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Report: UVA great Chris Slade added to Tony Elliott coaching staff

chris slade chris long
Virginia football greats Chris Slade and Chris Long. Photo by Scott German.

Chris Slade is set to return to Virginia on the staff of football coach Tony Elliott, according to a report from Pete Thamel at Yahoo Sports.

Thamel reported that, according to sources, Elliott is also adding Navy defensive line coach Kevin Downing and Army wide receiver coach Keith Gaither to his staff.

Earlier Monday, Elliott named Atlanta Falcons running back coach Des Kitching to serve as his offensive coordinator.

Elliott had already retained three coaches from Bronco Mendenhall’s Virginia staff – wide receivers coach Marques Hagans, offensive line coach Garett Tujague and defensive line coach Clint Sintim, who according to Thamel is expected to move to linebackers coach under Elliott.

Slade, a 1993 UVA alum, was a consensus two-time first-team All-American at defensive end.

A second-round 1993 NFL Draft pick, he played for the New England Patriots from 1993-2000 and finished his pro career with a single year, in 2001, with the Carolina Panthers.

Slade was the head coach at Pace Academy in the Atlanta metro area from 2013-2021, leading the team to a 59-42 record and a state title in his nine seasons, before stepping down from the job last month.

He was on hand for Elliott’s introductory press conference on Dec. 13, and according to an AFP source, met with Elliott that week.

Downing just finished his third season on the defensive staff at Navy. A 2004 alum of North Carolina Central, his previous stops include Kennesaw State, Elon and Winston-Salem State.

Gaither, a 1997 Elon alum, also has stops at Winston-Salem State and Elon, in addition to stints at Ball State and Western Michigan.

Story by Chris Graham

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