Hoo Preview 2012: BoardHost’s 2012 Outlook

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Coach Mike London will try to lead UVa to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2004 and 2005.

The Virginia football season kicks off in less than two weeks and Wahoo fans are eager to see what the next chapter in Mike London’s early head coaching career will reveal. It’s year three of the Coach London era at UVa, and one that brings hope to Cavalier fans that the program is ready to take the next positive step in its evolution. But before I give my summary of what Virginia football could be for 2012, it’s important to take a step back and realize where we were when Coach London took the job.

When London was hired I was fairly confident he was the kind of coach who could build a quality staff, get Virginia back on track with in-state recruiting, and motivate a team to win. So far, London and his staff have made positive steps in all of three of those areas:

  • London hired a host of staff members of a similar mold to their head coach: coaches with integrity, passion, and the belief that UVa’s academic reputation should be something they hang their hats on. The staff is a nice mix of qualified and experienced coaches in addition to past Virginia football greats like Anthony Poindexter with the safeties, Marques Hagans with receivers, and Shawn Moore with tight ends. I personally love this move.
  • As a result of strong recruiting each of the first two years, the staff has Virginia back on par with Virginia Tech with regard to recruiting the top athletes from the state of Virginia. And almost equally important, the coaches have taken control of an often difficult area to recruit – the DMV area (the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia).
  • After a difficult first year moving various players around and coaching a new system, the staff proved its coaching merit in year two by going 5-3 in the conference and winning eight regular season games before heading to a postseason destination the program hadn’t seen since 1998 – the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Not many expected