London Takes Over at Virginia

In Charlottesville, the search for a new Head Football Coach has been called off. According to Mike London, a former Head Al Groh assistant will be announced as the Cavaliers’ 39th head coach this afternoon. Both parties agreed to a 5-year contract that pays London 1.7 million a season.

“Coach London’s experience as a championship head coach, combined with a variety of college and pro assistant coaching assignments position him for success at the University of Virginia,” said Athletic Director Craig Littlepage.

“He understands how to develop and implement a program that prioritizes the academic achievement of his players and winning at the highest levels of college football. Mike London is a coach around whom we can all rally as he goes about the task of building a successful football program at Virginia.”

The 49-year-old London had accepted the coaching offer Sunday night and the University made it official today during a 1 p.m. press conference.

London took Richmond, his alma mater, to a 13-3 mark and an FCS national championship his first season. This year the Spiders were 11-2 and ousted in the FCS Quarterfinals.

“We are pleased to welcome Mike London back to the University,” said University President John T. Casteen III.

“Mike’s personal values and commitment to excellence combined with his understanding of University culture and his proven ability to build a strong team — will make the London era in Virginia football a good time, perhaps the best of times, for players, fans, and the University generally.”

The former Richmond head coach was thought to be at the top of the list all along. He was offered the position the day after the Spiders’ season came to an end. The new venture has left London speechless.

“Words cannot express my gratitude and heartfelt emotions for this opportunity,” London said.

“To be the head football coach at as prestigious of an institution as the University of Virginia is a dream come true. Over the years, a lot of people have helped me to make this possible. I have been fortunate to stand on the shoulders of many coaches, players, administrators and University communities in which my family has lived. We are excited about this new opportunity and endeavor. We look forward to establishing a renewed relationship with our new community and football family.”

London a Hampton, Va., native has also had assistant coaching stops at Boston College, Richmond and William & Mary during his career.

London served 2 stints under former Head Coach Al Groh. He was Virginia’s defensive coordinator in 2006-07 and coached the Cavaliers’ defensive linemen from 2001-2004. He served as the Houston Texans defensive line coach in 2005.

While numerous names were linked to the Vacancy such as Temple Head Coach Al Golden, another Groh assistant CavsCorner sources said London was at the top of their radar from the start.

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