Mike London Resigns As Virginia Football Coach

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Mike London watches the final few moments of his last game as Virginia’s football coach. He resigned Sunday. ~ Kris Wright

After the football team finished the 2015 season with a 4-8 record, the fourth straight losing season for the program, the University of Virginia and coach Mike London have parted ways. London resigned from his position Sunday, UVA director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced in an official news release.

London had one year remaining on his contract, which was set to expire after the 2016 season. Virginia and London agreed to a financial deal that will pay the departing coach approximately $2.7 million through 2016. All funds will come from the athletics department, which does not receive state funding.

“Mike London has been an outstanding representative of the University of Virginia,” Littlepage said in the news release. “During his tenure, Mike created a positive culture for our student-athletes to develop as young men, who improved each year in the classroom and represented us very well in the community. Mike was a tremendous mentor for his players and many of our coaches. His ability to inspire others helped our program establish great relationships among the high school football coaches in the state and he has been a tremendous ambassador for the University. We are thankful for Mike’s numerous contributions representing the University and Virginia athletics.”

Those characteristics were part of what led Littlepage to London when he was hired after the 2009 season. Littlepage said at that time that he wanted to bring in a leader that could “unify and rally the various stakeholders” at the University of Virginia. He also said he wanted a coach that embraced UVA’s academic environment and one that could “cultivate the Virginia high school community.” All of those areas were concerns following the departure of Al Groh as the Cavaliers’ coach.

London, in turn, saw the opportunity to have an impact on many lives at a prestigious University. While he met many of the criteria for Littlepage at the time of his hiring and initially found success on the field – Virginia finished 8-4 and earned a trip to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2011 – London could not sustain the results in the win column. He finished his tenure at UVA with a 27-46 record, including an 0-12 mark against rivals Virginia Tech and North Carolina.

“I appreciate the opportunity to have been the head football coach at the University of Virginia and for the relationships that have been formed during my time in Charlottesville that will last for years to come,” London said. “I took this job to make a profound difference in the lives of young men and to re-establish Virginia football as one of the best programs in the ACC. While we were successful in the development of our players in many areas, I would have liked to have won more games for the student-athletes, coaches, fans and everyone that’s a part of the University of Virginia.”

Littlepage said in the news release that a coaching search is underway to find the 40th football coach in UVA’s program history. Littlepage did not provide a time frame for concluding the search, citing the fact that many of the possible candidates will be involved in postseason play. Littlepage will not make further comments until the search has concluded.

“In our search, we will look for a coach who’s demonstrated the ability to implement his system and achieved a consistent level of success,” Littlepage said in the news release. “The coach will have experience recruiting and developing student-athletes who fit his profile for success on the field and in the classroom. We expect our football program to compete for the Coastal Division title on an annual basis, which puts us in a position to win the ACC championship and be competitive nationally. This is consistent with the expectations for each of our sport programs.”

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