Two Virginia football assistant coaches, including one of the greatest players in program history, have decided to leave for Connecticut, a person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed Saturday morning.
Cavaliers safeties coach Anthony Poindexter and defensive line coach Vincent Brown will join the staff of new Huskies Coach Bob Diaco. Poindexter, who has his No. 3 jersey retired at Scott Stadium, is set to become Connecticut’s defensive coordinator. It is unclear at this point what role Brown will have, although he has also served as a linebackers coach and assistant special teams coordinator during his time in Charlottesville.
Diaco, most recently the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, worked with Poindexter and Brown when he spent three years (2006-2008) as a defensive assistant at Virginia under former coach Al Groh.
When reached by phone Friday evening, Poindexter said he had not yet signed his contract with Connecticut and noted that he “had a lot of things running through my mind” as he mulled his options. Poindexter made a final decision Saturday morning.
Brown confirmed he would be leaving Charlottesville on Friday night, when he wrote on his Twitter account: “Thanks to the amazing young men I met during my time at UVA. Made lifelong friends over the last 4 years. Excited about the future.”
The departures mean Coach Mike London has just two assistant coaches remaining from his initial staff at Virginia — recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach Chip West and offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim. London did not return a cellphone message seeking comment, and it remains to be seen who he will target as replacements.
Poindexter and Brown were considered two of Virginia’s top recruiters, with Poindexter responsible for the Washington area and Brown aiding London and West in the Tidewater region.
Poindexter, named a first team all-American twice during a standout career with the Cavaliers (1994-1998), has spent the past 12 seasons as a graduate assistant or assistant coach at Virginia. He was the team’s running backs coach for five seasons and also served as special teams coordinator. Under his tutelage, junior safety Anthony Harris finished with a national-best eight interceptions this year.
Brown was a graduate assistant at Virginia in 2007 before joining London as an assistant coach at Richmond. He then came back to Charlottesville when London was named head coach prior to the 2010 season.