Groh to become DC at Tech — updated at 1:29 p.m.

Al Groh has agreed to become Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator.

Groh most recently finished nine years coaching at his alma mater, Virginia, where he went 59-53 and twice was named the ACC’s coach of the year. However, the Cavaliers went 8-16 the past two seasons and the $4.33 million remaining on his contract was bought out.

He will replace Dave Wommack, who was fired last week after two seasons at Tech. A press conference with Tech coach Paul Johnson is scheduled for 3 p.m. Groh  is expected to sign a contract next week.

“I think any time you can get a coach the caliber of an Al Groh, it is a tremendous plus for your program,” Johnson said in a statement on the school’s web site. “Al has a great deal of expertise. He is considered one of the top defensive minds in the country and has a record to support it.”

Groh said in a phone interview with the AJC on Sunday that where ever he coached next, he wanted to win. He told the AP that’s why he accepted the job at Tech.

“They’ve got that program winning in a hurry,” Groh said on Sunday. “If winning impresses you, you have to be impressed with what Paul [Johnson] has done there.”

Tech is 20-7 in Johnson’s two seasons and won the ACC last season.

Groh, 65,  will bring the 3-4 defensive scheme that he is now one of the leading authorities on.

“[It's] what I’ve learned, and I’ve learned it from some very good people,” Groh said on Sunday. “I’m certain they are going into the NFL Hall of Fame. Had an opportunity to build some ideas from there.”

The Yellow Jackets’ defense gave up an average of 24.8 points and 330.8 yards per game last season. Johnson said last week he made the decision to let Wommack go because he wasn’t seeing the improvement he had hoped to see during the season.

“I am extremely flattered to be invited by Paul Johnson to be part of what he is building at Georgia Tech,” Groh said in a statement on Tech’s site. “He has already built an awful lot, and I appreciate his confidence that I can play a role in continuing to make Georgia Tech one of the elite programs in college football.”

At Virginia, Groh developed and coached several players who went on to the NFL, including Chris Long, Kai Parham, Ahmad Brooks and Darryl Blackstock.

Groh will take over a defense that would be missing its biggest playmaker, defensive end Derrick Morgan, who declared for the NFL Draft on Monday.

Groh has been a defensive coordinator on the college and pro level for several teams under Bill Parcells, including the New England Patriots (1993-96) and New York Giants (1991). Groh was Parcells’ hand-picked successor to take over as head coach of the New York Jets (2000).

22 comments Add your comment

bluecole

January 15th, 2010
10:36 am

grat job, drad!

bluecole

January 15th, 2010
10:37 am

great, of course. and, I did it without the obligatory “FIRST!”

GT FAN UP NORTH

January 15th, 2010
10:38 am

Welcome to the Flats Coach Groh- It will be nice to have a seasoned vet like you to coach these boys!

Buzz Belle

January 15th, 2010
10:39 am

Welcome to the Flats Coach Groh! And always remember – THWG!

Buzz29

January 15th, 2010
10:40 am

Hell yeah!

And he was our first choice.

DiamondJim

January 15th, 2010
10:41 am

I think this is good for the program

Go get em Jackets

January 15th, 2010
10:45 am

ok Beamer and Foster, good luck preparing for the option in your spring and summer drills again, NOT….VT blanks sheep and always will…If there is anyone Groh would like to beat, guess who that is……GO JACKETS!

@wbarker

January 15th, 2010
10:48 am

It took UGA 6 wks and down to their 5th choice to hire a DC. It took GT 5 days and got their first choice who is also more experienced and much more highly regarded. Says it all doesn’t it?

swimdawg68

January 15th, 2010
10:48 am

Great Pick!! If he was so good why was he fired at Virginia? This will insure the DAWGS will continue to whip the trade school boys, thanks CPJ for for helping us.

tek4life!

January 15th, 2010
10:49 am

This is a terrible hire. Al is way too old and can’t relate to today’s players. His Virginia teams were awful.

Jacketbacker

January 15th, 2010
10:50 am

Welcome Coach Groh!

the real Old Gold

January 15th, 2010
10:50 am

mowreck

January 15th, 2010
10:53 am

Congratulation CPJ for a job well done!
GO JACKETS!

GT wins again.

January 15th, 2010
10:54 am

Great hire. It’s always nice to hire your first choice.

Anyone notice how many Tech assistant coaches have become head coaches? Grantham must have no desire to become a head coach.

mowreck

January 15th, 2010
10:54 am

For all you folks who want to know why he was fired at Virginia.
He was fired as a head coach NOT as a defensive coordinator.

Bill Beavers

January 15th, 2010
10:56 am

Only 3 requirements:win the ACC Beat Georgia win bowl game. No problem for an old ‘Hoo. Great choice!

Brunswick-Tech

January 15th, 2010
10:57 am

will our rap songs be replaced with classic rock?

mowreck

January 15th, 2010
10:58 am

I honestly don’t believe ANYONE (college or NFL) would be stupid enough to believe OR announce someone is making a coaching change in the middle of playoff games.

AZ Jacket

January 15th, 2010
10:59 am

Great hire, all those who say he is to old are full of it. These young players want to learn defense and he can teach it. Not head coaching material maybe, but one helluva dc.

Brunswick-Tech

January 15th, 2010
11:00 am

why is espn or the SEC channel not reporting UGA’s hire of DC.?

Dawg Fud

January 15th, 2010
11:01 am

reasonable UGA guy here…

i really did not think this was a good route for Tech to go when i heard Groh was being considered but after thinking about it i do believe it is a solid choice.

good work by Radakovich (sp?) and Tech. i am sure Johnson and Groh will work well together.

@tek4life!

January 15th, 2010
11:01 am

What has age got to do with it? These players will respond to him because he knows what he is doing.