The University of Virginia football coaching staff will look a lot different next season under coach Mike London. UVa introduced four new assistant coaches on Friday who have a total of over 100 years of coaching experience, three of them with strong ties to the Cavalier program.
Tom O'Brien is Virginia's new associate head coach for offense. He brings 16 years of head coaching experience in the ACC at both N.C. State and Boston College. He now returns to UVa where he spent 15 seasons as an assistant coach under George Welsh, the last six as Virginia's offensive coordinator. He will work closely with Cavs current offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor.
O'Brien says, "He has a job to do, I'm here to help him in any shape or form that he needs. After 38 years of coaching, I've learned a little bit about this game of football, and have a little bit of knowledge that I can impart. I'm not going to stand up and beat on the table, that's his job to do, and just as I talked about with Mike I'm hear to help out in any way I can."
Virginia's new defensive coordinator is Jon Tenuta. He held that same position at N.C. State last year under O'Brien. Tenuta played defensive back at UVa before graduating in 1982. He has spent 32 years as an assistant college coach.
Tenuta says, "My philosophy defensively is to play fast, physical, and play smart, it always has been. You got to keep it simple stupid, and the stupid is for the coach not the player. You got to know your players. You can't fit square pegs into round holes. The transitional period here in the next few weeks before we get to spring ball is you got to learn your players."
Larry Lewis is Virginia's new special team's coordinator. He held that position at the University of Nevada last season. He hopes to turn around a Cavalier special teams unit that has had some struggles the last couple seasons.
Lewis says, "You only get one play and you have to make a difference in that one play so we really preach the aspect of making a difference. Your attitude, your energy, your discipline, all those things go into one play one time."
And former cavalier quarterback, Marques Hagans, has been promoted to a full-time position on Virginia's staff and will continue to coach the wide receivers.
Hagans says, "I love doing it, I love coming to work every day, I love the interaction with the players, and I love watching them develop on and off the field."
Virginia head coach Mike London says, "There is all sorts of knowledge that these positions and coaches have come here can help our team move forward and ultimate goal of winning championships and the ultimate goal of developing our players and making them better players."
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