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Thursday, January 3, 2013
Tom O'Brien, Jon Tenuta join UVa staff

By Heather Dinich

Former NC State coach Tom O'Brien was hired at Virginia as associate head coach for offense/tight ends, along with former NC State linebackers coach Jon Tenuta, who will be the Cavaliers' associate head coach for defense/defensive coordinator, Virginia announced on Thursday.

Coach Mike London has also hired Jeff Banks to coach the special teams, and he announced that former UVa quarterback Marques Hagans has been promoted to a full-time position after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Virginia the past two seasons. London also announced cornerbacks coach Chip West will take over the responsibilities as Virginia’s recruiting coordinator.

Banks will be the team’s special-teams coordinator and also coach the running backs. Hagans will continue to coach the Virginia wide receivers.

“These four coaches are a dynamic group who will be great teachers and instructors for our student-athletes, while maintaining the values we have set for our team,” London said in a prepared statement. “Three of them have strong ties to Virginia and they have first-hand knowledge and experiences of what makes our university a special place. This group will compliment our current staff well and help our football program reach its goals.”

From the release:
O’Brien, Tenuta and Banks bring a wealth of FBS level experience to Virginia with a combined 84 years of coaching experience. They have coached in 40 bowl games and seen more than 90 of their former players go on to play professional football.

There is a strong Virginia influence among the hirings. Both Hagans and Tenuta are Virginia graduates and O’Brien enjoyed a long tenure as an assistant coach at UVa during its most successful era to date.

O’Brien served as the head coach at Boston College (1997-2006) and NC State (2007-2012) and compiled a combined record of 115-80. He served as an assistant coach at Virginia between 1982 and 1996 for head coach George Welsh, the last six as the Cavaliers’ offensive coordinator. In 1996, Virginia scored more than 320 points for an ACC-record eighth consecutive year. During his tenure at UVa, the Cavaliers posted 13 winning seasons, twice were ACC co-champions and won four bowl games.

Tenuta was the associate head coach for defense at NC State last season and has served as defensive coordinator at Marshall, Kansas State, SMU, Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame during his 32 seasons as a college coach. Tenuta graduated from Virginia in 1982 afterearning three letters as a defensive back from 1978-80. He won the team’s John Acree Memorial Football Trophy and the Kevin Bowie Award.

Hagans graduated from UVa in 2005 after a stellar playing career as a quarterback, wide receiver and punt returner. Hagans isseventh on the Cavalier all-time passing list with 4,877 yards. He played wide receiver for Virginia during the 2003 season, while also serving as the backup quarterback to Matt Schaub. Hagans played in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins before joining the Cavalier program in 2011 as a graduate assistant coach.

West has been a member of the Virginia staff for the past three years, coaching cornerbacks. In February, London added the title of assistant recruiting coordinator to his duties. West helped Virginia land back-to-back recruiting classes in2011 and 2012 that were ranked among the top 30 in the nation. West is responsible for recruiting the Tidewater/Peninsula area in Virginia and theeastern half of North Carolina. West was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Recruiter of the Year for 2011 by 247Sports and was one eight finalists for the organization’s National Recruiter of the Year honor.

“Chip West is very deserving of this opportunity,” London said. “He has done a tremendous job and has built a reputation as one of the best recruiters in the ACC. Chip relates well to people and he loves tocompete. Those are key attributes to lead our recruiting efforts. I value Chip as much more than just a strong recruiter. The hard work and dedication he has put into coaching our cornerbacks over the last three seasons has been noticeable in the development of the student-athletes at this position.”