Senior running back Kevin Parks sat in front of the television cameras at Virginia's media day Friday afternoon and backed his head coach.
"We know Coach London's on the hot seat. We know," Parks said when asked about head coach Mike London's job security. "And last year, we went 2-10. We made those silly mistakes, not Coach London. We made turnovers, not Coach London."
"We feel the pressure, and we're ready for it," Parks added. "We're ready for it. We've just got to go out there and go play."
"He's a very passionate guy," said junior defensive end Eli Harold. "He's real. He's going to cut it to you straight; he's not going to cut any corners. He's a man's man. And obviously he knows that if we don't get the job done, then it's a possibility that he wouldn't be here anymore."
London's fifth season as head coach of the Cavaliers will kick off in three weeks, when UVa hosts UCLA at Scott Stadium. London is 18-31 through four seasons in Charlottesville, including just six wins total over the past two years. The Wahoos were picked to finish last in the ACC's Coastal Division again this season.
London has faced questions about life on the hot seat all summer. He seemed comfortable as he sat on the podium on Friday,
"The motivation is August 30th, playing UCLA," London said when asked about last year's two-win season. "The motivation is getting better. Executing. Performing. Production. The motivation is, we're not satisfied with what happened last season. We don't talk about last season, because we know the things, the challenges that are ahead of us now."
"He's been the same," said senior linebacker Henry Coley. "I mean, I haven't turned on ESPN yet and seen that my head coach has gotten fired or anything. So I mean, how are we supposed to go about it, you know?"
"We have schemes in place. But it has to be on the players, in order to execute those schemes," Coley added. "And that's what's going to lead to him actually, job security and what not."
Offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild and special teams coordinator Larry Lewis have both been in London's position before. Fairchild was the head coach at Colorado State for four seasons from 2008-2011, while Lewis spent eight years as head coach at Idaho State from 1999-2006.
Both were asked Friday about London's current situation.
"Whether it be college or the NFL, college or assistant coach, every seat is hot. That's just the way it is nowadays," said Fairchild. "Mike's grounded enough to know the task at hand, and none of it's affecting him."
"You have to kind of forget about that," said Lewis. "And really just stay the course of what you believe in, who you believe in, and surround yourself with the guys that you're with. Get everybody on the same board, and get on that train and go."
"He's not worrying about it. He's just focused on the team, and what we can do. And that's a plus," Parks said. "And I feel like us, as players, looking at that, you're like, "Okay, Coach London is out here, he's not worrying about that stuff. So why should we?" And that's a good thing. We've just got to go out there and play."