After finishing with a 4-8 record for the second time in three years, Virginia Coach Mike London has decided to completely overhaul his assistant coaching staff.
London announced Sunday that he has fired defensive coordinator Jim Reid, defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Jeff Hanson, tight ends coach Shawn Moore and running backs coach Mike Faragalli. In addition, safeties coach Anthony Poindexter will no longer be the Cavaliers’ special teams coordinator, although he will remain on staff.
“After conducting a complete evaluation of the program and discussing my thoughts with administration, there are a number of areas we need to improve on and it starts with me as the head coach,” London said in a statement. “The decision to release these four coaches is very difficult, but one I feel is necessary in order to meet the goals we have set for the Virginia football program.
“I have coached with some of these men for many years, won a national championship with some, and I truly appreciate their dedication and commitment, and more importantly, their friendships. I wish them the best.”
Reid’s dismissal is the most surprising. His defense, which featured four sophomores in the secondary and a plethora of underclassmen along the defensive line, ranked fourth in the ACC in total defense and steadily improved as the year wore on. But the Cavaliers mustered only 17 sacks and created just 12 turnovers all season, which played a part in Virginia finishing with the worst turnover margin in the ACC.
Reid, whose 38-year coaching career includes stints as the head coach at Richmond, VMU and Massachusetts, joined London’s original staff at Virginia in 2009 after serving as the Miami Dolphins’ outside linebackers coach for two years. During Reid’s first two years at Richmond (1995-96), London served as his recruiting coordinator.
Hanson, Moore and Faragalli were also members of London’s original staff at Virginia, and both Hanson and Faragalli came with London from Richmond, where they served under London during the Spiders’ 2008 Football Championship Subdivision national championship run. Faragalli told reporters of his firing earlier this week.
London gave Moore, the former standout Virginia quarterback, his first collegiate coaching job when he arrived in Charlottesville. Moore had previously been the quarterbacks coach at St. Alban’s in Washington. After spending two seasons as the Cavaliers’ wide receivers coach, Moore was moved to tight ends coach this past offseason.
His son, former DeMatha standout and All Met Michael Moore, was a freshman defensive end for the Cavaliers this season.
“My primary task is to continue to evaluate this program and take the necessary steps to make us successful on the field,” said London, who also announced Sunday that junior quarterback Michael Rocco had decided to transfer to another school. “This University and its fans deserve a program that competes for championships. In order to do that we need to make improvements in every aspect of our football operation.”
London will begin an immediate search for coaching replacements, but said there is no timetable for an announcement because many of the possible candidates will be involved in postseason play. The total buyout for the four coaches is $1.36 million, although that figure could decrease for each assistant coach with future employment.
The buyout will be funded from athletic department funds, and it does not receive state funding.