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.”
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?