Al Groh said he has had preliminary conversations with Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson about becoming the Yellow Jackets’ next defensive coordinator. However, he said that a report that a deal is close to being completed isn’t accurate because talks are still in the early stages.
Out of respect for Johnson, as well as some other teams that have contacted him, Groh declined to provide any more details.
He did however, praise the work Johnson has done in his two seasons at Tech.
“They’ve got that program winning in a hurry,” Groh said. “As a fan or as an opposing coach, if winning impresses you you have to be impressed with what Paul has done there.”
Groh, 65, said he would have no problems at all becoming a defensive coordinator after spending the last 10 seasons as a head coach, including the last nine at Virginia where he went 59-53.
“Never been any ego in my career,” Groh said. ” What I like is challenges and I like winning.”
Tech’s previous defensive coordinator, Dave Wommack, was let go after just two seasons because Johnson said he didn’t see the improvement he had hoped to see in the last 11/2 years.
The Jackets gave up an average of 24.8 points and 360.3 yards per game last season.
Groh said he has no timetable for his next position, other than he looks forward to coaching somewhere in the 2010 season.
As for concerns that he doesn’t need to coach because of his age (65) and the $4-plus million dollar buyout he received from Virginia, Groh quickly said “Ive got a lot of energy and a lot to prove. I love competition. Some people have said I have every reason to say enough is enough. I have every reason to say I’m looking forward to a lot more.”
Groh observed a Tech practice in December as a part of what he said was his own personal tour of a few bowl teams that intriqued him. He declined to name the other teams he visited, other than to thank them for hosting him.
Wherever he coaches next, Groh said he would use a 3-4 defensive scheme, which he learned from Bill Parcells.
“[It's] what I’ve learned, and I’ve learned it from some very good people,” Groh said. “I’m certain they are going into the NFL Hall of Fame. Had an opportunity to build some ideas from there.
“It’s a pretty varied package that we’ve been able to implement.”
Follow coverage of Tech’s search for a defensive coordinator on facebook at: http://bit.ly/5glhwK and at twitter at http://twitter.com/ajcgatech