Georgia Tech Fills Two Coaching Vacancies
Al Groh named defensive coordinator, Lamar Owens A-Backs coach
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 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
NFL Coaching Background