Napier will serve as the wide receivers coach
Two division champions to meet in the Georgia Dome
Alabama and Auburn to meet Saturday
Alabama closes out non-conference home schedule
The two teams will tangle in a key SEC West showdown
Inside the Huddle with Coach Groh
Mike Groh is in his second season as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator after returning to the Alabama staff in 2011. Groh, a former quarterback at the University of Virginia, joined the Crimson Tide coaching staff after serving as the quarterbacks coach at Louisville in 2010. He spent eight years at Virginia (2001-08), with three of those seasons coaching the wide receivers.
Groh's wide receivers were explosive and consistent for the Crimson Tide in 2012. Although hampered by injuries throughout the season, a `next man up' mentality served the group well as eight different receivers contributed to the receiving corps' success. True freshman Amari Cooper led the way with a Freshman All-America season, catching 53 passes for 895 yards and a UA freshman-record nine touchdowns. Kevin Norwood was second on the team with 26 catches for 395 yards and four scores while Christion Jones caught 25 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2011, Groh coached seven wide receivers who averaged 10-plus yards per reception. Marquis Maze recorded 56 catches for 627 yards, and earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference recognition by the league coaches.
Groh's year at Louisville saw him develop two players at the quarterback position, with the duo combining for 2,423 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Cardinal improved to 7-6 with the help of Groh in 2010, after posting a 4-8 record in 2009 prior to his arrival.
Groh spent the 2009 season at Alabama as an offensive graduate assistant as the Tide recorded a 14-0 record en route to the national championship. As the quarterbacks coach at Louisville, Groh was instrumental in the development of seniors Adam Froman and Justin Burke. Due to injuries, both players shared the starting role and showed great improvement from the previous season. After throwing only nine touchdown passes in 2009, the quarterbacks combined to throw 22 in 2010 with just eight interceptions.
Before his stints at Alabama and Louisville, Groh spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Virginia, his alma mater, including the final three years as the offensive coordinator for the Cavaliers. Considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in Virginia history, Groh was hired on the Virginia staff in 2001 as the wide receivers coach before he took on the task of coaching the Cavaliers quarterbacks in 2003 along with the receivers. He added the title of recruiting coordinator in 2005.
In his first year working with the quarterbacks at Virginia, Groh coached Matt Schaub, who set a school record with a 69.7 percent completion percentage, throwing for 2,952 yards and 18 touchdowns. Schaub is currently the starter for the Houston Texans and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009 after leading the league in passing yards. Marques Hagans transitioned from wide receiver to quarterback for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, which culminated with a 358-yard passing performance in the 2005 Music City Bowl to earn game MVP honors. Hagans finished his career with 4,877 passing yards, the fifth-highest total ever by a Cavalier.
As the wide receivers coach in 2001 and 2002 seasons, Groh helped Billy McMullen become one of the top receivers in the nation. As a senior in 2002, McMullen became the second all-time leading receiver in ACC history with 210 career receptions. Groh also recruited tailback Wali Lundy, who became the all-time touchdown leader in ACC history.
As the starting quarterback at Virginia in 1994-95, Groh became the only quarterback in school history to lead the Cavaliers to nine wins and a bowl victory in consecutive seasons. Groh led the ACC and ranked 13th in the nation in passing in 1994 as the Cavaliers finished 9-3 and defeated TCU 20-10 in the Independence Bowl as he earned MVP honors in that game.
As a tri-captain in 1995, Groh helped lead Virginia to a 9-4 record, including a 34-27 victory over Georgia in the Peach Bowl and a share of the ACC championship. He earned second team all-ACC honors in 1995 and received Virginia's Joe Palumbo Award for self-sacrifice.
Groh played his final season at Virginia as a graduate student, after receiving his undergraduate degree in rhetoric and communication studies from Virginia in 1995. He attended the Baltimore Ravens training camp as a free agent in 1996 and later played in the World League for the Rhein Fire in 1997. Groh spent the 2000 season as an offensive assistant/quality control coach for the New York Jets. Groh is married to the former Elena Montero.