Groh happy with first week — updated

Al Groh said he’s had a fun first week as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator.

From parachuting in as a recruiter, to watching lots of film from last year’s games, to getting to know the other assistants and players personally, Groh said he’s been keeping busy.

The real work, however, will start as soon as Signing Day passes on Feb. 3. After that, Groh will be begin to teach the assistant coaches the techniques and schemes for the 3-4 defense that Tech will install for the 2010 season.

“It’s up to the people who are installing, more so than the people who are listening, to create buy in,” Groh said. “There will be change in this. Our job is to sell value of that change.

“[We want to] get this thing looking the way we want to look as fast as possible. It’s a real process. Buy-in is the first part of it. We’re impatient to make it look good. How fast we can do it, we’ll have to see.”

Most of his time has been spent with a spiral notebook on his lap and a pencil in his hand evaluating last year’s games. Groh declined to discuss specific players at a press conference on Friday because he said he doesn’t want to be an “instant evaluator.” He said he prefers to talk to the players individually about what he’s noted before they read anything in the newspaper.

Groh said there will be two changes on staff compared to last year. Charles Kelly will coach the entire secondary, rather than the cornerbacks like he did the last two years. Dave Wommack, the team’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, coached the safeties as well. Also, Groh will coach the linebackers as a unit, with Brian Jean-Mary assisting him. Jean-Mary was that position coach the past two seasons.

The reason for the changes is that Groh believes those two units need cohesion. He said that’s developed by being in the same meeting rooms and participating in the same drills.

“Games are won up front but lost in the back end,” Groh said. “Big plays happen in the back end through miscommunication.”

71 comments Add your comment


January 22nd, 2010
12:57 pm

Thanks for the update, Doug. We are craving anything you can provide us about GT football!!


January 22nd, 2010
1:11 pm

Go Jackets!! Glad to have Groh!


January 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Nice interview & article. I was wondering how he was going to handle the splits in coaching responsibilities.

Now my question. Groh is not listed on the roster as a coach. Has he signed a contract? Since he gave an interview as a GT coach I would assume he is fully on board.

Buzzed Driving

January 22nd, 2010
1:17 pm

Okay, so no comments on recruiting. That’s cool but would love to get another commitment.


January 22nd, 2010
1:32 pm

Excited to see the new brand of defense at the spring game.

Does anyone know if the date for that has been announced yet?


January 22nd, 2010
1:36 pm

The real question is can Groh develop talent on the defensive side of the ball the way Paul does on the offensive side.


January 22nd, 2010
1:44 pm

I find it rather ironic that both GT and UGA hired new defensive coordinators that run a 3-4 defense.


January 22nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Groh ain’t like the fifth choice he was the first and only choice so he must have something PJ wants. PJ has had time to figure out what he wants so the choice should not reflect what he did the first time around when he thought the offense could carry both sides. If Groh puts some starch in the defense this is going to be a very interesting season.


January 22nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Groh has been very productive already. He has 3 fillups and 2 car washes at the local BP therefore securing Tech tickets to 5 home games.

With 3 more washes, he gets the gold level tickets which is in the unoccupied 50 yard line seats!


January 22nd, 2010
1:54 pm

and there it is…the dawg lurkers surface…

ATLdawg, ya dig?

January 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Can Groh develop talent? Are you kidding? He put together some of the best defenses in the ACC year-in and year-out with Vanderbilt-level recruits. Hell, UVa is harder to get into than Vanderbilt. So Duke- level recruits. Groh is one of the best X’s and O’s in college football, period. Listen up Techies- and this is coming from a Georgia fan- yall are so damn lucky to get this hire, you guys need to thank your lucky stars.


January 22nd, 2010
1:58 pm

ATLdawg, ya dig?

I certainly hope you are right – I’m sure the loss of JD, BT, DM, and MB will hurt, but I’m hoping that CPJ has accounted for this in his recruiting/development of talent last year and that he has accounted for it on the defensive side of the ball with Groh

Good Luck with Grantham and thanks for keeping it classy

GT in Gold Town

January 22nd, 2010
1:59 pm

Anyone on defense going to transfer out because of the higher?

Vince Dooley

January 22nd, 2010
2:02 pm

wish we had 4 National Championship like our big brother Tech……dead gum it !!!

Too Easy

January 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

“Higher” what? Oh, you meant ‘hire’ and just couldn’t spell it.


January 22nd, 2010
2:08 pm

Old school. That is exactly what we need to get the defense going!

For more articles on Georgia Tech Football go to Go Jackets!


January 22nd, 2010
2:12 pm

To the guy that asked about the spring game – I’ve heard practice starts late March and the spring game will be April 24th.

Tech will win a National Championship

January 22nd, 2010
2:14 pm

We are going to be dominant! 14-0, National Champions!


January 22nd, 2010
2:14 pm


January 22nd, 2010
2:45 pm

Great to see Groh hit the ground running and his enthusiasm is obvious.

Atl dawg, I totally agree, we were VERY fortunate. We got a bargain at a time when the budget is strained but, more importantly, we got an experienced and accomplished guy that is only coaching because of his love of the game. He doesn’t NEED a paycheck but he needs to coach. Most successful people really love what they do and I’m glad he’s excited about what is going on at Tech. Go Jackets!

tape worm

January 22nd, 2010
2:48 pm

Hey, thats pretty good if he can dominate in the ACC!


January 22nd, 2010
2:54 pm

What do you mean I have to live in Athens (cesspool)? $700K ain’t enough.


January 22nd, 2010
2:56 pm

Groh already making improvements to the coaching structure.

If you look @ his resume, you will notice that Al loves coaching up LB’s.

There is always the big town of Winder.


January 22nd, 2010
3:13 pm

Who give a crap about Georgia … we got our man that’s all that matters!


January 22nd, 2010
3:21 pm

Johnson is Grohhhhhhhhhhing on me bwahahahah

VT blanks sheep

January 22nd, 2010
3:31 pm

the only thing bad about this whole thing is that we have to wait 8 months until football season starts..

Coach Groh

January 22nd, 2010
3:44 pm

I had no idea it was 11 miles to Picadilly using side roads


January 22nd, 2010
3:45 pm

Good hire for you guys. You need someone for him to coach though.

Poindexter Jugdish

January 22nd, 2010
4:17 pm

Mr. Dooley, I have read that the Institute was established by people at the University of Georgia. That would make them our Mama and Daddy.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dougroberson, ON Recruitment. ON Recruitment said: Groh happy with first week — updated: Al Groh said he’s had a fun first week as Georgia Tech’s def [...]

Dawgie Bowser

January 22nd, 2010
4:29 pm

I’m happy too that he’s spent the 1st week looking for a good strip club. What’s up with that weird last name which is Hog spelled backward with an extra letter. Welcome to the Gayest City in America.

Corch Irvin Maya

January 22nd, 2010
4:37 pm

As a recent graduate of UVA, all I have to say to Tech fans is: be careful what you ask for, you just might get him.


January 22nd, 2010
5:02 pm

Coach Groh is starting to “Groh” on us.


January 22nd, 2010
5:25 pm

Good luck your going to need it.HBTD!

tape worm

January 22nd, 2010
5:35 pm

Where are all the Tech fans? We win the ACC and you don’t see very many hats, shirts or license plates! People should realize we are only going to get better.

Tron Carter

January 22nd, 2010
5:44 pm

Groh is also happy with Metamucil

Tron Carter

January 22nd, 2010
5:47 pm

No T shirts or license plates? – How about no fan support. Even though you are located in the biggest city in the State you can’t fill a 55,000 seat stadium .
It takes free hotdogs and cokes to get the tens of Georgia Trek fans to watch the triple joke.

Tron Carter

January 22nd, 2010
5:49 pm

Coach Groh had sucess with defenses in the past, but Trek doesn’t have the caliber linebackers he is used to like Moses and Methuselah.


January 22nd, 2010
6:06 pm

Bone…..Of course he can develop talent! He has done it for years at the highest levels. Don’t worry about CG.


January 22nd, 2010
6:30 pm

I got a chance to listen to the audio of the entire interview. Groh seemed very comfortable answering all the questions. There’s no doubt he understands where he fits in the grand scheme of things. There’s also no doubt he is looking forward to UVA coming to Atlanta next year.

I only say this because of the UGA’s infatuation with the GT blogs…if Groh and Grantham were on the same staff, Groh would be Grantham’s boss.

GT Anchorage

January 22nd, 2010
6:30 pm

I did rather live in the gayest city in America then a place that smells like someone took a slam. I mean really, they don’t call it the cesspool of the south for no reason. Athens smells terrible as soon as you pass the loop on 78. I can still smell the place all the way in Anchorage. You dogs may think that it doesn’t smell that bad though since your trailer smells worse.


January 22nd, 2010
6:43 pm



January 22nd, 2010
6:59 pm

I’m ready for the season to begin.When is our next game ?????Saturday??Can you tell I’m a football fan?Gooooo Jackets.

Tron Carter

January 22nd, 2010
7:02 pm

Tron Carter

January 22nd, 2010
7:04 pm

ESPN Sports Nation Poll:

Which team in Georgia made a better hire at defensive coordinator?
Georgia (Todd Grantham) in blue
Georgia Tech (Al Groh) in red


January 22nd, 2010
7:06 pm

Thanks Tron! We feel the same way as everyone else – Groh is the better hire! Go Jackets!

Biddly Biddington the III

January 22nd, 2010
7:09 pm

We just made our Johnson Groh. Doesn’t that deserve a bid?

Who is relevant?

January 22nd, 2010
7:13 pm

Groh = 47 comments
Grantham= 250 comments

Supersize that order, mutt

January 22nd, 2010
7:24 pm

Tron, thanks for posting that link. If it’s correct, that is very very good for Tech. Go Jackets !!!

Bobbi Dud

January 22nd, 2010
7:24 pm

Hope there are no banana peels on the sidelines because Groh has already one foot in the grave!