Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Al Groh Must Be Fired

Just over a year ago, we did a post where we discussed the reason why Al Groh needed to be relieved of his coaching duties at the University of Virginia. Sadly after a year Al Groh has only dug himself an even deeper hole. The bottom line is Al Groh must be fired, and here are the reasons why.

1.6 million dollar annual salary. This salary places Groh within the top 15 of highest paid coaches in the NCAA. Not bad if he has the same coaching records those men on that list. If you do this math, Groh will pull in about 470k per win this year. That should be enough to make your stomach churn.

Once again, Virginia is in a rebuilding year. That makes four rebuilding years in his nine year tenure. 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Seriously, every two years is a rebuilding class? A solid program should have to rearrange parts not build the entire program from scratch every time a player graduates. Also spuring the rebuilding process has been the coaching turnover at the top.

37 players drafted or signed free agent contracts to the NFL. That’s a lot of a talent for a team that has never finished better than losing the Gator Bowl. However, 32 NFL caliber players and yet 9-3 is the best Groh could do. That tells me it is not the players fault but the coaches who are not able to implement a solid game plan. If Al Groh cannot get it done with NFL calibur players how in the world is he going to succeed with the subpar talent he is currently bringing in?

The inability to pull the top recruits within the state. Every year, Virginia Tech beats UVA in the recruiting battle. Tech manages to go out and sign the top quarterbacks and receivers in the state of Virginia. Groh settles for what is left. This is largely due to Groh’s inability to motivate kids, and his poor people skills. The glum and quiet routine works for Bill Belichick because he does not have to sit in a player’s living room and explain to his mama how he will take care of her son. Al Groh has to do exactly that, and his northern attitude sucks, and detours many of the traditional southern families he must visit while recruiting. Virginia will continue to to flounder if they do not find a coach who can recruit.

Disciplinary and academic problems. The UVA program has lost 10 players since the conclusion of the 2007. That includes two, yes two, starting quarterbacks. The reasons for dismissal include not being academically eligible, UVA is an elite institution and players must go to class (the kids at Vandy do it). The also include arrest on DUI and drug charges (former QB Peter Lalich look for him to be a stud in Oregon State in a few seasons). And getting arrested at a gay bar for stealing beer (explain that one to your parents). All of these incidents are completely unacceptable and embarrassing to a very proud school with proud traditions. It is obvious that Al Groh has no control over his players.

He lost to William & Mary. Nothing else left to say with this one. Seriously, I did not know W&M had a football team till this year, and now they have a win over the Virginia Cavaliers, completely embarrassing.

His record against rival schools. For not being a powerhouse football team, UVA has plenty of rivals, four to be exact; Virginia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina and Maryland. Al Groh is a combined 12-16 against his rival schools. Included in that is a 1-5 record against FSU, a soon to be 1-7 against Va. Tech, 5-3 against Maryland and 7-2 against UNC. Unacceptable. Sure he can beat UNC and Maryland, but who are they really? I'm more concerned with Tony Bennet knocking off those programs.

At the end of the day, it has been 9 years, and All Groh has been to 5 bowl games. While that does mean he has secured a winning record in the majority of his seasons in Charlottesville, he has yet to deliever with a power house team. Consistantly the Virginia Cavaliers have looked unprepared and out coach. the Virginia football program has been on a downward tailspin since halftime of the Gator Bowl against Texas Tech. The only thing that can fix this problem is a massive overhaul and it begins with firing Al Groh.


Bloomer Snatcher said...

I concur.

1. The new measuring stick for success in the ACC coaching ranks is appearances in the ACC title game. To that Al has ZERO!

2. The height of Groh's tenure was halftime of the 2007 Gator Bowl.

3. Even a VaTech win, and a 2-7 record vs. your instate record is grounds for firing alone. I don't need any other reasons.

Anonymous said...

I can never understand why UVA even hired him. HE was not successful at Wake, his only other college head coaching spot. Hasn't had anywhere near the success that Jim Grobe has had there. I remember his offensive schemes and they didn't fit Wake's talent, which I admit wasn't much.
Somebody needs to contact US Air Force Academy...Troy Calhoun, a Grove protege who has lead them to two bowls since being named there about four years ago.

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