Hot Topic in ACC Football
July 27, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Reporters who crowded around Paul Johnson’s table Monday afternoon at the Grandover Resort wanted to know, as they seemingly always do, if Georgia Tech planned to pass the football more this season.
They also wanted to know how Al Groh was doing in Atlanta.
Groh, whose ninth and final season as UVa’s head coach ended with his dismissal, is now the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, where he has installed his trademark 3-4 scheme.
“My job as head coach is to give him the tools to be defensive coordinator and let him plan the defense,” Johnson said at the ACC Football Kickoff.
The Yellow Jackets ranked 54th nationally in total defense and 56th in scoring defense last season. That didn’t keep the Jackets from winning the ACC championship, but Johnson wants them to be stingier, so he turned to Groh, whose work on defense Johnson admired.
“It didn’t have to be a 3-4, it just happened to be his system,” Johnson said. “Any time you can get a coach like that, with that much experience and success, it’s great for our program.”
In addition to his duties as head coach, Groh coordinated UVa’s defense last season. The Cavaliers ranked 52nd in total defense and 68th in scoring defense in 2009.
The Wahoos lost their final six games and finished 3-9, their third losing record in four seasons. The wins were Virginia’s fewest since 1986.
At UVa, Groh went 36-36 in ACC games and 59-53 overall, including a 1-8 record against arch-rival Virginia Tech.
Groh, 66, is not the only UVa alumnus on Johnson’s staff at Georgia Tech. Mike Sewak, the Jackets’ co-offensive line coach, was a three-year letterman at Virginia, from which he graduated in 1981.