Cavalier Conversation – Al Groh

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Al Groh enters his eighth year at Virginia.

Entering his eighth year at the helm of the Virginia program, Al Groh has been roaming football sidelines for more than 40 years. But the 64-year-old coach still has the proverbial fire in the belly when it comes to the challenges of coaching. This year’s challenge? Finding a way to duplicate or better a 9-win season that featured a Gator Bowl appearance when key contributors like Chris Long , Chris Gould , and Jameel Sewell aren’t in uniform.

Jed Williams sat down with Coach Groh at the recent ACC Football Kickoff for a one-on-one interview. The session takes on topics ranging from team leadership and offseason challenges to Peter Lalich and John Phillips . Read and hear the interview in The Sabre’s “Cavalier Conversation” with Jed Williams.

JED: Coach, not trying to date you here, but fall of 1967, Albemarle High School … and now 41 years later do you still get the same butterflies and the same feeling of enthusiasm thinking about firing up another season?

GROH: Jed, every season is a new season, and I’m as intrigued and challenged and stimulated by the game as I’ve ever been … maybe more so, because I’m still learning an awful lot about how to do this and the more that you can do in it. So, the challenges become more stimulating and more significant each year.

JED: Al, many people look at this profession – at least from a physical standpoint – and think ‘this is a young man’s game.’ How do you maintain the fire in the belly and go about each year with even more fervor if that’s possible?

GROH: For one thing I feel like I’ve finally got a handle on