Al Groh timeline

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.

24 comments Add your comment


October 8th, 2012
5:12 pm

Lets see how the rest of the season goes.

Max Sizemore

October 8th, 2012
5:51 pm

How about a breakdown of how many defensive players Johnson has recruited over the last 3-4 years. The defense has been gassed in the fourth quarter and lack of depth is a likely reason.


October 8th, 2012
5:51 pm

You always hate to see a guy lose his job. But the defense this year was the worst I have ever seen at Tech (granted I am only 23 years old). And this was supposed to be Groh’s best year yet. I am not sure if it was a lack of communication or just a lack of talen, or both. We have some athletes on the defensive side of the ball for sure and our linebackers are a very talented bunch (I think), but our defense continues to get slashed through the air. It seemed like Groh was fired after the VA game and we didn’t have a DC for the past 3 games it was so bad.

I still have faith in Johnson. His offense can definitely put up points. We just need to make a smart hire at DC, recruit some better athletes on the defenive side of the ball, recruit one good bback every 2-3 years that can make plays, and start prepping Vad and Justin. If we cant fix the above issues, Johnson needs to go.

FL Jacket

October 8th, 2012
5:51 pm

Haiku about Al Groh (since poetry has been brought up)…

A former master
An unforgiving business
Retirement awaits


October 8th, 2012
6:19 pm

Need to hire the “right” guy here. Don’t care who or where he is from. We cannot allow a building project to go unfinished because all of sudden we cannot communicate.

The communication issue has got to be the biggest. Tackling seems to go up and down with every team some teams vary more than others.

Effort should NEVER be an issue. Play everyone like we are number 1. Run your offense and defense the same every down.

Now we can all guess who we need versus who we get.

Go Jackets!!!

P B Orr

October 8th, 2012
6:45 pm

No good defensive prospect is going to come here and practice against that offense, which will net him exactly zero bankable NFL skill.

Silly Mutts

October 8th, 2012
7:04 pm

Like the defense practices against that offense! Man there is stupid and there is really really stupid.

GT Girl

October 8th, 2012
7:55 pm

I thought Al Groh was 75 not 65. He made a chunk of change off Tech too for an old guy who didn’t produce much.


October 8th, 2012
9:26 pm

GT Girl,
He came very cheap for a DC. UVA had to pony up the monetary difference between his salary when they fired him and what he made at GT. I think he worked for $150,000/year the first two years.


October 8th, 2012
9:47 pm

1. Yall Need a young Guy, Need to quit getting these old folk who have no fire and passion!!
2. The DC should be the most feard coach on the practice field….Look at all the teams that had god DCs: FSU Mick Andrews, Auburn Muschamp, Heck, Even yalls at tech Tenuta. These guys were FEARD even over the head coahes!!

3. Need to get a guy who can recruit!

4. Need to get a guy who can recruit!
5. Did I mention yall need to get a guy who can recruit?

6. Get someone from the SEC..


October 8th, 2012
9:51 pm

Womack and Groh were both just too soft….Need someone who will almost stand up to CPJ in a way..Know that sounds crazy but the Good defensive teams had DC who were vocal on the team and them sefls were almost “Stand outish”
I can think of Rob Vangordier. for us For yall Tennuta carried more weight than gaily…


October 8th, 2012
10:07 pm

Well said Dawgs. Good riddance! Now if it doesn’t get better this year, can Fish Fry!

Jacket Time

October 8th, 2012
11:41 pm

Yes Dawgs we need tenuta back. I miss holding good teams to under 20 pts consistently. I remember beating a # 3 Miami team 14-3. Those were the days…

B. Dodd

October 9th, 2012
6:36 am

I can’t put my finger on it but there is just something not right at Tech. Could be CPJ, but the atmosphere just isn’t conducive for any DC in his right mind to come to the flats.

james brown

October 9th, 2012
7:08 am

This could be a problem , who wants to come to GT thinking Johnson might be headed out the door next. If we don’t get to a bowl game we will have a hard time finding a good DC.

Jacket Detective

October 9th, 2012
8:08 am

Tech will bounce back.
If the new strategies on defense, not to mention offense, are unpredictable.
Correct me if I am wrong but our opponents have sensed Groh was not going to blitz in the 4th quarter.
Without that threat which all defenses need, the oppponent confidently moves down the field to win the game.
I think we have some good players.
I think they have been demoralized by a coach the college game has passed by.

Jacket Detective

October 9th, 2012
8:23 am

How many times does Tech pass on fourth and one?
I noticed the Broncos, in a desperate attempt to get back in the game, threw passes often on fourth and short, realizing the run would probably be stuffed.
That’s easy to do when u have Peyton?
Not really.
Someone has to catch the ball in a pressure situation.
Their star halfback dropped a sure 1st down pass he catches 99 out of 100 times.
Right play call but even a multi-millionaire star can drop the ball.
But why doesn’t Peyton have more rings?
Maybe because he seldom gets the blame but his teammates are often thrown under the bus because it, of course, is never Peyton’s fault.
It is all about TEAM.

Jacket Detective

October 9th, 2012
8:28 am

Virginia subsidized Groh’s first two years at Tech, allowed us to pay him (I read somewhere) only 150K a year.
Virginia fans, if they bothered with our blogs, would be saying “karma”.
And “shouldn’t hire someone run off by his alma mater who doesn’t settle with them for less than the full amount owed by the contract”.

Jacket Detective

October 9th, 2012
8:35 am

Anyone got a copy of “The Guy in the Glass”?

Jacket Detective

October 9th, 2012
9:44 am

Al Groh: a modern day Trojan horse.

GT is a 4th rate High School Team

October 9th, 2012
9:51 am

The firing of GROH is pushing GT program deep into the high school ranks.


October 9th, 2012
9:52 am

any thoughts on who will replace groh as DC?

also, any news on defensive changes taking place this season would be interesting to hear about.

i’m hoping for more blitzing.

and more bench players playing early so the starters have some energy left in the 4th quarter.


October 9th, 2012
9:54 am

nice to have “GT is a 4th rate High School Team” as an obsessed fan creating page views and leaving comments on the tech blogs.

welcome aboard, sidewalk fan.

you can rest assured we won’t fail to show up for a big game like uga does on a regular basis.


October 10th, 2012
2:53 am

Why do people keep harping on NFL talent. Only a handful of schools are factories for the PRO’s, the rest are good enough to fill the needs of college rosters. Tech has a history of playing good football (pre mid 60’s). Post mid 60’s its came in spurts. The problem now is the desire for a return to the glory years has clouded most fans minds. I enjoy Tech football but in reality TECH men don’t fit the profile of the average 5/4 star jock. We want the “killers” but in reality we DON’T want this type of player walking around on campus. A few bad boys slip in…but man when they start to show their a….You know the story. You can’t have it both ways..real football players are the ones you see at Miami, Va Tech, Georgia…The ones talking smack, hitting hard, aggresive and in some cases getting in trouble!! We’ve got talent but just a few of our guys are mean people (Orwin, Attaochu, Nealy, Young, Jemea Thomas, Phil Smith (kicked of team). If you ever played “ball” you know what I’m “talking about”. Paul Johnson’s hands are tied. Tech wants a winner but you better keep it Tech clean.