A timeline of Al Groh’s tenure at Georgia Tech
Nov. 28, 2009: Groh surprises his players and then the media following the Cavaliers 42-13 loss to Virginia Tech by reading a poem, “The Guy in the Glass,” by Dale Wimbrow.
Nov. 29, 2009: Groh is fired with reportedly two years remaining on his contract. The Cavaliers went 3-9 during the season and 59-53 during Groh’s nine years at his alma mater.
Dec. 2009: Groh is an observer at one of Georgia Tech’s on-campus practices for the Orange Bowl. Asked why Groh was there, Johnson said he was in town and Groh likes to visit other teams.
Jan. 2010: Dave Wommack is fired as defensive coordinator following Tech’s 24-14 loss to Iowa in the Orange Bowl. The Yellow Jackets finish the year giving up an average of 24.8 points and 360.3 yards per game.
Jan. 15, 2010: Groh, 65, is hired as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator. During Johnson’s press conference, Groh said, “I have a lot of ambition to do more things and a lot to prove.” He also references a sign that he said hangs in his office: “Coaches with schemes but without talent become coaches of unimportant teams.”
When asked why he hired Groh, Johnson said: “When you gave them something that was a problem, it wasn’t going to be a problem for long. They got it fixed.”
Sept. 11, 2010: In Groh’s first road game at Kansas, which lost 6-3 the week before to an FCS team, the Yellow Jackets give up 28 points in what was then considered the worst loss in the Johnson era. After the game, when asked if Kansas is a team that should score that many points, Groh responds: “That’s fantasy football. I just deal with what happened today. ”
Nov. 27, 2010: Georgia Tech gives up 425 yards in a 42-34 loss to Georgia in Athens. The defense gave up an average of 8.9 yards per play. The Jackets would lose their next game to Air Force in the Independence Bowl. The Yellow Jackets finish the year giving up an average of 25.2 points and 371.6 yards per game.
Oct. 15, 2011: After starting the season with six consecutive wins, Tech is flattened 24-21 by Virginia. The Cavaliers rush for 272 yards. Tech would lose four of its next six games.
Dec. 31, 2011: Trailing 24-10, Utah scores 14 points in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter to force overtime, and goes on to win 30-27 in the Sun Bowl. The Yellow Jackets finish the year giving up an average of 26.1 points and 359.2 yards per game.
Sept. 3, 2012: Leading 17-14 with 44 seconds remaining, the Yellow Jackets see Virginia Tech drive 51 yards for a game-tying field goal. The Hokies kick a field goal in overtime to win.
Sept. 22, 2012: The Yellow Jackets give up 42 points and 609 yards in an overtime loss to Miami. The Hurricanes tied the game with a 91-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes of regulation. After the game, linebacker Brandon Watts said he didn’t think they were prepared.
Sept. 29, 2012: The Yellow Jackets give up 49 points and 510 yards to Middle Tennessee State in one of the worst losses in program history. A few days later, Johnson said: “… I don’t think the man forgot everything he knew in the last two weeks. But ultimately, we’re responsible. We’ve got to get it on the field. It doesn’t matter what you know, it’s what happens. So we’ve got to do a better job of getting it on the field.”
Oct. 6, 2012: The Yellow Jackets give up 47 points and 601 yards in a loss at Clemson. After the game, coach Paul Johnson said: “… It’s been a struggle. The effort was better. The effort was much better. I think we played O.K. in spurts. We did get a couple of turnovers. I don’t know, after the opening series, if they ever punted.”
Oct. 8, 2012: Groh is fired as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator after the Yellow Jackets gave up more than 500 yards and 40 points in three consecutive games.