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Aug. 19, 2005

Charlottesville, Va. – Al Groh, University of Virginia head football coach since 2001, has signed a five-year contract that will boost his total annual compensation to $1.7 million, University officials announced today.

“Coach Groh has provided strong leadership for the University’s football program, and we want to ensure continuity in its future academic and athletic successes,” said Craig K. Littlepage, U.Va. athletics director.

The contract, which includes an annual base salary of $240,000 and $1.46 million annual compensation for services that include fundraising responsibilities, radio and television appearances, and product endorsements, is meant to keep Groh’s compensation in line with an increasingly competitive market among college football coaches. It also includes opportunities for Groh to receive additional compensation from bonuses for postseason bowl participation.

When Groh joined the University, he agreed to a seven-year contract with an annual base salary of $200,000 and a total annual compensation package of $765,000.

“There have been dramatic changes in the collegiate athletics arena since we first recruited Al to the University, and his new contract reflects those changes,” Littlepage said. “In part, this contract also is driven by the view that our program is emerging as a top-20 program under his guidance and has been in contention for the Atlantic Coast Conference title. This move recognizes Al as a coach who is among the best football coaches in the nation.”

Littlepage credits Groh’s tenure with being responsible for consistent record-breaking attendance and for season ticket sellouts. “Al has created a buzz about Cavalier football that is unprecedented.”

The 61-year-old Groh is a 1967 graduate of U.Va.’s McIntire School of Commerce. He was a member of Virginia’s varsity football team for three years and returned to his alma mater after a career as a respected veteran coach in the National Football League. He previously had been with the New York Jets for four years, the last year as head coach, and was recruited to U.Va. to fill the role left by the then-retiring George Welsh.

“My ties to the University of Virginia run deep,” said Al Groh, noting that son Michael, one of his father’s assistant coaches, received his undergraduate degree from U.Va., and son Matthew will be attending U.Va. Law School this semester. “I am thrilled that this agreement will maintain that relationship for a long time. I am grateful for the support and confidence of University leadership. And I especially appreciate the great efforts of our coaching staff, players and fans who have infused such energy into Cavalier football.”

When Groh rejoined the University community five years ago, University President John T. Casteen III said that he believed Groh was a good fit for the University. “Al was a proven coach who was well-known for emphasizing sportsmanship, academic success, and a strong work ethic,” Casteen said this week. “Al’s job at the University is not yet done. Our hope is that over the next five years he will continue to build the quality and reputation of Virginia football.”


Al Groh background
Prior to joining the New York Jets, Groh was defensive coordinator and/or linebackers’ coach for the New England Patriots (1993-96), the Cleveland Browns (1992), and the New York Giants (1989-91). He also was the special teams and tight ends coach for the Atlanta Falcons (1987).

His collegiate coaching experience includes three years at Virginia, where he was the head freshman coach from 1970 to 1972 and defensive line coach for the latter two seasons. He also has coached at Army, North Carolina, Air Force, Texas Tech, Wake Forest and South Carolina.

At Wake Forest, where he was head coach from 1981 to 1986, he was known as a dedicated mentor to his players, sending 14 on to careers in the NFL.

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