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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Al Groh, living in Charlottesville but not necessarily retired from coaching, has become central Virginia’s ranking authority on Central Florida football.
Groh, the head coach at Virginia from 2001-2009, will be the ESPN3 analyst Aug. 29 for the Knights’ season opener against visiting Akron.
It’s part of a three-game trial with ESPN that will include Duke’s Sept. 7 game at Memphis.
“I equate it to be a rookie in the NFL,” said Groh, whose 59 coaching victories rank him second behind George Welsh (134) on UVa’s all-time list.
“You start making plays early and you get more plays. If it sounds good to them, then there will be more games to follow. Obviously, if you drop the ball, you don’t deserve any more games.
“Hopefully, they’ll see fit to occupy my time for a few more weekends.”
Another analogy could be made to the time a coach spends in preparation.
“The fun part already is, once I got the assignments, I’ve been on the computer every day,” said Groh, relieved as Georgia Tech defensive coordinator after the sixth game of the 2012 season.
“I’ve got six teams to check right now.”
He isn’t exactly starting with marquee matchups, “but I have no complaints,” said Groh, who spent time with Jon Gruden last fall when Gruden was preparing for Monday Night Football.
“He gets ready for it the same way as if were going to coach the game.”
How soon they forget?
If redshirt freshman center Jackson Matteo holds onto the No. 1 job, he would not be the first walk-on to start on the offensive line for the Cavaliers, a mystery that was partially unlocked by Groh.
Groh said he recalled a walk-on offensive lineman from Hampton High School and further investigation revealed that walk-on Isaac Cain started for the Cavaliers against TCU in Groh’s last season.
Cain was best known for his time as a football-playing driver for UVa’s Transit System, even chauffeuring his teammates to Scott Stadium for Meet the Team Day in 2008. He had played trombone in the Hampton High band before turning to football.
Things might get uglier between the ACC and outgoing member Maryland, whose athletic department operated at a $21-million deficit over the past academic year and is likely to add to that deficit through 2017-2018, according to a school commission report,
A large part of that could be attributed to the $15 million withheld by the ACC in its effort to collect a $52-million exit fee, which Maryland contends is illegal and is contesting in two courts.
The commission report also cited “past financial decisions” for the shortfall and questioned the advisability of adding facilities. Maryland will move to the Big Ten in 2014-2015.
John Harris, who rushed for 6,571 yards in his career at Patrick County and was a first-team All-Timesland selection in 2009, is listed as a freshman on the football roster at Virginia State.
n Grayson County graduate Mikey Rodgers, named first-team All-Timesland last year after catching 56 passes for 1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns, is hoping to have an immediate impact at Ferrum.
Rodgers’ younger brother, Maxwell, is a 6-4, 215-pound rising senior at Grayson County who passed for 1,858 yards and rushed for 452 while accounting for 30 touchdowns (20 passing, 10 rushing). He has received some Division I recruiting interest.
The Rodgers’ father, Mike, is the director of admissions at Oak Hill Academy and their sister, Alex, is on the women’s basketball team at Princeton.
Matt Tenuta, the starting pitcher for the Burlington Royals in Appalachian League action Wednesday night in Pulaski, is the son of UVa defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta. The younger Tenuta originally planned to play at N.C. State, where his father was coaching, but signed with Kansas City after being selected in the 25th round of the 2012 MLB draft.
Tenuta, a 6-foot-4, 208-pound left-hander, carried a 2-2 record and 2.82 earned-run appearance into his ninth appearance Wednesday, all starts.
East Carolina has taken an oral commitment for 2014 from Shaun James, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive lineman from Green Run High School in Virginia Beach. The Pirates earlier had landed Massadiq Walton, a 6-3, 241-pound defensive end from Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach. ... A total of 33 players from Virginia have made oral commitments to Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
John Barrett, who died Tuesday in Lexington, was the Keydets’ faculty chairman for athletics from 1965-87 and also served as president of the Southern Conference from 1969-72. “His love of VMI and its intercollegiate athletic program was unsurpassed,” said retired longtime VMI official Mike Strickler, who noted that Barrett, a Wake Forest graduate, is one of 25 individuals to be named an honorary alumnus by the VMI Alumni Association.
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