Groh makes splash with staff additions
The spread didn’t work when Mike Groh implemented it this year. But Al Groh seems intent on giving the offensive scheme another look.
“Gregg is in the front of the pack in the development of offensive schemes that will be versatile and exciting for our players,” Al Groh said in announcing former Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon as his new offensive coordinator yesterday.
Groh also named Latrell Scott his wide-receivers coach. Wayne Lineburg will move from wide receivers to running backs to accommodate Scott’s arrival.
Brandon, 52, replaces the recently departed Mike Groh as the head of the offensive unit. The Cavs did not crack the top 100 in total offense during Groh’s three years at the helm, a period that saw the team go 19-18 overall.
The younger Groh experimented this year with a spread-offense look that simply didn’t work. The ‘Hoos stumbled out of the gate to a 1-3 start using the spread in which the team averaged just 224 yards per game of total offense and just 66 yards per game rushing.
It would be expected that the team would be able to see an uptick with Brandon running the show and with former starter Jameel Sewell returning for his senior season after sitting out 2008 on academic suspension. Sewell completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,176 yards and 12 touchdowns and ran for 279 yards and four scores in 13 games as a starter in 2007, leading UVa. to a 9-4 mark and an appearance in the Gator Bowl.
Four of Brandon’s six offenses at Bowling Green averaged more than 400 yards a game, and his 2004 team finished second in the nation with an average of 506.3 yards of total offense and was sixth nationally in scoring at 44.3 points per game.
“I am very excited to be joining the staff at Virginia,” said Brandon, who was fired in November after Bowling Green stumbled to a 6-6 finish following a tumultuous offseason featuring some uncomfortable, to say the least, off-the-field troubles.
Brandon’s teams were 44-30 overall in his six years at Bowling Green.
“I want to thank Coach Groh for the opportunity to coordinate the offense. The UVa. offense will be wide open and fun to watch. Our players will find the system unique and creative. I can’t wait to get started,” Brandon said.
Scott is expected to play as big a role in recruiting as he is coaching the wide receivers. The 33-year-old spent a year at Tennessee after following former Richmond head coach Dave Clawson to Knoxville after working on Clawson’s UR staff for three years. He had served as Clawson’s recruiting coordinator in 2007 ahead of the school’s run to the I-AA playoff semifinals. Richmond, under first-year coach Mike London, a former defensive coordinator at UVa., won the ’08 I-AA national title last week.
“Latrell established himself as a well-respected and popular coach around the state during his time at the University of Richmond. He has developed a strong rapport with prospects and players alike,” Groh said.
Scott had been working two important Virginia uncommitteds for Tennessee – offensive lineman Morgan Moses (Richmond) and quarterback Tajh Boyd (Hampton).
“I am extremely excited to return to the state of Virginia and have the opportunity to work with Coach Groh and the rest of the staff,” Scott said. “I am also looking forward to getting out on the recruiting trail to help finalize this class and to help Virginia continue to be a top program.”
– Story by Chris Graham