Mike Groh returning to Alabama

Mike Groh, who was a graduate assistant at Alabama in 2009, is returning as a full-time assistant after spending last season on the Louisville staff.

The Tuscaloosa News reported on Monday that Groh was expected to replace Curt Cignetti on the Crimson Tide's staff, and several people close to the situation confirmed to ESPN.com that Groh had indeed taken the job.

Also, former Miami tight ends/special teams coordinator Joe Pannunzio is the front-runner to join Alabama's staff as Nick Saban's football operations director, a position vacated when Mike Vollmar left to take a job on the Michigan staff. Pannunzio was the head coach at Murray State prior to going to Miami.

Cignetti, who was named the head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, coached receivers at Alabama and also served as recruiting coordinator. Saban talked to several people about that position, including former Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom.

Groh coached quarterbacks this past season at Louisville, but worked with the receivers when he was at Alabama in 2009. Groh was the offensive coordinator at Virginia for three seasons while working under his father Al Groh, but was forced out following the 2008 season.