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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