Tag:ACC Coach of the Year
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:33 pm

Virginia announces contract extension for London

Posted by Chip Patterson

In just his second year, Virginia head coach Mike London led the Cavaliers to an 8-4 finish and a trip to the Chick fil-A Bowl. London was rewarded by the conference when he was named 2011 ACC Coach of the Year, and on Friday he received a reward from his employer.

The school announced a two-year extension to London's contract, which now runs through 2016. His annual compensation was also increased to $2.1 million, and additional compensation will be provided for assistant coaches on the Virginia staff.

"Mike London and his staff are a great fit for the University of Virginia," said Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage in the official release. "Commitment and continuity on the staff are major components of building a program. We want to keep the program's momentum moving and this extension will help achieve that."

London rallied the Cavaliers after a rocky start to the season, rolling off four straight wins before falling to Virginia Tech in the season finale. There were not many flashy names or breakout individuals, but instead a tough, bruising bunch that simply fought harder than the opponent at times this season. Virginia came within one game of an ACC Coastal title, and the bowl bid to face Auburn in Atlanta is the Cavaliers' first since 2007.

"I'm very grateful, humbled and appreciative of this gesture by the University," London said. "I am truly blessed to be working at one of the nation's finest universities with an administration that is supportive of the type of football program we all want to have that reflects the University's values and mission.

"More than anything, this says that everyone involved with the Virginia football program has done an outstanding job. From the assistant coaches, the support staff and most importantly our student-athletes. They all believed from day one that we can accomplish great things here and I think this is just the start of a very bright future for Virginia football."

While London vehemently denied the reports, his name was frequently linked to high-profile coaching jobs - including Penn State - over the last several weeks. Virginia has been working with London on this contract extension, and Friday's announcement seems to confirm what many believe: that Mike London has no plans of leaving Charlottesville.

Keep up with all the latest on Virginia until kickoff at the Chick fil-A Bowl Pregame

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Posted on: November 30, 2010 4:00 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 4:06 pm

MD's Friedgen: From hot seat to trophy case

Posted by Chip Patterson

Back in August, I was discussing the upcoming ACC season on a radio program in North Carolina.  We were making both humorous and serious predictions when the host looked me in the eye and said, "Ralph Friedgen will not be the coach of the Maryland Terrapins in 2011."  I wholeheartedly agreed.  After all, he barely survived the axe in 2009 after a 2-10 season and did not make have a lot of drastic changes in the 2010 squad.  

Boy were we wrong.

On Tuesday, Friedgen was named the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Media Association.  While Maryland has not been the subject of national rankings or widespread public discussion, they have put together a truly historic season.  The six-win turnaround to 8-4 in 2010 is the second best win improvement in FBS history.  If the Terps win their bowl game, they will be the first team in ACC history to go from two or fewer wins one season to nine the next.  

Friedgen will tell you himself the credit belongs to the players, and one player I did not count on in August got his due recognition on Tuesday as well.  Freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien was named ACC Rookie of the Year as well, collecting 54 of 61 possible first place votes.  His 21 touchdowns ranks for second place in school history, and his 2,257 yards passing are sixth all-time among ACC freshman.  

Both Friedgen and O'Brien entered the season with low expectations, and in some cases expectations to fail.  But together, along with the rest of the 2010 Maryland team, they ascended to the top of the conference.  While they fell one game short of the ACC Atlantic Division title, at least their coach and quarterback will get a little hardware in Charlotte on Friday.  After pulling off that kind of turnaround, it is well deserved.
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