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Charlottesville, VA Virginia football coach Al Groh announced today Chad Wilt has been named the team’s defensive line coach. Wilt had previously worked for Groh as a graduate assistant coach during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Wilt comes to Virginia after spending the past three seasons at Liberty University coaching the defensive line and special teams under Danny Rocco, a former UVa assistant coach.

“Chad has a solid background in our philosophy and schemes having spent two seasons with us and three with Dan Rocco,” Groh said. “He knows us very well, and we know Chad and look forward to the energy and style that he will bring to our program. Our players will appreciate his commitment and expertise.”

In his first season with the Flames, Liberty set eight different team records, including fewest points allowed (172 points), fewest rushing yards allowed (1,433), shutouts (three) and fewest average total offensive yards (306.0). The Flames finished the year ranked 12th nationally in scoring defense (15.64). 

 Wilt’s tutelage also played a huge part in Liberty’s highly successful special teams’ efforts in 2006. The Flames ranked third nationally in kickoff return yardage (25.56) and was the only team in the country to return three kickoffs for touchdowns, setting a school record in the process.

“It is an honor and privilege for me to join the Virginia program and coach Groh’s staff,” Wilt said. “I have a great deal of respect for what he has done. Being able to learn and coach under him will be an invaluable experience for me. I’m looking forward to helping push this team toward a championship. The University of Virginia is very special to me since I received my master’s degree from there. I have been a part of this football program in the past and I respect and believe in it. I will bring a lot of energy and intensity to my position and I will expect the same out of my players.”

That season Wilt coached seven Big South all-conference performers, including a pair on the defensive line and five special teams honorees.

In 2007, Wilt’s special teams unit finished first in the Big South in net punting (34.7), net kickoff returns (42.3), punt return average (14.2) and kickoff return average (23.7). 

During the course of the season, Liberty dominated the league’s Special Team’s Player of the Week honors. The Flames took home six out of 12 weekly award winners, including the entire unit being honored following VMI game when Liberty’s special teams scored 25 of the team’s season-best 73 points. 

During Wilt’s first season as a graduate assistant at Virginia, the Cavaliers were ranked as high as fifth in the nation and the team finished 18th in the country in total defense and 17th in scoring defense by allowing just 17.7 points per game. His second year on the UVa staff was in 2005 when the Cavaliers recorded an impressive 26-21 upset victory over fourth-ranked Florida State and closed out the year with a 34-31 victory over Minnesota at the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.

Wilt spent three seasons as defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Central Connecticut State, where he was nominated for the AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2003. 

Wilt also coached one season as a student assistant at Taylor in Upland, Ind., and spent a spring season as an assistant coach at William & Mary. 

Wilt was a three-time all-conference performer at Taylor, where he captained the football team as a senior, and was twice named a second-team NAIA All-American at defensive end. He was also named to the academic all-conference team twice during his playing career. 

A native of Upland, Ind., he earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management from Taylor in 2000, while he completed his master’s degree in educational leadership, foundations and policy from Virginia in 2005.

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