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UVA Punter Lester Coleman Ending Cavalier Career on High Note

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Lester Coleman Lester Coleman

UVa punter Lester Coleman has seen a lot during his five years with the University of Virginia football team.

Coleman will play his final regular season home game with Virginia on Saturday when the 'Hoos host Liberty for Senior Day.

Coleman has played a key part in Virginia's success this season on special teams.

He's averaging about 42 yards per punt, with his longest being 61 yards.   Most importantly he's pinned the opponent inside the 20 yard line 13 times.   This season Coleman has switched from a pro-style of punting to a rugby style.

"You catch the ball and kind of see what the defenders are doing," says Coleman.   "It's a little bit different for Americans there's no doubt about it.  It's advantagious for us because it gets our guys down field quicker and I think we've had a lot of success and the return yards that our opponent is proof of it."

Coleman, who never punted until he was a junior in high school at Woodberry Forest, has played under two different coaches at Virginia during his time at UVa.

Cavalier coach Bronco Mendenhall says about Coleman, "Daily, week in and week out, day in and day out and year in and year out.   Working and showing up and doing what's asked with a great attitude and leadership and helping others do the same, then over time trust is established."

"I think it's been one of the most memorable experiences of my life," Coleman says.   " You can't really verbally say what we've been through these last few years.  It's been extremely hard.  It's extremely demanding to play for coach Mendenhall and he asks a lot of us.  It's created a bond and memories that will last a lifetime and help me throughout my life."

Coleman says he'll try to make it in the NFL, but he's currently pursuing his masters degree at Virginia's Batten School of Public Policy.

"He's an amazing young person," says UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall.   "When the letters of reference and endorsements come, they better have a longtime on the phone, because he's going to get whatever job I'm recommending him for."