Al Groh is officially out as UVa's football coach. Groh finishes his tenure in Charlottesville with a 1-8 record against Virginia Tech, including Saturday's 42-13 loss at home. He was the punchline to many one-liners from Hokie fans, he was the embodiment of the stereotypical Wahoo that Hokie fans hate and he was one of the primary reasons the Hokies owned the Commonwealth for the last decade.
It didn't used to be this way. In 2003, the Wahoos were the superior team with superior talent when they beat Virginia Tech 35-21. It was the culmination of a three year stretch with offensive coordinator and primary recruiter Ron Prince where the Wahoos were matching and beating the Hokies for the state's top talent.
However, Prince left for Kansas State after the 2005 season and after that Virginia Tech began to distance themselves from UVa in terms of talent by getting the best players the Commonwealth had to offer.
As the losses piled up, Groh's surly and secretive demeanor became tiresome to those who covered the team. It culminated in 2007 when the last remnants from the Prince recruiting classes looked like they had to ability to match the Hokies, but lost 33-21 in a defacto ACC Coastal title game.
Where the Wahoos go from here is a mystery to me. Will they go after a hot young head coach or coordinator like Charlie Strong? Or will they make the same mistake they made with Groh and go for a more veteran coach with UVa ties like Jim Grobe? Obviously, I would prefer they went with the latter. As I told Brendan last week, Grobe can't beat Virginia Tech either.
Whoever UVa hires, it will be of interest to Hokie fans because it will have an effect on recruiting in the area. There's always an initial morale boost when a new coach is hired and with Butch Davis at North Carolina already trying to dip into the 757 area, the Hokies will have to hit the recruiting trail extra hard this winter.