If you think Christmas with your family is awkward, imagine what it’s going to be like at Virginia coach Al Groh’s house. After all, nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like having to fire one of your sons. And that’s just what the DAILY PROGRESS says has happened: Groh has given his son, Cavalier offensive coordinator Mike, the axe along with two other assistants.
Talk about a Grinch. Receiving a pink slip for Christmas is hardly a Red Rider BB gun - in fact, I suspect Mike would have rather received a set of pink bunny pajamas than that.
This is the downside of nepotism: sometimes you have to be the bad guy in order to save your own skin. And after a second 5-7 season in three years, Virginia fans wanted action from Al Groh - and their particular pound of flesh was his son. He might want to drop a line to Bobby Bowden and ask for advice on how to handle the situation.
You can see why the fans have made Mike Groh a target of ridicule in recent years: in his three seasons as offensive coordinator, the Cavaliers’ highest finish in the nation’s total offense rankings was No. 101. That is hardly a sign of a football genius at work, and certainly Virginia wasn’t showing signs of getting any better any time soon. And whenever you hear about how “well-loved” an assistant was by his players, you might as well as “doormat” in as well.
As for possible replacements? At the top of the list is former Kansas State head coach Ron Prince, was formerly offensive coordinator at Virginia despite - and this is amazing - not being related to the head coach.