Aug. 11, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE — He played football at the University of Richmond, had two stints as an assistant there and later, as the Spiders’ head coach, won a national championship.
All of which means, Mike London said candidly before practice Tuesday, that UVa’s season-opener will not be just another game for him.
Virginia hosts UR on Sept. 4 at Scott Stadium. London has coached most of the players who will be on the visitors’ sideline, and it will be an emotional day for him.
“The real answer is I’m a human being like everyone else,” London said. “I spent time there. That’s my alma mater. I know those players. I have a lot of respect for the players and coaches that are there.
“I won a national championship with those guys that are still on the team, and a conference championship. So you just don’t forget about the journeys and the practices and the good times and the bad times with that.
“But on the other side, the coach’s side, now I’m here, and I bleed orange and blue, and now we gotta get ready to play them.”
None of the players on London’s roster has won a season-opener as a Cavalier, and the team is determined to end that streak.
“That’s what’s first and foremost on our mind right now, the first game,” London said, “and the first game is Richmond.”
His staff at UVa includes three assistants who were with him at Richmond in 2008 and ’09: Jeff Hanson, Vincent Brown and Mike Faragalli. Also, the Cavaliers’ strength-and-conditioning coach, Brandon Hourigan, worked for London at UR in 2008, and defensive coordinator Jim Reid is a former UR head coach.
London, it should be noted, has strong ties to UVa as well. He had two stints as an assistant at the University before being named head coach in December, and his daughter Kristen and his brother Paul are UVa graduates. Kristen played basketball and Paul football for the Wahoos.