Less than 48 hours after suffering a heartbreaking, last-second loss in the Div. 1-AA playoffs, Richmond head coach Mike London is now former Richmond Mike London.
As expected, London has been named as Virginia’s new coach, replacing the dismissed Al Groh. The school made the announcement via a press release.
“Coach London’s experience as a championship head coach, combined with avariety of college and pro assistant coaching assignments position him forsuccess at the University of Virginia,” athletic director Craig Littlepage said in a statement. “He understands howto develop and implement a program that prioritizes the academic achievementof his players and winning at the highest levels of college football. MikeLondon is a coach around whom we can all rally as he goes about the task ofbuilding a successful football program at Virginia.”
In two seasons at Richmond, London led the Spiders to a 24-5 record. Hisfirst year at the helm his team went 13-3 and won the Football ChampionshipSeries national title. This year’s Spider team, ranked nine consecutiveweeks at No. 1 in the FCS polls, went 11-2 and reached the quarterfinals ofthe FCS playoffs. His teams were 13-4 in the Colonial Athletic Conferenceduring the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
“We are pleased to welcome Mike London back to the University,” saidUniversity President John T. Casteen III. “Mike’s personal values andcommitment to excellence – combined with his understanding of Universityculture and his proven ability to build a strong team – will make the Londonera in Virginia football a good time, perhaps the best of times, forplayers, fans, and the University generally.”
“Words cannot express my gratitude and heartfelt emotions for thisopportunity,” London said. “To be the head football coach at as prestigiousof an institution as the University of Virginia is a dream come true. Overthe years, a lot of people have helped me to make this possible. I have beenfortunate to stand on the shoulders of many coaches, players, administratorsand University communities in which my family has lived. We are excitedabout this new opportunity and endeavor. We look forward to establishing arenewed relationship with our new community and football family.”