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Jan. 3, 2013

vstv-icon.pngVideo: Highlights from the playing and coaching careers of UVa’s Tom O’Brien, Jon Tenuta and Marques Hagans

Charlottesville, Va. – Virginia head football coach Mike London announced today the hiring of four assistant coaches to fill the vacancies on the Cavalier staff. Joining the Virginia football program are former NC State and Boston College head coach Tom O’Brien, 32-year college coaching veteran Jon Tenuta and 12-year college special teams coach Jeff Banks. Former UVa quarterback Marques Hagans has been promoted to a full-time position after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Virginia the past two seasons.

London also announced cornerbacks coach Chip West will take over the responsibilities as Virginia’s recruiting coordinator.

O’Brien will serve as the associate head coach for offense and also coach the Cavalier tight ends. Tenuta will be the associate head coach for defense/defensive coordinator. Banks will be the team’s special teams coordinator and also coach the UVa running backs. Hagans will continue to coach the Virginia wide receivers.

“These four coaches are a dynamic group who will be great teachers and instructors for our student-athletes, while maintaining the values we have set for our team,” London said. “Three of them have strong ties to Virginia and they have first-hand knowledge and experiences of what makes our university a special place. This group will complement our current staff well and help our football program reach its goals.”

O’Brien, Tenuta and Banks bring a wealth of FBS level experience to Virginia with a combined 84 years of coaching experience. They have coached in 40 bowl games and seen more than 90 of their former players go on to play professional football.

There is a strong Virginia influence among the hirings. Both Hagans and Tenuta are Virginia graduates and O’Brien enjoyed a long tenure as an assistant coach at UVa during its most successful era to date.

O’Brien served as the head coach at Boston College (1997-2006) and NC State (2007-2012) and compiled a combined record of 115-80. He served as an assistant coach at Virginia between 1982 and 1996 for head coach George Welsh, the last six as the Cavaliers’ offensive coordinator. In 1996, Virginia scored more than 320 points for an ACC-record eighth consecutive year. During his tenure at UVa, the Cavaliers posted 13 winning seasons, twice were ACC co-champions and won four bowl games.

Tenuta was the associate head coach for defense at NC State last season and has served as defensive coordinator at Marshall, Kansas State, SMU, Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame during his 32 seasons as a college coach. Tenuta graduated from Virginia in 1982 after earning three letters as a defensive back from 1978-80. He won the team’s John Acree Memorial Football Trophy and the Kevin Bowie Award.

Hagans graduated from UVa in 2005 after a stellar playing career as a quarterback, wide receiver and punt returner. Hagans is seventh on the Cavalier all-time passing list with 4,877 yards. He played wide receiver for Virginia during the 2003 season, while also serving as the backup quarterback to Matt Schaub. Hagans played in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins before joining the Cavalier program in 2011 as a graduate assistant coach.

West has been a member of the Virginia staff for the past three years, coaching cornerbacks. In February, London added the title of assistant recruiting coordinator to his duties. West helped Virginia land back-to-back recruiting classes in 2011 and 2012 that were ranked among the top 30 in the nation. West is responsible for recruiting the Tidewater/Peninsula area in Virginia and the eastern half of North Carolina.

 West was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Recruiter of the Year for 2011 by 247Sports and was one eight finalists for the organization’s National Recruiter of the Year honor.

Chip West is very deserving of this opportunity,” London said. “He has done a tremendous job and has built a reputation as one of the best recruiters in the ACC. Chip relates well to people and he loves to compete. Those are key attributes to lead our recruiting efforts. I value Chip as much more than just a strong recruiter. The hard work and dedication he has put into coaching our cornerbacks over the last three seasons has been noticeable in the development of the student-athletes at this position.”

New Assistant Coaches Biographies and comments by Mike London

Tom O’Brien
Has served as a college coach for 38 seasons, including the last 16 years as a head coach … owns a 115-80 record as a head coach … posted a six-year record of 40-35 at NC State from 2007-12, including a record of 24-14 since the 2010 season … led the Wolfpack to bowl games in three straight years and four times in the past five years … only the second coach in school history to beat North Carolina five straight times … during his 10-year tenure as head coach at Boston College he compiled a record of 75-45 … entered the 2012 season ranked 18th among active FBS coaches with 108 career wins … his bowl winning percentage of .800 (8-2) is the best mark in college football history … in 2008 he coached freshman quarterback Russell Wilson, who went on to become the first rookie in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference to be named first-team all-conference at his position … it marked the sixth time in his then-19 years in the league that a quarterback under O’Brien’s tutelage was named the All-ACC signal caller … led NC State to nine wins in 2010, the second-highest total in school history … finalist for 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award … attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he was a three-year starter at defensive end … graduated from Navy in 1971 and went on to serve nine years in the Marines, reaching the rank of major in the Marine Corps Reserve … in 1975 he returned to Navy as a Marine officer assigned to the football staff … resigned his commission in 1980 to take on a full-time role for George Welsh’s staff … coached tackles and tight ends for seven seasons at Navy … followed Welsh to Virginia in 1982 … helped the team to 13 winning seasons, nine bowl games and ACC co-championships (1989 and 1995) in 15 years at UVa … served as offensive coordinator in final six years at Virginia … named head coach at Boston College in December of 1996 … after back-to-back 4-7 seasons, he led BC to an 8-4 record in 1999, the first of eight consecutive winning seasons and bowl appearances … posted nine-win seasons in four of his final five years with the Eagles … his 2007 team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation and played in the ACC Championship Game … his BC teams went 6-3 in nine games against rival Notre Dame … his 75 wins are most by any coach in Boston College history … during his 10 seasons with the Eagles he saw 33 of his BC players drafted by NFL teams … he and his wife, Jennifer, have three adult children: Colleen, Daniel and Bridget.

London on Tom O’Brien:
“I was fortunate to work for Tom O’Brien at Boston College and I have so much respect for him because of the consistent success he’s experienced, while never sacrificing his beliefs and philosophies. With Tom’s experience as a head coach in the ACC and Big East for 16 seasons, I am looking forward to his insights and I’m excited that he will be able to share his knowledge with our coaches and players. He is someone I trust and I value his opinions and evaluations. Tom has coached some of the conference’s most dynamic offensive players over the course of his career and he will play a significant role in the development of our offense.”

Jon Tenuta
Just completed his 32nd season as a collegiate coach … has worked on the staffs at NC State (2010-12), Notre Dame (2008-09), Georgia Tech (2002-07), North Carolina (2001), Ohio State (1996-2000), Oklahoma (1995), SMU (1989-94), Kansas State (1988), Marshall (1986-87), Vanderbilt (1984-85), Maryland (1983, graduate assistant) and Virginia (1981-82, graduate assistant) … he has served as a defensive coordinator for 16 of his 32 seasons as an assistant coach … has coached in 16 bowl games during his career … served as the interim head coach for Georgia Tech at the 2007 Humanitarian Bowl … after he arrived at Notre Dame, he helped the Irish defense improve in all defensive categories … at Georgia Tech, 18 Yellow Jacket defenders earned first- or second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition and 18 players from his first four units were either drafted or signed to NFL free-agent contracts … in the six years Tenuta was in Atlanta, his defenses were ranked nationally in total, scoring and rushing defense, including 20th or better against the run the last five years … in 2001, Tenuta guided the ACC’s top-rated defense at North Carolina … at Ohio State he helped develop several All-Americans and first-round NFL draft picks … Ohio State’s pass defense was consistently ranked among the nation’s best during that span … in 1989, he was an assistant coach at SMU, where he helped Forrest Gregg rebuild the program … has coached more than 30 players who went on to play professional football … was a three-year letterwinner as a defensive back at Virginia … won the team’s John Acree Memorial Football Trophy and Kevin Bowie Award … graduated from Virginia in 1982 … his wife, Dori (Gamble) played basketball at Virginia, lettering four times between 1978 and 1981 … they have three sons: Zach, Matt and Luke.

London on Jon Tenuta:
“It’s no secret that Jon brings an aggressive approach to the defensive side of the ball and I think our players will be excited to adopt that philosophy. Jon has a great track record of improving defenses. He’s spent many years coaching in the ACC and there’s not much, if anything, he has not had to prepare for. I know Jon and his family are excited to return to Charlottesville and UVa.”

Jeff Banks
Worked at UTEP for the last nine years for head coach Mike Price … was the Miners’ special teams coordinator, while also coaching the running backs and punters … previously served as the recruiting coordinator at UTEP … under his direction, UTEP has been one of the top special teams units in Conference USA in recent years … in 2012, team ranked in the top four in Conference USA’s standings for net punting (1st, 39.8 ypp.), kickoff returns (3rd, 23.8 ypr.) and punt returns (4th, 10.1 ypr.) … the Miners had the top special teams unit in Conference USA statistically in 2011, ranking first in the league in punting (40.5 avg.), second in kickoff returns (26.3 avg.), third in kickoff coverage (44.4 avg.) and seventh in punt returns (10.0 avg.) … UTEP ranked fourth nationally in kickoff returns and sixth in net punting … in 2011, Ian Campbell ranked fourth in the FBS in punting average (46.1 avg.) and Vernon Frazier ranked seventh in kickoff returns (30.5 avg.) … mentored a number of UTEP players, who set school records or earned all-conference honors … in 2009, running back Donald Buckram broke the UTEP single-season rushing record that had stood for over 60 years … had similar coaching duties at Idaho State from 2001-03 … Idaho State won a Big Sky Championship and had back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time in 77 years … in his three seasons at Idaho State, he was part of a Bengal offense that averaged over 400 yards and 28 points per game … Idaho State ranked in the top-16 nationally in total offense each of his three seasons … began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Mike Price at Washington State, mentoring the Cougars’ kickers and punters from 1999-00 … a two-year letterwinner as a punter at Washington State, he posted a 42.8-yard average as a junior and 43.4 as a senior … led the Pac-10 and was 15th in the nation in punting as a senior for a Cougar team that went 10-2 and played Michigan in the Rose Bowl … selected to play in the Senior Bowl following his final collegiate season … graduated from Washington State in 1998 … he and his wife, Kori, have a daughter, Sydnei, and two sons, Gage and Tanner.

London on Jeff Banks:
“Jeff has built a strong reputation as an outstanding special teams coach. As a former college punter, he will provide expertise to our kickers that we haven’t had on the staff before. Jeff will also bring innovation to our running game. He’s sharp and organized and will be a great asset to our program.”

Marques Hagans
Served as a graduate assistant coach at Virginia during the 2011 (tight ends) and 2012 (wide receivers) seasons … was a four-year letterwinner at UVa from 2002-05 and is currently No. 7 all-time in passing at UVa with 4,877 passing yards … finished his career at No. 5, but has since been passed by Jameel Seweel and Marc Verica, the two starting quarterbacks to follow him in Charlottesville … ranks No. 5 all-time at UVa in total offense with 5,779 yards and his 2005 season ranks No. 3 all-time with 2,802 total yards … only his predecessor, Matt Schaub, had better seasons (2002 & 2003) in the UVa annals in regards to total offense … the St. Louis Rams selected Hagans in the fifth round (144 overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft … he spent three seasons with the Rams before being picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2009 campaign … finished the 2009 season with the Washington Redskins and was released in the summer of 2010 after injuring himself in offseason workouts … a native of Hampton, Va., and graduated from Hampton High School after spending two years at neighboring Bethel High School … as a junior at Hampton, he led the Crabbers to the state championship in Group AAA, Division 5 of the Virginia High School League in 1998 … Hampton advanced to the state semifinals in his senior season in 1999 … graduated from UVa in 2005 … he and his wife, Lauren (Swierczek), a former Cavalier women’s basketball player lettering from 1998-2000, have a son, Christopher.

London on Marques Hagans:
“Marques loves the Virginia football program and he really impressed me in terms of his passion and hard work as a graduate assistant coach the past two years. He played in a key role in the development of our young wide receivers this season. The fact that Marques was a terrific high school player in the state and a successful student-athlete at UVa will also help our recruiting efforts.”

Information on Virginia Football Assistant Coach Appointments

• The initial appointment for Tom O’Brien is for two years. He will receive a $150,000 signing bonus and an annual salary of $450,000. At the conclusion of his two-year appointment, O’Brien is eligible for a $300,000 bonus.
• The initial appointment for Jon Tenuta is for five years. He will receive annual compensation totaling $500,000.
• The initial appointment for Jeff Banks is for two years. He will receive an annual salary of $200,000.
• The initial appointment for Marques Hagans is for two years. He will receive an annual salary of $150,000.
• All of the assistant coaches are eligible for performance bonuses based on success.
• Compensation for the assistant coaches will be funded from Athletics Department funds and the Athletics Department does not receive state funding.

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