Virginia football Coach Mike London announced Monday he has hired former Buffalo assistant Jerome “Jappy” Oliver to be the program’s new defensive line coach.
Oliver has been a college coach for 35 years and worked under Virginia defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta when the two were together at Notre Dame in 2008. He served as Buffalo’s defensive line coach and assistant head coach the past four seasons.
“I’ve known Coach Oliver for a number of years from my time serving as a defensive line coach,” London said in a school-issued statement. “He is someone who has always been highly respected in the profession. I think he is a very good fit for our program. He has worked at a number of BCS schools that share the same values as Virginia. He has a reputation for having good relationships with his players. He will also be very effective teaching and coaching Jon Tenuta’s systems on defense because of their prior time working together.”
Oliver replaces former Virginia assistant Vincent Brown, who left London’s staff last week along with Anthony Poindexter to become Connecticut’s co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Poindexter’s replacement has not been announced yet.
In addition to Notre Dame and Buffalo, Oliver previously worked at South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Navy and Air Force. The Flint, Mich., native played wide receiver at Purdue and was also a member of the men’s basketball team for one season.
“I have followed Mike’s career for a long time, from before his tenure at U-Va., and I know what he stands for,” Oliver said in a statement. “I am enthusiastic for the chance to help U-Va. get back on the right track. My relationship with defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta gives me a comfort level of what to bring to the table to help Virginia be successful and take the program to the next level.”
Virginia brings back defensive end Eli Harold and defensive tackle David Dean from last year’s starting defensive line. Freshman defensive tackle Andrew Brown, one of the top 2014 recruits in the country, has enrolled in school early to participate in spring practice.
A Virginia spokesman also confirmed defensive tackle Chris Brathwaite, who led the team’s defensive linemen in tackles during the 2012 season, has re-joined the program after being ruled academically ineligible last January.