The Union Recorder

Local Sports

October 9, 2012

Ga. Tech dumps defensive coordinator Al Groh

(Continued)

ATLANTA —

The defense has been especially leaky in the second half, squandering a 17-point lead to Miami and allowing Virginia Tech to kick a tying field goal after going ahead of the Hokies with less than a minute remaining. Both times, the Yellow Jackets lost in overtime.

The 68-year-old Groh was hired by Johnson in 2010 after being fired by Virginia, where he went 59-54 in eight seasons. Before returning to his alma mater, he went 9-7 in his lone season as an NFL head coach with the Jets. Groh also went 26-40 in six seasons as Wake Forest's coach in the 1980s.

He issued a statement through Georgia Tech saying he understood the decision, also thanking the players and his assistants for their hard work.

"The institute has decided to go in a different direction, which I respect," Groh said. "I aimed to give the best that I had every day. It's been an honor to be a part of the legacy of Georgia Tech football. I feel positive that this is a good time in life to move on to a new situation."

The time to move on has been building for a while.

Johnson's discontent with Groh goes back to last season, when the Yellow Jackets lost five of their last seven games, capped by a 30-27 overtime loss to Utah in the Sun Bowl. The Utes scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game, then won in overtime.

This year, more of the same.

"I was hopeful as we started, this being the third year. I was hopeful we would see some improvement," Johnson said. "I was encouraged at the first of year, but it became apparent that was short-lived. The last three games was a carry-over of the last six games a year ago."

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