April 10, 2001
With on-field temperatures approaching the 90-degree mark, Monday's outing felt more like early-August two-a-day practice as opposed to day eight of the Virginia football squad's spring mini-camp. Yesterday's late-afternoon practice signified just over the halfway point of the spring practice session, and though first-year head coach Al Groh likes the team's progress, he eagerly anticipates the final practices leading up to the spring game on April 21.
"Practice is the most important part of the day, because that is when we really get it done," said Groh. "I have enjoyed each and every practice, and I am looking forward to the next seven. I am glad we are only halfway through. I would be disappointed if we only had one or two left."
Entering his first spring practice period as Virginia's headman, Groh placed great emphasis on getting the players and the new coaching staff acclimated to one another. With defensive backs coach, Bob Price, as the only hold-over from the George Welsh era, Groh and eight new assistant coaches continue to utilize this early practice time not only to get a better understanding of each player's on-field abilities, but to also begin implementing the new playing system. Though far from complete, Groh contends all early indications point to a smooth transition, and he fully expects the entire team will only continue to improve as each member's role becomes more defined.
"This is not something I expected would happen in six or seven sessions - it is an on-going thing. The players have been extremely responsive, they have been fun to coach, and I think we are making very good progress towards the stated goal," said Groh. "Now that the players and the coaches each have a good feel for each other, we should see greater compatibility in terms of how we work together. The players and the coaches realize that we are all on the same team, we just have different jobs to do."
Yet, as the entire coaching staff works diligently to integrate their new philosophies, the next big step is to determine which players will be on the field to execute the new system. Of course, the burning question on the mind of most Cavalier fans remains who will get the nod as Virginia's starting quarterback - Bryson Spinner or Matt Schaub. Though Groh gives little indication regarding the quarterback status, he is quick to point out that the regular season does not kick off for another four months and there remains a lot to determine between now and Virginia's opener against Wisconsin on August 25.
"The are both players of good talent, and I think both of them have a very good future. Our future really starts August 25, that is when we need to have a really quality quarterback," said Groh. "We do not need one before then, but we will surely need one on that day. There is a lot of time until that point, and they are both doing a lot of good things in practice."
Though only eight practices into the 2001 spring session, great anticipation surrounds the Virginia football program as Groh and his staff begin laying the foundation for a new era in Cavalier football. Like the abnormally warm weather that accompanied yesterday's practice, things are beginning to heat up for the hoos, continuing to fuel the excitement as the season inches closer.
Nicholson Shines On and Off Water at UVAWomen's Rowing5/25/17Allie Nicholson, who had never rowed before arriving at UVA in 2013, is now a key member of one of the nation's top programs.'Hoos Eager to Make More HistoryMen's Tennis5/22/17A win over No. 9 seed North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon would give second-seeded Virginia its third straight NCAA men's tennis title.McKee Thriving in New SurroundingsTrack & Field, Cross Country5/22/17A transfer from Kansas, Kelly McKee will compete in the triple jump this week at the NCAA East Regional meet in Lexington, Kentucky.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Former UVA Player/Coach Sonny Randle Passes Away
Football | 5/24/2017
Ulmo “Sonny” Randle, a former Virginia football standout and the 35th head coach in...
Virginia Football Single-Game Tickets On Sale Now
Football | 5/19/2017
Single-game tickets and Value Packages for the 2017 season are on sale now.
Blanding and Kiser Named to Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List
Football | 5/15/2017
Virginia free safety Quin Blanding and inside linebacker Micah Kiser have been named to the 2017 ...
Virginia and Liberty Announce Football Series
Football | 5/13/2017
Virginia and Liberty announced today (May 13) the first football series between the two programs....
Notre Dame and Virginia Add Future Football Dates
Football | 5/11/2017
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today (May 11) additional dates the Notre Dame football ...
Jeff White: Spring Football Notebook
Football | 5/3/2017
The Cavaliers, who open the season Sept. 2 against William & Mary, concluded spring practice...
Virginia Football Three-Game Mini-Packages On Sale Now
Football | 05/02/2017
Jeff White: Multi-Talented Reed Boosts Offensive Arsenal
Football | 04/30/2017
Rising sophomore Joe Reed figures to play a leading role for Virginia on offense and special...
- Online Stores