There was a time Al Groh was highly thought of in the coaching community.
In 2002 and 2007, Groh was the ACC Coach of the Year. He won those awards when he was leading Virginia's program. He was from the Bill Parcells/Bill Belichick NFL tree, and he spent a year coaching the New York Jets in 2000.
Now, Groh is one of those rare coordinators who gets unceremoniously fired in the middle of a season.
Georgia Tech announced Groh's firing, which comes during the Yellow Jackets' bye week. Georgia Tech was coming off a 47-31 loss to Clemson, the third straight game in which Groh's defense allowed at least 40 points. Georgia Tech ranks 90th in the nation in yards allowed, and 89th in points allowed. Dumping a coordinator with six games left in the season is pretty extreme, which means head coach Paul Johnson must not have felt confident about the prospects of Groh fixing the defense's problems.
Groh, who was in his third season at Georgia Tech, released a statement through the school:
"The Institute has decided to go in a different direction, which I respect. I appreciate all the help and input from (assistant defensive coaches) Charles Kelly, Joe Speed and Andy McCollum, and the effort of all the players.
"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."