in total offense (436.8 ypg) and 32nd in pass offense (268.5 ypg).
Fitch helped develop J’mar Smith into one of the most productive quarterbacks in Louisiana Tech history. As a senior in 2019, Smith was named Conference USA’s Offensive Player of the Year and first team all-conference after completing 64.3 percent of his throws (236 of 367) for 2,977 yards, 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Smith finished his Bulldog career with 9,323 passing yards and 51 touchdowns.
In 2017, despite losing three of the nations’ top offensive stars to graduation and the NFL Draft, Fitch’s offense helped Louisiana Tech reach the Frisco Bowl where the Bulldogs capped their season with a convincing 51-10 victory over No. 25-ranked SMU.
In 2016 season, Tech finished with a 9-5 record with three Bulldogs winning top individual C-USA awards, including Most Valuable Player (Ryan Higgins), Offensive Player of the Year (Carlos Henderson) and Special Teams Player of the Year (Henderson). The Bulldog offense lead the C-USA in completion percentage (66.7), first downs (358), and passing offense (363.4 ypg) while receivers Trent Taylor and Henderson ranked first (and fifth nationally with 1,803 and 1,535 receiving yards, respectively.
Taylor and Henderson are currently with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, respectively.
The Vanderbilt role will be Fitch’s fourth stint as offensive coordinator after holding similar positions at Louisiana Tech, Boston College, East Carolina and South Florida. He has coached several notable NFL players including Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (East Carolina), three-time All-Conference USA honoree Davon Drew (East Carolina) and Troy Williamson (South Carolina).
Fitch also served as offensive coordinator alongside Holtz at South Florida (2010-12) and at East Carolina (2007-09).
Fitch has also worked under legendary head coaches Don Nehlen, Earle Bruce and Lou Holtz during his career which spans back to 1986 and included stops at Iowa State, South Carolina, Connecticut, Colorado State, West Virginia, Bowling Green and his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan.
Roof, a championship-winning defensive coordinator and former Power Five head coach, joins Mason’s staff after helping guide Appalachian State to a superb 13-1 campaign and a national ranking in The Associated Press poll. Entering his 33rd year in college football, Roof has mentored nearly 90 student-athletes into the professional football ranks with more 20 of his former pupils currently appearing on NFL rosters.
“I am very excited to bring Ted to West End to direct the Vanderbilt defense,” Mason said. “I have a great deal of admiration for Ted’s knowledge, successful experience as a coordinator and his ability to guide his defensive units. Attracting Ted Roof to join the Commodores as defensive coordinator is a huge win for our program.”
Roof has been part of teams that combined for 13 bowl appearances, including a BCS national title run as Auburn’s defensive coordinator following the 2010 season. Roof’s experience as a defensive coordinator includes tenures at Appalachian State, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Minnesota, UCF and Duke where he also served four years as head coach.
In 2019, Roof’s defense helped pave the way for Appalachian State’s sixth conference championship and fifth bowl victory in the past decade. The defense also played key roles in Appalachian State road victories against South Carolina and North Carolina.
The Mountaineers in 2019 ranked among the nation’s best in scoring defense (21st;20 points/game) and total defense (25th; 336.1 yards/game). The unit also ranked ninth nationally in third-down defense (30.7 percent), 16th in interceptions (14) and 19th in quarterback sacks (36).
Roof served as co-defensive coordinator at North Carolina State in 2018 under head coach Dave Doeren, helping the Wolfpack to a 9-4 record and Gator Bowl appearance. He held the title of associate head coach.
The Wolfpack ranked 29th nationally in rushing defense (131.5 yards/game), 45th in scoring defense (24.9 points/game), 17th in third-down defense (33.3 percent), 19th in red-zone defense (76.7 percent) and 25th in quarterback sacks (35).
From 2013-17, Roof served as defensive coordinator under head coach Paul Johnson at his alma mater Georgia Tech. During the stint in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets captured the 2014 Orange Bowl after winning the ACC Coastal Division title.
Georgia Tech showed significant defensive improvement under Roof, ranking among the top-30 nationally in scoring defense and total defense in 2013. Two seasons later, Georgia Tech ranked sixth nationally in fewest first downs allowed and fielded the nation’s most-improved third-down defense.
Roof coached four NFL Draft selections and nine All-ACC performers during his five-year stretch as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator.
Roof was a four-year letter winner and three-year starter at linebacker under head coach Bill Curry at Georgia Tech from 1982-85. He was named a freshman All-American in 1982 and a first-team All-ACC honoree as a senior in 1985, and remains among the school’s all-time top-10 with 417 tackles.
Rossomando served as an offensive line coach at Rutgers in 2019 after serving as the head coach at Central Connecticut State from 2014-18.
In 2018, Rossomando guided Central Connecticut State to a 6-4 record. In 2017, Rossomando led the Blue Devils to the school’s initial NCAA Division I FCS playoff appearance by winning the Northeast Conference crown with a perfect 6-0 record, the program’s first unbeaten league record since 2008.
That campaign also included an eight-game win streak.
Rossomando’s 2017 defense led all FCS teams in defensive touchdowns and was among the national leaders in turnover margin, helping Central Connecticut to the NEC’s first unbeaten record since 2008. For his efforts, Rossomando was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year.
Prior to accepting the Central Connecticut State post, Rossomando spent five seasons as the head coach at the University of New Haven. During that time he led the Chargers to a 42-13 record, two NCAA Division II playoff appearances and coached several all-conference and All-America student-athletes.
Rossomando was named head coach at New Haven in December 2007 after the university reinstated its football program after a five-year hiatus. He rebuilt the Chargers into one of the best Division II programs in the country.
In his final three seasons, the Chargers posted an overall record of 29-6 (2011-13) and a 20-2 mark in Northeast-10 games. The stretch included two consecutive 8-0 league records in 2011-12. New Haven reached a No. 3 national ranking during the 2012 Division II season.
Rossomando was named Liberty Mutual NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year following the 2012 season. He also earned three Northeast-10 Coach of the Year awards as the head coach of the Chargers (2010-12).
Prior to taking the New Haven head coaching job, Rossomando was an assistant coach at the University at Albany for seven seasons (2001-07). He served as associate head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for his final three seasons at the school.
With Rossomando on the sidelines, Albany won Northeast Conference Championships in 2002, 2003 and 2007. The Great Danes posted a record of 46-32 in his seven seasons on the staff.
Rossomando has also served as an assistant at Cortland State (2000) and Northeastern (1999). His collegiate coaching career began in 1994 as an assistant at New Haven under head coach Tony Sparano.
Rossomando played at Boston University, seeing action on the offensive and defensive lines from 1990-93. He helped the 1993 Terriers to an undefeated regular season, Yankee Conference championship and NCAA Division II playoff appearance.
A native of Staten Island, N.Y., Rossomando was a standout player at Port Richmond High School, being named the 1989 Staten Island Player of the Year.