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Thursday, July 28, 2011
Coaching 'em up: Virginia

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

The series highlighting one assistant coach from each program whose position group will steal the spotlight this fall continues today with the Cavaliers.

Coach: Bill Lazor

Position: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Experience: Lazor is entering his second season with the Cavaliers. He came to Virginia after seven seasons in the NFL, most recently as the quarterbacks coach in 2008 and 2009 with the Seattle Seahawks.

With the Seahawks, Lazor coached Pro Bowler Matt Hasselback for two seasons. Prior to his stint in Seattle, Lazor spent four seasons with the Washington Redskins. During the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Lazor was the quarterbacks coach for Joe Gibbs. In his first two seasons in Washington, Lazor was an offensive assistant. He got his NFL start in 2003 under Dan Reeves as the Atlanta Falcons' offensive quality control coach.

Lazor's last collegiate stop was as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Buffalo in 2001 and 2002, just after the Bulls rejoined the FBS ranks in 1999. Prior to his days heading the Bulls' offense, Lazor spent seven seasons at his alma mater, Cornell.

Of note: He’s an Ivy Leaguer. Lazor graduated from Cornell in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in human development and family studies. Lazor was a three-year starting quarterback and graduated with 26 passing and total offensive school records. He was team captain in 1993 and Cornell’s MVP as a senior. He played in the 1994 Epson Ivy Bowl in Tokyo, Japan.

His challenge: Find a quarterback and make him a winner. Virginia enters summer camp still looking for a successor to Marc Verica, and there are four candidates to choose from. Michael Rocco and Ross Metheny are the only two who have played in games and have a combined 42 passing attempts. Michael Strauss was redshirted last year, and David Watford is a true freshman who showed some promise this spring but also made the expected freshmen mistakes. None of them have separated themselves, and there’s one thing Lazor can’t help them with -- leadership. Cornerback Chase Minnifield called the quarterbacks out at ACC media days and said he wanted to see more leadership from them. Mike London wants to see better decision-making. Virginia fans just want to see a starter. It’s Lazor’s job to coach ‘em up.

More in this series