London named ACC Coach of the Year

Virginia head coach Mike London was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, as announced by the league on Tuesday. London becomes the fifth different UVa head footballcoach to garner coach of the year accolades.

London joins a list of Bill Elias (1961), George Blackburn (1968), George Welsh (1983, ’84, ’89, ’91, ’95) and Al Groh (2002, ’07) as UVa head coaches who have won ACC Coach of the Year honors.

“I am both honored and humbled by this selection,” said London. “I greatly respect the coaches in our conference and you could argue there are others who are deserving of this recognition.”

“In two short years, Coach London has proven to be an outstanding fit for the University of Virginia,” said Virginia Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage. “As much as this is an award for Mike as the head coach, this is a program award made possible by the hard work and execution of his players and coaching staff.  I share the sentiments of the University community in expressing congratulations to him on this ACC Coach of the Year recognition.”

Virginia was picked in the preseason to finish fifth in the league’s Coastal Division.  UVa went on to finish the regular season with an 8-4 overall mark, tying the program’s eighth-best win total for a season. The Cavaliers finished 5-3 in ACC play.

“More than anything I am extremely proud of the performance by our players and coaches this season,” London said. “This is really a reflection on their efforts this year. Quite honestly, I do not think there were very many people outside of our locker room who felt we could go into the final week of the season with a chance to advance to the ACC Championship game. As a coach, you live for the kind of moments where your team buys in, puts in the work and the effort and sees the positive results that come from it.

“We accomplished so many things this year and grew into a team that believed in itself and was confident about what it could achieve on the field. We went from just trying to win a game to managing to win four on basically the last play. That builds a lot of character.

“I am very appreciative in receiving this honor. More importantly, our team is honored to represent the ACC during the upcoming bowl season.”

London’s squad became the first program in the nation to garner road wins at Miami and Florida State in the same season and he orchestrated the nation’s fifth-best turnaround after UVa went 4-8 in 2010.

Virginia will be playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2007 and eight Cavaliers were named to the All-ACCteam, the most since 2004.  UVa went 4-1 on the road, the program’s best road winning percentage (.800) since also going 4-1 during the 1999 season.That also was the last season UVa won at least three games in the month of November until this year.

The honor is London’s sixth career coach of the year honor.  The Hampton, Va., native was named the 2008 FCS National Coach of the Year by both the American Football Coaches Association and Schutt Sports/American Monthly magazine, and the Black Coaches Association Male Coach of the Year after leading Richmond to the FCS national title. He was also tabbed the State Coach of the Year from both the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID) and the Peninsula Sports Club following the 2008 season.

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