TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The coaching carousel at the University of Alabama kept on spinning Thursday afternoon when it became clear that wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Mike Groh would be leaving to join the Chicago Bears, according to multiple reports. Former Florida State tight ends coach Billy Napier will be hired as Groh's replacement.
Napier, who was hired by FSU in January after spending a year at Colorado State, was formerly an offensive quality control assistant at Alabama under former offensive coordinator Jim McElwain. The 32-year-old Georgia native became Clemson's youngest coordinator ever in 2009, serving as the Tigers offensive coordinator.
Alabama loses a strong recruiter in Groh, who was named the country's top recruiter by Rivals.com and 247Sports. The 41-year-old was instrumental in the Crimson Tide's No. 1-ranked recruiting class in 2012 and 2013. He came to Alabama in 2011 after one season at Louisville coaching quarterbacks. Before that, he spent eight years at Virginia under his father, Al Groh.
The news of Groh's departure comes on the heels of Alabama hiring new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. Earlier in the week, coach Nick Saban welcomed in former defensive coordinator Kevin Steele as the new director of player personnel, and former Vigor High (Ala.) coach Kerry Stevenson as director of player development.