Tide Hires Groh To Coach, Recruit
"We are excited to have Mike join our staff," said Alabama Coach Nick Saban. "He did an outstanding job here a year ago and when he left, he was one that I hoped we could bring back to Alabama at some point. He knows the game and what we want to do in terms of philosophy and terminology from an offensive standpoint. He relates well to the players and is also a very good recruiter. We are pleased to have Mike and Elena back with our football program at the University of Alabama."
Mike Groh spent the 2009 season at Alabama as an offensive graduate assistant as the Crimson Tide recorded a 14-0 record en route to the National Championship. Last year as the quarterbacks coach at Louisville, Groh was instrumental in the development of seniors Adam Froman and Justin Burke. Due to injuries, both players shared the starting role and showed great improvement from the previous season. After throwing just nine touchdown passes in 2009, the quarterbacks combined to throw 22 in 2010 with just eight interceptions.
"Having been at The University of Alabama for the 2009 National Championship season, I have a great appreciation for the Alabama football tradition and the first-class manner in which Coach Saban runs his program," said Groh. "The opportunity join Coach Saban's staff at Alabama is special and I'm excited to be back. I had a terrific experience last season coaching for Charlie Strong at Louisville and learned a great deal from him. Under his direction, I'm confident they will compete for many Big East Championships in the years to come."
Groh replaces Curt Cignetti, who was hired this year as head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Cignetti also had been receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Before his stints at Alabama and Louisville, Groh spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Virginia including the final three years as the offensive coordinator for the Cavaliers. Considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in Virginia history, Groh was hired on the Virginia staff in 2001 as the wide receivers coach before he took on the task of coaching the Cavalier quarterbacks in 2003 along with the receivers. He added the title of recruiting coordinator in 2005.
In his first year working with the quarterbacks at Virginia, Groh coached Matt Schaub, who set a school record with a 69.7 percent completion percentage, throwing for 2,952 yards and 18 TDs. Schaub is currently the starter for the Houston Texans and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009 after leading the league in passing yards. Marques Hagans transitioned from wide receiver to quarterback for the 2004 and 2005 seasons and which culminated with a 358-yard passing performance in the 2005 Music City Bowl to earn game MVP honors. Hagans finished his career with 4,877 passing yards, the fifth-highest total by a Cavalier.
As the wide receivers coach in 2001 and 2002 seasons, Groh helped Billy McMullen become one of the top receivers in the nation. As a senior in 2002, McMullen became the second all-time leading receiver in ACC history with 210 career receptions. Groh also recruited tailback Wali Lundy, who became the all-time touchdown leader in ACC history.
Groh spent the 2000 season as an offensive assistant/quality control coach for the New York Jets.
As the starting quarterback at Virginia in 1994-95, Groh became the only quarterback in school history to lead the Cavaliers to nine wins and a bowl victory in consecutive seasons. Groh led the ACC and ranked 13th in the nation in passing in 1994 as the Cavaliers finished 9-3 and defeated TCU 20-10 in the Independence Bowl as he earned MVP honors in that game.
As a tri-captain in 1995, he helped lead Virginia to a 9-4 record, including a 34-27 victory over Georgia in the Peach Bowl, and a share of the ACC championship. He earned second-team All-ACC honors in 1995 and received Virginia's Joe Palumbo Award for self-sacrifice.
He played his final season at Virginia as a graduate student after receiving his undergraduate degree in rhetoric and communication studies from Virginia in 1995. He attended the Baltimore Ravens' training camp as a free agent in 1996 and later played in the World League for the Rhein Fire in 1997.
Groh is married to the former Elena Montero.
Previously this year, Alabama had replaced defensive line coach Bo Davis with Chris Rumpf from Clemson and offensive line coach Joe Pendry with Chris Stoutland from Miami.
Still to be announced is a replacement Mike Vollmar as director of football operations. Vollmar accepted a similar position at Michigan. Rumors have former Miami tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Joe Pannunzio being hired for the position.
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