Buffaloes hire Groth as new head football coach
by Missy Thompson
Jun 10, 2008 | 3127 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tooele High School’s new football coach Ray Groth stands on the THS football field Tuesday.
Groth brings four decades of football experience to the Buffalo program.
<br>- photography / Troy Boman
Tooele High School’s new football coach Ray Groth stands on the THS football field Tuesday. Groth brings four decades of football experience to the Buffalo program.
- photography / Troy Boman
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Tooele High School hired Ray Groth as their new head football coach on Monday morning. The decision was made after former coach Sam Elliott resigned on May 12 to coach at Union High School in Roosevelt.

Groth comes to Tooele with a long and impressive resume extending more than four decades. The last two seasons Groth has been the offensive coordinator at Park City and Judge Memorial High School in 2006 and 2007 respectively. While at Judge, he helped lead the way to a state championship game but lost to Logan.

Prior to that he was the head coach at Highland High School from 2001-2006 where he lead the Rams into two state championship games, one in 2005, the other in 2000. He was named Region 6's coach of the year in 2005 for Highland.

"Coach Groth brings a lot of experience and success," said THS principal Bill Gochis.

The hiring committee of six administrators, teachers and members of the community riffled through nine applicants after a state-wide search before deciding on Groth.

Gochis said there were a lot of good applicants, but Groth stood out amongst them with his experience at Highland and 10 years as head coach at Granger High School.

"I know Coach Groth will give 110 percent," Gochis said. "He's a hard worker."

Because of his several decades as a coach at various high schools and universities, Groth said he still has the will to coach.

"I realized I still have passion and desire to be a head coach," Groth said. "I'm not out to win state championships. But I have a passion to help kids physically and grow in their self confidence."

He hasn't met with the football players yet, but is planning on attending their work out session Wednesday morning before leaving for a trip with his wife to celebrate their 40th anniversary. He will return next Monday to start training and practices.

"I've got a lot to offer," Groth said. "Tooele has a unique program and this school has a lot of potential and a lot of growth. I haven't met the kids, but I've been impressed by the administration."

Groth jumped around to different schools in the 70s and 80s before settling down with Granger for the 1990s.

He graduated from the University of Utah in 1970 with his bachelor's degree in physical education and was named All-WAC quarterback in 1968 and 1969. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals football team in the 12th round of the 1970 NFL draft. Instead of playing for the Cardinals, Groth became a graduate assistant football coach at Idaho State University.

"He's got a lot of experience," said THS athletic director Rich Valdez. "As far as high school experience he has several years between Highland and Granger. According to his resume a few years in college too."

He went back to his alma mater in 1971 as a graduate assistant for the Utes. After an initial stint at Highland High as an offensive coordinator, Groth became the offensive coordinator for Skyline High School from 1974-78. He was the offensive coordinator for the University of Idaho when they were first in the nation in total offense and rushing in Division I-AA.

Groth was named Utah Coach of the Year for the Pacific Islanders, All-State Athletes in 2002 and was inducted into the Idaho High School Football Hall of Fame in 1997. He was named the Eagle Newspapers Football Coach of the Year in 1995.

"He's had a great career and brings a lot of good experience to our program," Gochis said.

After the Buffaloes had a rough season last year going just 3-7 in their jump to 4A, Gochis believes Groth's experience and success will help boost the Buffs to another winning season.

"It's yet to be seen, but we're hoping the decision was correct," Valdez said. "He's excited and we met with him today (Monday) to show him the facilities. We're hoping for the best and seeing the program continue to improve."

Now, Groth is busy getting together a staff and getting to know the kids.

"The poor kids have been in limbo," Groth said about the players not having a coach. "The main thing is getting them to buy into what you're doing. I understand this is a good group of kids coming back and that they're in a tough conference."

Groth will hold a parents and players meeting on June 16 at 7 p.m. in the THS commons area.

missy@tooeletranscript.com

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