More movement at Virginia

February, 19, 2009
2/19/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Today is Bob Diaco's 36th birthday, and he's celebrating it with a new job. 

The former Virginia defensive coordinator has officially been hired at Cincinnati for the same job, and the Roanoke Times is reporting Ron Prince will return to Virginia, most likely as associate head coach and special teams coach.

Diaco spent the 2005 season on Brian Kelly's staff at Central Michigan where he served as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, so it's not a completely random move.

However ...

At 36 years old, when you're trying to move up in the grand hierarchy of college football, the title of defensive coordinator at Virginia is more prestigious than the same title at Cincinnati, regardless of the recent success Kelly has had there. (And that's with all due respect to Kelly, a smart, young coach who is going to quickly ascend the college football ranks).

The problem is, at Virginia, it's just a title. It's no secret coach Al Groh is the man behind the defense. And everything else in Charlottesville. Without having spoken to Diaco, it's the one explanation for this move that's hard to ignore. Nobody questions Groh's work ethic, his desire to win or his passion for the game. But his reputation as a micromanager has followed him throughout his career.

Roanoke Times reporter Doug Doughty ran into Diaco after a hoops game recently and tried to ask him about the Cincinnati job, but Virginia assistants aren't allowed to talk to the media. It's what Groh calls his "one voice" policy -- his voice.

"To me, Al Groh is the voice for Virginia football," Diaco told Doughty. "I'll have to take my directive from coach Groh."

Anyone who doesn't is free to hand in their resume.

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