|Virginia coach Mike London announced the firing of four assistants Sunday. (US Presswire)|
The four assistants are associate head coach/defensive coordinator Jim Reid, defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Jeff Hanson, running backs coach Mike Faragalli and tight ends coach Shawn Moore.
London also announced that safeties coach Anthony Poindexter would no longer be in charge of special teams but would remain on the staff.
“After conducting a complete evaluation of the program and discussing my thoughts with administration, there are a number of areas we need to improve on and it starts with me as the head coach,” London said in a school release. “The decision to release these four coaches is very difficult, but one I feel is necessary in order to meet the goals we have set for the Virginia football program.”
The dismissal of Reid comes as a bit of a surprise. Virginia finished No. 31 nationally in total defense with a young unit that improved as the year went along. He was also in charge of recruiting in the Richmond area.
All four coaches had been on London's staff since he took over at Virginia in 2010. London was on Reid's staff at Richmond in 1995-96. Faragalli and Hanson were at Richmond with London in 2008-09, winning an FCS national title in 2008. Moore was in his first collegiate coaching position but is a school legend for his accomplishments as a quarterback, finishing fourth in the 1990 Heisman trophy voting.
The total buyout is $1.36 million, but the buyout for each assistant could decrease with future employment.
“My primary task is to continue to evaluate this program and take the necessary steps to make us successful on the field,” London said. “This university and its fans deserve a program that competes for championships. In order to do that, we need to make improvements in every aspect of our football operation.”
QB Michael Rocco was granted a release from his scholarship after meeting with London on Friday. Rocco has started 21 games under center in the last two years, but he was involved in a two-quarterback system as this season went along with Alabama transfer Phillip Sims.
“After meeting with Michael and discussing his future with our program and his personal goals and interests, I understand his desire to complete his college football career elsewhere,” London said. “Michael has been an outstanding member of our program on the field, in the classroom and in the community. I appreciate the competitive nature, work ethic and leadership he brought to our program and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Rocco threw for 4,731 yards with 27 touchdowns and 24 interceptions during his career at Virginia. He led the Cavaliers to an 8-5 record and a Chick-fil-A Bowl berth last year.
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