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Georgia Tech Fills Two Coaching Vacancies

Jan. 15, 2010

ATLANTA – Al Groh, a veteran coach on the college and NFL level, has agreed in principle to become Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator, Yellow Jacket head coach Paul Johnson confirmed Friday morning.

Groh plans to sign a contract when he arrives on the Georgia Tech campus next week.

Johnson also announced Friday morning that Lamar Owens, a graduate assistant coach at Georgia Tech in 2009 and an intern in 2008, was named assistant coach in charge of the A-Backs. Owens is a former quarterback under Johnson at Navy.

Groh replaces Dave Wommack, who left Tech after two years as defensive coordinator. Owens takes over for Jeff Monken, who resigned to become the head coach at Georgia Southern.

Groh comes to Georgia Tech after serving nine years as head coach at Virginia, where he compiled a 59-53 overall record. He led the Cavaliers to bowl appearances in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

The Yellow Jackets now have on staff the ACC Coach of the Year the last three seasons. Groh was ACC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2007. Johnson won the award in 2008 and 2009.

“I think any time you can get a coach the caliber of an Al Groh, it is a tremendous plus for your program,” Johnson said. “Al has a great deal of expertise. He is considered one of the top defensive minds in the country and has a record to support it.”

Prior to coaching at Virginia, Groh served one season (2000) as head coach of the New York Jets, compiling a 9-7 record. From 1989 until 1999, Groh served in a variety of assistant-coaching roles with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots and the Jets. He was defensive coordinator for the Giants in 1991 and defensive coordinator for the Patriots from 1993-96.

Groh lived in Atlanta in 1987, serving as the Atlanta Falcons’ special teams and tight ends coach.

From 1981-86, Groh was head coach at Wake Forest, where he compiled a record of 26-40 in six seasons.

“I am extremely flattered to be invited by Paul Johnson to be part of what he is building at Georgia Tech,” Groh said. “He has already built an awful lot, and I appreciate his confidence that I can play a role in continuing to make Georgia Tech one of the elite programs in college football.”

Owens is very familiar with Johnson’s spread-option offense. In his first career start as Navy’s quarterback, Owens rushed for 122 yards on 19 carries, becoming just the third Midshipmen QB to eclipse 100 yards in his first start.

As a team co-captain in 2005, Owens directed Navy to an 8-4 campaign and a win over Colorado State in the Poinsettia Bowl. As a senior, he rushed for 880 yards and 11 touchdowns, while throwing for 1,299 yards and six TDs.

“Lamar has a vast knowledge of the offense, having played quarterback for us at Navy and having been on the staff the last two years,” Johnson said. “I am confident Lamar will do an outstanding job for us and that he is ready for this role.”

Owens is a native of Savannah (Ga.) and graduated from Benedictine Military School in 2002 before moving on to the Naval Academy.

“I appreciate the confidence Coach Johnson has shown in me and this tremendous opportunity,” Owens said. “Coach Johnson is building something special here at Tech and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.”

The Al Groh File

Born: July 13, 1944 in New York City
Family: Married to former Anne Stahle of Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y.; three children: Mike, Ashley Anne, Matt
High School: Chaminade H.S., Mineola, N.Y.
College: University of Virginia, B.S in Commerce, 1967.
Note: Earned letters in football and lacrosse.

Coaching Experience
High School & College Coaching Background
1967-Asst. Football Coach, Albemarle High School, Charlottesville, Va.
1968-69-Defensive Coach for the Plebe Team (Freshman), United States Military Academy
1970-Head Freshman Coach, University of Virginia
1971-72-Defensive Line Coach, University of Virginia
1973-77-Linebackers Coach, University of North Carolina
1978-79 -Defensive Coordinator, United States Air Force Academy
1980 -Linebackers Coach, Texas Tech
1981-86-Head Football Coach, Wake Forest University (Compiled a 26-40 record in six seasons)
1988-Offensive Coordinator, University of South Carolina
2001-09-Head Football Coach, University of Virginia (Nine-year record 59-53)

NFL Coaching Background
1987-Special Teams and Tight Ends Coach, Atlanta Falcons
1989-90-Linebackers Coach, New York Giants
1991-Defensive Coordinator, New York Giants
1992-Linebackers Coach, Cleveland Browns
1993-96-Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach, New England Patriots
1997-99-Linebackers Coach, New York Jets
2000-Head Football Coach, New York Jets (Compiled a one-year record of 9-7)



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