Coaching Candidates Emerge for Open Virginia Job

By: Marc Davis Email
By: Marc Davis Email

November 30, 2009

Al Groh’s tenure as head football coach at Virginia has come to an end and now the focus shifts to who will be the next leader of the Cavaliers.

Here are several prospective candidates whose names have come up in coaching search discussions.

Mike London

London was an assistant for Al Groh on two separate occasions, most recently as defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007. He left for the head coaching job at Richmond in January of 2008 and led the Spiders to an FCS national championship his first year on the job. His contract at Richmond runs through the 2014 season, but he is considered one of the top candidates to take over as head of the Cavaliers.

Al Golden

Golden was Groh’s defensive coordinator from 2001-2005, before leaving Virginia in December of 2005 to take the head coaching job at Temple. When he arrived on campus, the Owls had not had a winning season in 16 years. Now they are bowl eligible and leading the MAC. While at Virginia he was responsible for recruiting Ahmad Brooks, the 2002 USA Today National Defensive Player of the Year and the highest ranked recruit ever to attend UVa. He was also able to take the Cavalier defense from near the bottom of the statistical categories to a consistent top 25 unit.

Danny Rocco

Rocco was Virginia’s assistant head coach and linebackers coach from 2001-2005. He took the Liberty head coaching job in December of 2005 after the Flames finished 1-10. He has turned the program completely around as Liberty posted its first ever ten-win season in 2008.

Derek Dooley

He is currently the head coach and athletic director at Louisiana Tech. Dooley was a standout wide receiver for the Cavaliers from 1987-1990. He walked onto the team before eventually earning a scholarship and helped lead Virginia to the 1989 ACC title. He recently led the Bulldogs to their first bowl win in more than 30 years as they topped Northern Illinois in the 2008 Independence Bowl.

Tommy Tuberville

The former Ole Miss and Auburn coach has seen his name surface in several coaching searches. Tuberville has won numerous Coach of the Year honors at a national level, including 2004 when he led Auburn to a 13-0 record. Between the two schools, he compiled a 110-60 record and appeared in a bowl game in nine of 14 seasons as a head coach. His 2004 Auburn team finished with a number two national ranking.

Chris Petersen

Petersen’s Boise State Broncos boast an 11-0 record and are on the verge of their fourth unbeaten regular season in the last six years. Entering the team’s December 5 match up with New Mexico, Petersen holds an exceptional 46-4 record at the head of the program. His most famous win came in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl where his Broncos upset Oklahoma, 43-42. Last season he lead Boise State to a 12-1 season where the Broncos only loss came to eleventh ranked TCU in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

Did we leave anyone off the list? Who would you most like to see roaming the sidelines of Scott Stadium? We welcome your comments on the search for the next UVa football coach.

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