11/20/09 — Opinion -- A few ACC football coaches on the hot seat

View Archive

Opinion -- A few ACC football coaches on the hot seat

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 20, 2009 1:47 PM

Job security, especially for a football coach, can change like the weather.

Knock off a bitter rival or reel off a string of victories and you're the toast of the town. Lose to an inferior opponent or endure a difficult losing streak, and before you know your house is on the market.

Several ACC coaches could see their current employment end soon, and here is who might be on the hot seat:

Tom O'Brien, N.C. State: In nearly three seasons in Raleigh, O'Brien has compiled a record of 15-20 including an 8-14 mark in ACC play. The former Boston College skipper is 4-3 against Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest during his tenure and the Wolfpack close the regular season by playing host to the Tar Heels.

Not doing O'Brien's resume any favors is his 1-6 record against teams from other BCS conferences.

Jim Grobe, Wake Forest: Grobe entered 2009 riding the wave of momentum from last season's bowl victory over Navy and a third consecutive winning campaign. The Demon Deacons began the year 4-2 and were in the hunt for a second ACC championship game appearance in four years.

Five straight losses later, Grobe's career mark in conference play has dipped to 30-41. A season-ending loss at Duke next weekend could be the nail in the coffin for the man who has more bowl victories than any coach in school history.

Al Groh, Virginia: Groh's fate appears to already be sealed as the Cavaliers are in the midst of their second consecutive losing season. Virginia hasn't finished with a winning record since 2007 when it went 9-4 and lost to Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl.

The Cavaliers have lost three straight games. Defeats against William & Mary, Southern Miss and Duke have left fans in Charlottesville restless.

Ralph Friedgen, Maryland: The Terrapins are in the midst of their fourth losing season in six years under Friedgen. A former offensive lineman at Maryland, Friedgen has seen his squad lose five straight games.

An 8-5 finish a year ago and his 4-2 record in bowl games may give the man known as "The Fridge," an outside shot at keeping his job.