Wommack out (Groh in?) as Tech defensive coordinator (UPDATED)

Dave Wommack has been Tech's version of Willie Martinez in his two seasons.

Dave Wommack has been Tech's version of Willie Martinez in his two seasons.

(UPDATED BELOW WITH TECH CONFIRMING WOMMACK’S FIRING)

It took a 7-5 regular season and a 4-4 SEC record before Georgia coach Mark Richt finally decided to make a change at defensive coordinator. Paul Johnson isn’t going to wait for a slide at Georgia Tech.

Tech will announce today that maligned defensive coordinator Dave Wommack is out as defensive coordinator. A surprising candidate to replace him is former Virginia head coach Al Groh, who was fired this year after nine seasons but was a long time successful defensive assistant in the NFL.

When asked about Wommack’s possible exit Friday, Johnson said only, “There’s going to be an announcement on that later this afternoon.”

As for the Groh rumors, Johnson was less evasive: “I have no idea where that came from. It’s not true. I haven’t hired anybody.”

When asked if Groh is a candidate for the job, Johnson said, “I have no idea. There’s probably going to be a lot of candidates. … I would think he’s a guy who would be a great candidate if he’s interested. But I don’t know if he is. He’s collecting a lot of money up there [from his buyout at Virginia].”

Groh was in Atlanta before Tech’s Orange Bowl game, watching one of the Jackets’ practices. At the time, Johnson dismissed Groh’s presence as nothing significant.

There have been rumors for weeks that Wommack might retire or resign. The Yellow Jackets allowed 30 or more points in six games this year and  have ranked from the middle to the bottom of  the ACC in several defensive statistical categories the last two seasons.

The Jackets just completed an 11-3 season with a 24-14 loss to Iowa in the Orange Bowl. Ironically, the game was one of Tech’s better defensive performances of the season. But during the season in the ACC, Tech ranked eighth in rush defense, sixth in pass defense, seventh in total defense, ninth in opponent pass efficiency, sixth in scoring defense and ninth in sacks and 10th in tackles for loss.

Going back to the final two games of last season — a 45-42 win over Georgia and a 38-3 loss to LSU — the Jackets have allowed 30 or more points in eight out of 16 games, but managed to go 5-3 in those games (including losses to Miami and Georgia this year).

HERE ARE EXCERPTS FROM GEORGIA TECH’S NEWS RELEASE:

Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Dave Wommack will not return for the 2010 season, Yellow Jacket head coach Paul Johnson said today.

“Dave is a good man and a good football coach,” Johnson said.
“But after speaking to him earlier this week, we both agreed that it was time for a change at that position.”

The search for a new defensive coordinator will begin immediately, Johnson said.

Georgia Tech ranked 54th nationally in total defense in 2009, breaking a streak of five consecutive years finishing ranked in the top 30 in that category. The Yellow Jackets ranked 56th in scoring defense, 68th in rushing defense and 88th in pass efficiency defense.

Tech held three ACC opponents – North Carolina, Virginia and Duke – to 10 points or less, but the Yellow Jackets allowed 30 or more points six times in 2009.  Tech allowed 66 plays of 20 yards or longer and 22 touchdown drives of three minutes or less.

Wommack’s departure leaves two vacancies on the Georgia Tech staff.
A-backs coach Jeff Monken resigned earlier to become the new head coach at Georgia Southern.

444 comments Add your comment

Eastside Jacket

January 8th, 2010
1:35 pm

If the Al Groh rumors are true I think it will be HILARIOUS that Tech gets a DC better than the leghumpers.

tech

January 8th, 2010
1:37 pm

great move if this is true

dkg73

January 8th, 2010
1:39 pm

Not only is Groh a terrific DC but he is an awesome recruiter!

cattle dawg

January 8th, 2010
1:39 pm

What ever happened to Freak Nik?

Eastside Racket

January 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

I think it is HILARIOUS you are so petty. Get a life.

Denver Dawg

January 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

“Eastside Jacket” – you get the wonderful DC, and the “leghumpers” will still whip your a%% each November… no way to buy your way out of THAT

TechNut

January 8th, 2010
1:41 pm

Thank goodness! I had a bad feeling they might keep that guy. We need John Tenuta back!!!

Tech Fan

January 8th, 2010
1:42 pm

How about bring back Jon Tenuta.

MagnaCarterGT

January 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

John Tenuta?? No thanks TechNut, Notre Dame can keep him.

Can you dig it?

January 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

Are you kidding me…Al Groh? he just lost his job at Virginia because his defenses sucked….better than what Georgia gets?…I don’t think so…that just proves how little Tech fans know about college football…..but we all knew that already didn’t we. We Run This State! Always have…Always will! Can You Dig It !

jawga boy

January 8th, 2010
1:44 pm

Eastside…. where do you come off with Groh being better? Than who? Sumbitch was fired because of his losing in a loser of a conference. You don’t know nuttin’.

Wommack Can't Coach

January 8th, 2010
1:45 pm

DJ

January 8th, 2010
1:45 pm

Get ready for some dumba$$ dawg fan to post under the “Paul Johnson” handle. It will be hilarious, just like their 8-5, unranked season with a fluke win over the Jackets. They are spinning downward, and that’s hilarious. But Murray will be the savior. Of course he’d have been in there this year if he were that great. Right?

But for “Paul Johnson” posting out there, keep this in mind Dawgie, your big SEC school hasn’t stopped that offense yet. You benefitted from our defense being worse than yours (very sad, I know). But from the looks of it, our coach has a set of stones about managing the program a little better than yours does. He makes a change when he needs to, instead of letting the program sink from pre-season national champs to unranked just two seasons later. Sinking dawgies, that’s what you’re doing.

[...] pass efficiency, sixth in scoring defense and ninth in sacks and 10th in tackles for loss. Wommack out (Groh in?) as Tech defensive coordinator | Jeff Schultz Kinda surprised this happen after an 11-3 season, however, the games where the Jackets were beaten [...]

Ricky

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Jim Mora has been fired from Seattle…………… Playoffs….?? PLAYOFFS?

K wit a K

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Step 1 : Fire Wommack….check
Step 2 : Hire Al Groh
Step 3: World Domination

Go Jackets!!!!

[...] Johnson’s decided to try his luck by dropping Dave Wommack.  You can bet that no matter whomever Tech hires as a replacement, we’ll be assured of [...]

Realist

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Al Groh is a good coach, but whoever said he is a great recruiter must not have been paying attention to the UVa program for the last 5 years. Poor recruiting, over an extended period of time, is the entire reason Groh is out of a job right now.

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Johnson can hire Monte Kiffin away from Tennessee, but unless you get some real players, the result is going to be the same. Not being disrespectful, just candid.

jawga boy

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

DJ……Fluke win? Dawgs rushed for 243 yards , threw for 200 more. J Dwyer held to 23 yards rushing? Fluke? Tell me, does DJ stand for DUMB JERK?

Manny

January 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Paul Johnson is not playing around.

Paul's Johnson

January 8th, 2010
1:48 pm

CPJ will probably get somebody hired before Suntan does, and a better one as well.

Styles

January 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

I was at the airport in Miami and some typical Tech clown was flapping his gums about GT beating UGA next year! Really!!?? You just got bee-aatch slapped by Iowa following a loss to us in the state championship! Typical Tech little brother inferiority complex nerd!

Melinda

January 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

Al Groh’s offenses have been bad, but his defenses have been pretty good. Some guys make much better coordinators than head coaches. Brian VanGorder for instance. Does not have the people skills to be a head coach, but is a great coordinator.

Dawgs97

January 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

The Nerds could hire Nick Saban to run their defense and we’d still beat them every year. If the nerds actualy read their own columns and were honest with themselves, they’d notice EVERY back n forth they have with us “leg humpers” is as a result of the nerds bashing us first. We only respond because you guys always start the sh–.

God, even the Gators have more class then you pathetic, whiny losers.

And by the way, evil nerds, since you’re #13 in the final rankings despite being housed by us and Iowa, then I guess Georgia should be 12th? Or maybe you just prefer that you were embarrassed by an unranked Georgia team, jerkoffs.

GW

January 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

New DC better bring some Linebackers and Linemen with him. Warm bodies won’t get the job done outside of the ACC. Willie Martinez is still looking.

gdawginkalamazoo

January 8th, 2010
1:50 pm

Sure bring back Judy Tenuta we loved having him on the sidelines when playing Tech. What was it 7 in a row? There’s a reason Groh was fired at Virginia he lost too much. You don’t think he had a say in how the defense was being run while he was there? Besides like PJ said it is all about the benjamins and Groh just got a boat load.

Duke Blue

January 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

I heard from a friend of a friend Willie is the top candidate

Ekim

January 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

Every time I’ve heard Tenuta’s job mentioned on these boards, it was quickly followed by a comment along the lines of “been there, done that,” as if when he parted it was relief to many. I’ve also heard that he was tough to work with.

TechNut

January 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

Jon Tenuta was great when he was here; he blitzed somebody on every down. ND had half ass players.

jppaa

January 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

groh would be a great pick, but we run into a personnel issues: groh runs a 3-4 defense, and we would need to make some adjustments up front if he is to come to tech. i think tj barnes would fit in well as a 3-4 nose guard like glenn cody was at bama, big guy that occupies multiple blockers

MB

January 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

Nice comeback Dawgs97, he started it…….whaaaaaaaaa!

Ekim

January 8th, 2010
1:52 pm

Get over yourself, Dawgs97. It may be your impression that “we started it,” but get real. Who’s on a Tech blog right now?

Ezekiel

January 8th, 2010
1:53 pm

Be funny as all heck if PJ hired Kirby Smart or one of the guys who turned down UGA. Best wishes to Dave Wommack, class guy and class act. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him but best wishes in whatever he chooses to do. Talk Tech football at: http://www.bbuzzoff.com

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 8th, 2010
1:53 pm

Just read some of the knuckle-dragging, Tech sidewalk-alumnus comments about mutts and leg humpers and other foul noises. Don’t you guys realize that after those rants and imbicilic mumblings, that anything you say is questioned and dismissed by all fans. Keep it up!

Jeff

January 8th, 2010
1:53 pm

Jeff- what a idiot…..Paul Johnson isnt going to wait for a slide???? You talk like PJ is somewhere in the same league as CMR. Talk to me when he gets close. BTW…second year…CMR 13-1…SEC Champs…Platers Tech 51-7…..WIN our BCS Bowl……Finish number 3. The Jackettes…win ACC (trying not to laugh), lose to the worse UGA team of CMR 9 years, and lose to the Big 10 in BCS game….BIg Ten? wow- really? big ten? REALLY??? Write about that!

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

January 8th, 2010
1:53 pm

Oh, thank goodness. Wommack was terrible. Maybe it was because of that extra m in his last name.

Chris Eagle

January 8th, 2010
1:53 pm

So Tech will be replacing 2 coaches, with Jeff Monken (Slotbacks / Special Teams) going to Georgia Southern. You have to admit that Johnson is decisive in his actions. To your point, Richt would have “stayed loyal”, especially after a 11-3 season.

TML

January 8th, 2010
1:54 pm

CP”Goferit”J basically just said this – ‘We’re 11-3, defending ACC champions, and that’s not good enough. We need to get better.’ Thank the Lord for this coach. Exactly what Tech needs. I wonder if Dave Braine is watching somewhere…

“Toe Meets Leather”, available at The Fans Wear (Cumberland, Peachtree Center, Northlake, and Stonecrest) and at http://www.stinGTees.com.

TECH71

January 8th, 2010
1:54 pm

I love the move, our defense was horrible although our D line was thin and got pushed around… If anyone doubts that CPJ is serious about winning championships this ought to put your fears to rest..

Can you dig it?

January 8th, 2010
1:54 pm

Hey DJ…last time I looked at the stats of the Georgia / Tech game this year…the dawgs not only won the game…but held Techs offense to only 200 rushing…thats 200 yards under Techs season average with a defense that everyone on this blog agreed was crap. Did you not watch the game..Georgias defense stop Techs offense cold..we sucked and still beat your so called high powered offense. By the tone of your blog you sound like a little boy who doesn’t know sh_t about college football….but your a Tech fan so I guess we should expect that…what a tool! Can You Dig It !

UVAfan

January 8th, 2010
1:55 pm

For those Dawg fans who don’t know anything about UVA, Groh was fired for his inability to get any OFFENSE going for the Cav’s consistently. Al Groh has had great defenses at UVA and he is a great defensive coach.

We will miss his defense up here at UVA he was a great coach.

Paul Johnson

January 8th, 2010
1:55 pm

My New Year’s resolution is to punch DJ in the face.

GT

January 8th, 2010
1:56 pm

Groh would be awesome! Especially with the new fresh class coming in. Funny how we get a 5 star coord quick and ugay is still waiting. LOL

Dawgs97

January 8th, 2010
1:56 pm

Tell you waht, Ekim, you stop wasting space on our blogs and we’ll gladly stay off of yours.

Tech88

January 8th, 2010
1:58 pm

Don’t think Al Groh will come to GT. The Dolphins are calling with a lot more money. However, it would be a great move if it happens.

Lindsey Snot

January 8th, 2010
1:58 pm

Hey Jawja, Dwyer was the ONLY thing you guys stopped. You still haven’t stopped the option, never will ’cause you won’t get a month to prepare for it. Thomas doesn’t drop the pass, we STILL beat your butts.

I know you guys can’t stand the fact that we’r eup and you’re down, but don’t hate the messenger, hate yourselves.

Opinion

January 8th, 2010
1:58 pm

Finally !!!!!!!!!!!!! CPJ has finally used his brass coconuts and done the right thing Firing Dave Wommack !!!!

BankerDawg

January 8th, 2010
1:59 pm

Groh would be quite a defensive hire for you guys.

He also seems to recruit the state of Virginia very well, which could give you a nice little pipeline there.

After being the head man for so long, would he be comfortable just being the DC?

Kudos to CPJ for acting quickly on this….suffering through the demise of our defense the past couple of years was no fun at all.

GOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS! SIC ‘EM!

collegeballfan

January 8th, 2010
1:59 pm

“…the Jackets have allowed 30 or more points in eight out of 16 games, but managed to go 5-3 in those games…”

They gave up 30 or more in eight games but won five of them?
What does that say about the offense? Pretty good.

As a comparison UGA gave up 30 or more 5 times in the last 16 games and won 2 and lost 3. Pretty good offense.