Sunday, Nov. 29
The University of Virginia has announced that Al Groh's tenure as head football coach has come to an end.
Groh reportedly will receive a buyout of about $4.3 million dollars. Groh had two years remaining on his contract.
Groh ends his nine year run at the head of the Cavalier sideline less than 24 hours after Virginia closed out its season with a 42-13 loss to arch rival Virginia Tech.
2009 saw Virginia finish the season 3-9, 2-6 in the ACC, and 1-6 at Scott Stadium. All three marks are the worst in Groh's nine year career at the head of the program. Yesterday's loss to the Hokies also dropped Groh's record to 1-8 against the Cavaliers' biggest rival. Virginia Tech has now won the last six games in the series and ten of the last eleven.
The now-former head coach arrived on grounds in 2001 and accumulated a 5-7 record, but quickly turned things around, putting together four straight winning seasons, three of which ended with bowl victories. 2002 was headlined by quarterback Matt Schaub, while Marques Hagans picked up where Schaub left off in 2004. The worst of those four years was 2005 in which Virginia finished 7-5 with a win in the Music City Bowl.
2006 saw a rebuilding year after the departure of many experience skill players, as Groh’s Cavaliers stumbled to a 5-7 season. It was during this season that Jameel Sewell took over starting quarterback job.
The 2007 season saw Virginia back in the spotlight. Groh led the Cavs to a 9-4 record, including an appearance in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville on New Year’s Day, where Virginia fell to Texas Tech. Groh still won his second ACC Coach of the Year honor following the season.
2008 can be looked at as the beginning of Al Groh’s downfall. Marred by off-the-field trouble, Virginia once again posted at 5-7 record and ended the season with four straight losses. Groh was forced to make multiple coaching changes, including at offensive coordinator, after his son, Mike, was forced to resign following the season.
Virginia fans watched with skepticism as Groh returned for the 2009 season with implied pressure to produce results. The season could not have started out much worse, as the Cavaliers fell to William and Mary at home, 26-14, en route to opening the season 0-3. Attendance fell to record lows at Scott Stadium as Virginia continued to lose and its offense fell to the bottom of the national statistics. Virginia was shutout in the second half four times during the 2009 season, including the final two games.
Now the Al Groh era has officially come to an end and the focus shifts to who will come in and rebuild the Virginia football team back to what it once was.
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