- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Georgia Tech fired defensive coordinator Al Groh months ago, but that did not stop him from voicing his displeasure with the environment surrounding the program.
In an interview with the Roanoke Times printed Wednesday, Groh said:
"Just to say it briefly, this circumstance here was the most unprofessional, divisive and negative environment in which I've ever been. To say more would be unprofessional of myself.
"It was just a bad cultural match."
These are the first public comments Groh has made on his dismissal. I reached out to Georgia Tech for a response from coach Paul Johnson. He said in a statement:
"I'm sorry to hear that Al feels that way. I'm surprised he would stay here for two and a half years if he felt like that it was that bad."
Interestingly enough, Groh put out a statement through the school when he was fired Oct. 8, saying he respected the decision. "I appreciate all the help and input from (assistant defensive coaches) Charles Kelly, Joe Speed and Andy McCollum, and the effort of all the players. I aimed to give the best that I had every day. It’s been an honor to be a part of the legacy of Georgia Tech football. I feel positive that this is a good time in life to move on to a new situation," Groh said.
There is no question that Georgia Tech struggled defensively this year. At the time Groh was fired, Georgia Tech had given up 40 or more points in three straight games -- a school record that nobody wants to set.
Groh is a fired coach whose ego is bruised, no doubt. Things didn't work out for him, and nobody has called yet to offer him another job. So take his comments and interpret them however you see them. The Jackets did end up in the ACC title game and beat USC, and improved in every major statistical category since his departure.
3dAndrea Adelson and Matt Fortuna