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College notebook: Ex-UVa QB Groh heads to NFL
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Al Groh valued his experiences at both the college and professional level during a lengthy coaching career, and he wasn’t about to discourage his son from taking a similar path.
Mike Groh, a former Virginia quarterback and assistant coach, is headed to the Chicago Bears after working at Alabama while it was winning national championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Groh coached the Crimson Tide wide receivers and served as recruiting coordinator for the past two seasons. He recently was named national recruiter of the year by the 247Sports service.
Groh, 41, was doing a clinic in Atlanta when he was contacted by new Bears coach Marc Trestman.
“Mike was intrigued,” said Al Groh, the former Virginia head football coach who is in the process of relocating to Charlottesville from Atlanta, where he was the Georgia Tech defensive coordinator, “but he was also very conflicted.
“It doesn’t get any better than the University of Alabama — not just the winning but the way the whole program is run, as far as the philosophy and the culture of the program.”
A key aspect of the decision was the opportunity for personal development under Trestman and new offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, previously with the New Orleans Saints.
“Clearly, Alabama is a program where you learn a lot, too,” Al Groh said. “One of the elements of Mike’s thinking was, it’s [Chicago] one of the iconic franchises in the league.
“They had a real good defense last year, and they’ve got a quarterback [Jay Cutler] and some firepower. Clearly. If that had translated into wins, they wouldn’t be in the circumstance they’re in.”
In his career, Al Groh was an assistant at North Carolina before serving as Wake Forest head coach from 1981 to 1986. He then spent 15 seasons in the National Football League, mostly as an assistant before coaching the New York Jets in 2000.
“Just because he’s [Mike] in the NFL doesn’t mean he won’t coach in college again,” said Groh, the UVa coach from 2001 to 2009. “Nick Saban did just that. I learned a lot of things in the NFL that I never would have known otherwise.”
Vincent Wyatt, a sophomore from William Fleming, became the first Radford University athlete to qualify for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships since 2006 when his 60-meter hurdles time he ran at a Virginia Tech meet back in January was certified Monday as one of the top-16 time performances of the season.
Boston College’s come-from-behind victory Sunday over visiting Virginia followed a touching pregame tribute to Dick Kelley, for many years the media contact for BC men’s basketball. He has been battling Lou Gehrig’s disease for the past 18 months.
Kelley, confined to a wheelchair, was helped to midcourt for presentation of the United States Basketball Writers’ Courageous Award.
“This game was for Dick Kelley,” said third-year Eagles coach Steve Donahue, whose team took the lead on a late Joe Rahon 3-pointer launched only feet from where Kelley was sitting.
Donahue had told his team, “If you are going to go down, go down fighting in his honor. It’s an incredibly tough thing to watch. It’s amazing how he handles it.”
By the numbers
With all ACC men’s basketball teams having played 16 of the 18 conference games in their regular-season schedule, the home teams had a 66-30 (.688) record through the end of last weekend. Last year, when ACC teams played only 16 conference games, home teams finished 58-38 (.604).
Heading into this week, Miami is the only ACC team with a winning conference record on the road (7-2). The Hurricanes, Duke and Virginia all entered this week with unbeaten home conference records. The top five teams, counting North Carolina and N.C. State, were 37-2 in home conference games.
George Wythe linebacker Justin Snavely, named first-team All-Group A by the Virginia High School Coaches Association, has signed with Elon. Snavely (5 foot 10, 205 pounds) had 100 tackles as a senior for the Maroons’ Division I championship squad, including 33 for loss.
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