Is it Tech’s turn to lose a candidate (Groh to Dolphins)?

Former Virginia coach Al Groh suddenly has options other than Georgia Tech.

Former Virginia coach Al Groh suddenly has options other than Georgia Tech -- the Miami Dolphins.

Let me start this by saying that Georgia Tech is not quite in the same situation with Al Groh that Georgia was with Kirby Smart, in that even if this potential hire blows up in Paul Johnson’s face he could probably escape public humiliation.

But Techies: Don’t get too comfortable.

In timing too perfect to ignore, the Miami Dolphins have fired their defensive coordinator, Paul Pasqualoni. The Dolphins’ vice president of operations is Bill Parcells. Parcells is a long-time friend and frequent boss of Groh’s. How frequent? They worked together at Army. And Air Force. And the New York Giants. And the New England Patriots. And the New York Jets.

For all we know, they once bagged groceries at adjacent checkout lines.

There have been strong indications that Groh may be hired by Johnson, who fired defensive coordinator Dave Wommack last week. But after being fired as the head coach at Virginia, a return to the NFL seemed like the more logical career transition for the 65-year-old Groh than staying in college as a defensive coordinator. Now the NFL opportunity may be there, and it’s with Parcells.

Maybe I’m overthinking this. But it’s not like Groh is exactly shooting the possibility down.

Comments to the Palm Beach Post (double-speak award):

“Any speculation to that possibility would be very premature at this point. I have a certain criteria in place for which I’m interested. It starts with the people that are involved. I’m open to anything that would fit that criteria. … That doesn’t mean anything or everything.”

ESPN.com followed that up with this:

Former Virginia coach Al Groh told ESPN.com that he hasn’t been contacted by the Dolphins about the vacancy, but he’d welcome the opportunity to work with old boss Bill Parcells again.

Groh’s name immediately comes to mind as a replacement because of his relationship with Parcells.

(Groh on his long history with Parcells):  “I’ve done it five times. Some people would say that I’m nuts. Some people would say that I’m fortunate. So, having it done it five times already, yeah, obviously, there’s a track record there.”

One thing Tech can take comfort in: This won’t be a financial decision. Groh is being paid $4.33 million over the next two more years by Virginia. This will come down to where he feels most comfortable. Maybe that is still Tech. (For the record, we’re not certain Johnson actually has offered him the job yet.)

But given the backdrop of the way things have unraveled in Athens, as well as the timing of the Dolphins’ opening, how comfortable are you right now?

263 comments Add your comment

Frank

January 11th, 2010
11:24 pm

macrotech

January 11th, 2010
11:27 pm

Not worried about the ’slap in the face’ factor….hopefully, Tech will find their DC quickly so that we can begin the matching up of our ‘O’ with our ‘D’….even with the loss of our four players to the nfl, we should be a tough team to beat when our ‘D’ catches up with our ‘O’….looking forward to the next season! Last season was fun….this season? COULD be an amazing one!!!!

Jeff Schultz

January 11th, 2010
11:35 pm

Frank — Mazel Tov.

Jeff Schultz

January 11th, 2010
11:36 pm

Macrotech — I suspect we’ll know something about Groh in the next day or two.

Augusta Jacket

January 11th, 2010
11:40 pm

Even if Groh accepts the Tech job, how long would he stay? He is already 65, maybe 5 years tops? I think Georgia Tech should get somebody that can stay longer than a few years.

Jeff Schultz

January 11th, 2010
11:42 pm

Can’t think in those terms any more in today’s college atmosphere. If you’re certain he’ll stay for at least two, that’s fine. Better to get somebody great now and worry about it again in 2 years.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 11th, 2010
11:42 pm

Augusta Jacket (Augusta here too, btw), if we get somebody younger, he might leave sooner than 5 years if he’s any good and gets a head coaching offer. Ya never know.

Resign or Resign?

January 11th, 2010
11:44 pm

Hey, if Groh goes to the ‘fins; why wouldn’t Tech want to hire Paul Pasqualoni? Don’t know why he fell out of favor with Parcels and Sparano, but everyone raved about his defense before, and during, the season past. Don’t know anything about him except that.

Jason

January 11th, 2010
11:46 pm

Why not dial up Southern Miss’ current Outside Linebackers Coach? That’s where we got Wommack from. Maybe even upgrade to the guy who coaches all three linebackers.

Tucson Wreck

January 11th, 2010
11:46 pm

I agree with Jeff. If we can have Groh put down the foundations for a pro-style 3-4 system, then I’m sure Groh can either groom or have someone “available” to carry what he puts together….assuming of course things are reasonably successful.

dagnabit

January 11th, 2010
11:46 pm

If we get him then we get him. If we don’t then we don’t. I think Groh would be a good fit at Tech. Right at the moment, I’m getting into Toubab Krewe. So t’m pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

Augusta Jacket

January 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

That all makes sense if thats the case. It would be nice to see Tech in a 3-4, we could move some of our big DEs to outside linebackers and have Barnes, Lanier, and Peters as the down lineman that could be scary good.

Logic

January 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

I don’t see why Georgia’s situation is considered “public humiliation” other than deep down you hate UGA, Jeff. He chose to stick with a team that just won a national championship over a team that needs some revamping. Just because he played at UGA doesn’t mean he was going to come running back to Athens at the first chance he got. It’s no different than Groh not going to Tech, if he doesn’t. It’s just a guy making a decision.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

Jeff, if you’re still reading this, I heard on NPR yesterday morning that the governor of Iowa had been ignored by the governor of another state when he attempted to make a friendly wajer on a bowl game this year. They didn’t say which state or bowl game, and it’s possible it was on the Iowa State bowl game (whoever they played). Do you have any idea if Purdue ignored such a request and why the hell he would do that? I know he’s a UGAG grad and supporter, but if he pulled a stunt like that, that has now made national news, then that’s disgraceful. Have you heard anything about that?

wxwax

January 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

Mark, don’t forget to ask Dimitroff about drafting players with a history of injuries.

Resign or Resign?

January 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

Except, of course, thet he used to be the Head Coach at Syracuse.

wxwax

January 11th, 2010
11:48 pm

Erm, umm, ah…. that would be Jeff.

Love ya, baby.

Xihix

January 11th, 2010
11:54 pm

I’d like for him to come to Tech. I would like to think he has some revenge in the ACC, and that the NFL would be too much for him at his age. He also stated he wanted to end his career as a consistent winner, which I believe is more possible with Tech than with the Dolphins. For what it’s worth though, he hasn’t been offered by the Dolphins yet… We’ll see. He said any talks about it were premature anyway.

NCR

January 11th, 2010
11:56 pm

It seems to me that the DC job at Georgia Tech is a more interesting job than the Dolphins. Compare head coaches Paul Johnson or Tony Sparano. Who is more likely to be coaching their respective teams in 3 years? Seems like there could be more stability at the top at Tech. And my guess is that Groh (at 65), wouldn’t be interested in a head coaching position in the NFL anyway.

Need patience

January 11th, 2010
11:59 pm

Groh is appealing but he also has drawbacks. He is stubborn and I just dont see the fire inside. Let the search run its course. D-Rad will steer this ship right.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 12th, 2010
12:00 am

I doubt that D-Rad gives much input into who his head coach hires for an assistant. I can’t imagine any head coach being willing to put up with that.

Technophobia

January 12th, 2010
12:02 am

I’m not uncomfortable at all Jeff. Groh would be a good hire but he needs to go where he wants to go. Apparently he’s intrigued by Tech’s offense and rapid rise in the conference. That, in itself, is a compliment to the program and a sign that good candidates will be very interested. Hopefully he’ll join us but if he decides that working with Parcells is a better fit I’ll respect his decision as the right one.

jabster

January 12th, 2010
12:03 am

@Supersize: Sunni “No Sunday Beer and Tachophobe” Perdue is such a UGA homer it’s pathetic. At least Joe Frank Harris and Zell Miller kept their noses out of COFH while they were in office. But how did Sunni (and JFH, for that matter) manage to graduate from UGA while being teetotalers? That’s like failing the Regents Exam…it’s easy, but you can’t get out without it.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 12th, 2010
12:12 am

jabster, I have never heard of any state governor failing to accept a friendly wajer on a bowl game in which any college in his state participated. Hell, all he had to do was offer a bushel of peaches if Tech lost (which unfortunately we did). To totally ignore something like that, assuming it was the Orange Bowl and Tech, is not only rude, it is unconscienable. I voted for him, but he has already lost every bit of confidence I ever had in him by aiding the pres of UGAG in his empire-building attempts by opening a satellite campus of MCG in Athens. We people in Augusta are pretty much convinced that eventually the main Augusta campus of MCG, which has been here for more than 100 years will eventually be moved to Athens. S***w Purdue and Adams and all of UGAG.

come on man

January 12th, 2010
12:15 am

Hey techies how bout looking into Willie Martinez?

BY the way DAWGS rule 30-24 and jackets drool…..! That was some Orange Bowl. You did the state proud. Go DAWGS

TD

January 12th, 2010
12:16 am

PennWagers.com

Supersize that order, mutt

January 12th, 2010
12:17 am

Hey mutts, how bout you looking into Dave Wommack.

LetsGetRealAlready

January 12th, 2010
12:17 am

While I respect Groh’s body of work, I hope he takes the Miami job and Tech hires a DC who will be able to build that side of the ball as well as recruit. I just don’t see Groh being hot on the recruiting trail for that special kid that could make the program. He’s done is time in that role and I just don’t think it would be a great hire for Tech. There are other great DC’s in college football and Tech doesn’t have to hire the “name” like UGAly does. We just need someone who can get the job done. I guess if Groh does get hired, we Tech fans can yell “G’roh!” (ala Homer Simpson’s “D’oh!”) when the D makes a mistake.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 12th, 2010
12:19 am

Mutts can’t even convince one of their own to come home as DC. Nobody wants that job.

Resign or Resign?

January 12th, 2010
12:49 am

Groh, or someone on his staff, was a good recruiter. They provide NFL talent every year; especially OLs & LBs.

Paul in RDU

January 12th, 2010
1:18 am

At Groh’s age and with his financial situation (he would essentially be working for free at either GT or the Dolphins) he’s likely to make any choice based on lifestyle and comfort with the people around him.
We’ll just have to see. I can’t get worked up about him either way.
I am not sure he was a good recruiter at UVA. One of the knocks on him was that he alienated the HS coaches in the Tidewater area and couldn’t recruit there.

Ted Striker

January 12th, 2010
1:32 am

I like the fact that this article isn’t 85% flippant and 15% substance.

JRA

Ted Striker

January 12th, 2010
1:34 am

p.s. Which isn’t an indictment of prior articles, btw. Just saying that on a peer-comparison tonight, you win, hands, feet, and schwing down

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

January 12th, 2010
6:17 am

Jeff: What I would like to know is who are the other candidates Johnson may be looking to hire? Really, no one even knows if Groh is even the “top of the list” person Johnson may want. You guys need to do some digging…I’m sure that Johnson isn’t putting all his eggs in Groh’s basket. I personally think Romeo Crennel ends up with the Dolphin’s job but what do I know.

Johnson is doing this thing the right way…keeping it quite so he can decide on the best hire. Since he’s known he was going to replace Wommack for some time, he’s had plenty of time to put feelers out and take care of a lot of preliminary stuff. Bet he has a hire by Friday at the latest.

UGAFan

January 12th, 2010
6:48 am

Let me be the first to say good luck in your search for a DC. This is a pivotal time for your program.

Gordon

January 12th, 2010
6:50 am

I hope we hire someone soon. There are too many people looking for DC’s (Dolphins, UGA, Florida, Florida State, Texas Tech).

jacket3

January 12th, 2010
7:07 am

Never under estimate DRad….he did hire CPJ right? They will do an extensive search and find the best match…count on it.

Scrap

January 12th, 2010
7:13 am

Who ever we hire, and when ever we hire him, we’ll be in better shape on that side of the ball next season. If we’re not, we will go out and hire another one. Rest assured CPJ will not be satisfied with anything less than improvement. I like where the program is headed. I suspected a while back Womack would be gone at season’s end. Now he is gone, and we will continue to move in the right direction.

YellowJacketFalcon

January 12th, 2010
7:33 am

Since I’ve heard this rumor of Groh, I’ve not been all that excited. To run a 3-4 style defense you MUST have some big d-line guys to run it effectively. It’d be a while before we could get the recruits to do that. Don’t think he is the right fit. Hopefully CPJ finds someone that is.

Cherokee

January 12th, 2010
7:34 am

Gordon…. I think Florida and Florida State both have already hired a DC, maybe wrong though.

yellowjacket82

January 12th, 2010
7:48 am

Jeff,

Why not pursue Ted Roof…he could return to his alma mater.

SUN TAN!

January 12th, 2010
8:01 am

If we lose him it ain’t the end of the world. A cardboard cut out will do just as well. It is football, it ain’t the end of the world. UGA losers are jumping out windows and I am loving it!

SUN TAN!

January 12th, 2010
8:02 am

The Ted Roof comment is not good. Go with the cardboard cutout, I have seen that movie before. Thanks.

GT

January 12th, 2010
8:06 am

With Smart we knew the offer was made as we did with a few more candidates, I am not so sure with Groh. I don’t think Johnson was talking to Groh as much about a hire as he was talking to him about advise. These two guys consider each other equals. Groh is a ACC coach that understands Tech since he has played and actually beat them once, the two years Johnson has been there. Who else you going to take advise from, an active coach like Frank Beamer who you are still competing with or the younger and still active coach at Miami. Out of all the teams that have beaten Tech probably the least talented which would make it the best coached is Virginia, with some thought of North Carolina. Virgina beat them at Grant Field. Why not if Groh is so gracious pick his mind before you go off on a defensive hire. I do not think these pro background coaches make good college coaches, they have a different work ethic than a good DC like Smart or Muscamp. In college ball the personel and coaches change all the time, it is a new test every week. With the pros subtle changes happen but quarterbacks usually stay the same year in year out and skims for these quarterbacks stay the same, plus everybody plays everybody so you can really steal ideas from watching film of a small group of equals each week in preparation as oppose to trying to figure out how a Furman football defense relates to your game plan.

Paddy

January 12th, 2010
8:07 am

Gordon, I believe Fla St hired a DC a couple weeks ago. Last name Stoops.

Big Al

January 12th, 2010
8:14 am

Of course Sonny would not place a bet on the big bad tech boys. First of all he is a UGA grad. Secondly he knows how pititful the acc is in general and tech is specifically. Why try to back a loser?

Jason

January 12th, 2010
8:16 am

I don’t see an Al Groh rejection as a slap in the face. I don’t believe that Johnson fired Womack only because he thought he had Groh in the bag. I think he fired Womack because Womack wasn’t getting the job done. So whether Groh accepts the job or not, Johnson wanted a better coordinator and someone who would change to a 3-4 system. If Groh’s the guy, then great, but if not Johnson will find someone to put the system he wants in place.

Jason

January 12th, 2010
8:20 am

And there is no way we as Tech fans want Ted Roof back. Don’t you remember how terrible the defense was during Ted Roof’s days? The offense was incredible with Hamilton/Godsey, but our defense also gave up lots of points, and was a unit that poorly tackled (especially Jamara Clark).

poopdawg

January 12th, 2010
8:25 am

Escape public humiliation? Richt has nothing to be humiliated about. He offered Smart declined. Jeff how do you escape public humiliation?

German accent

January 12th, 2010
8:28 am

Rodney Garner vill be zee next Tech defensive coordinator.