ACC: Steve Bernstein
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Virginia coach Al Groh has opened up a national search to replace his son, offensive coordinator Mike Groh, as well as defensive line coach Levern Belin and secondary coach Steve Bernstein. Here is the official word from Groh on this situation, as stated in a release from the program:
Since the end of the season, I have done the annual review of every aspect of our program in order to make our plans to move forward to the next season. Part of that moving forward will involve changes in our systems and staff.
The change in systems will be made to utilize the player talent available to us from our current roster and incoming players, and the changes in the staff will be made to accommodate those schemes. Accordingly, Michael Groh, Steve Bernstein and Levern Belin will step down from their positions. Steve will retire and Mike and Levern will pursue career opportunities.
These men have served Virginia football with commitment, integrity and loyalty and I appreciate them and their efforts. There are no scapegoats here, the head coach is responsible for the team.
Bob Pruett will move to the position of assistant head coach/defense with Bob Diaco becoming defensive coordinator. Anthony Poindexter will move from running backs to defensive secondary.
We are excited about the options and opportunities open to our team and the positive energy they will generate.
This is why family members should not go into the sideline business together. Bobby Bowden was put in a similar situation, and there are plenty of Penn State fans who wouldn't cry if Jay Paterno decided to "pursue career opportunities." This had to be a tough conversation for Al Groh, but it was a necessary one. Mike Groh was paid to do a job, and in three seasons as UVA's offensive coordinator, the offense looked uncoordinated:
- In 2006, the Cavaliers ranked 110th nationally in scoring offense and 113th in total offense.
- In 2007, they were 81st in scoring offense and 101st in total offense.
- In 2008, UVA ranked 104th in total offense, 114th in scoring offense and 110th in rushing offense.
Al Groh said the "head coach is responsible for the team," and that's exactly what he was doing in this case.