In a piece about Virginia head coach Mike London’s successful efforts at recruiting this year, there are several observations about his predecessor and current Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh that should warm the cockles of the hearts of the Jacket faithful.
While the Hokies were busy winning the ACC on a seemingly annual basis with rosters loaded with in-state talent, Groh, a Virginia alumnus who had some success in his early years at the school, had managed to alienate a large portion of the Cavaliers fanbase and an even bigger chunk of the state’s high school coaches…
… Fueling the anger in the final weeks of the 2009 season was the decision to burn the redshirts of 14 freshmen. To many high school coaches, the move looked like Groh was mortgaging the future of the program in a desperate attempt to win a few more games and save his job.
That frustration was replaced with optimism when London, who previously served as an assistant at Virginia before becoming head coach at Richmond, arrived. The new coach and his staff began calling in-state coaches immediately.
Perhaps nothing symbolized the shift as much as Fork Union Military Academy coach John Shuman’s presence at London’s introductory press conference.
Fork Union, located just outside Charlottesville, produces Division I prospects on an annual basis, but relations between Virginia and the prep school had essentially come to an end under Groh after Virginia passed on multiple Fork Union players, including Shuman’s son Ryan, who became a three-year starter at Virginia Tech.
Nothing like building long-term relationships. I guess waving Super Bowl rings around doesn’t get you as far as it used to.
If Richt, Garner, Bobo et al. can’t clean Tech’s clock recruiting in state every year, we ought to sue them for recruiting malpractice.