Virginia can officially move on from the Al Groh era, as the Cavaliers today announced that former Richmond coach Mike London will be the next head coach.
It’s a great, smart hire for Virginia, as London is well-respected by his peers, he’s ready for the opportunity, and he is a native of Hampton, Va., with local ties and excellent knowledge of the recruiting area. Opposing ACC coaches should be concerned, because with the right players, there’s no reason Virginia can’t be successful under London.
In just two seasons at Richmond, London proved he could win, leading the Spiders to a 24-5 record. His first year ended with a 13-3 record and the FCS national title. This year the Spiders spent nine consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the FCS polls, went 11-2 and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. London’s teams were 13-4 in the CAA during his time there.
Virginia fans troubled by London’s ties to Groh should put those worries behind them, as every coach develops his own philosophies. Besides, Virginia’s defense wasn’t the problem.
London is a family man, one of the “good guys” in this business, a coach the fans should embrace and one who will be able to fill the seats and renew the interest in the program. Considering Virginia’s recent mediocrity, there are only so many coaches the administration could realistically choose from, and with London, Virginia got one of the best.