Charlottesville, Va. – Fralin Family Head Football Coach Bronco Mendenhall announced today (Feb. 1) he has restructured staff assignments within the Virginia defensive coaching staff.
Nick Howell will continue to serve as the Cavaliers’ defensive coordinator/secondary coach and oversee the defensive backfield. To provide him more flexibility and support in his role as a coordinator, Shane Hunter will shift from coaching inside linebackers to become the safeties coach. Ricky Brumfield moves from offense to defense and will coach the cornerbacks after serving as the tight ends coach in 2020. Brumfield will continue in his role as Virginia’s special teams coordinator.
Co-defensive coordinator Kelly Poppinga will now coach both the inside and outside linebackers after handling just the outside linebackers the past five seasons.
Clint Sintim, who joined the UVA staff last year, will continue as the team’s defensive line coach.
Howell, Hunter and Poppinga have been members of Mendenhall’s UVA staff since he took over the program prior to the 2016 season. Brumfield just completed his third year at UVA after joining the staff prior to the 2018 campaign. Brumfield previously coached secondary positions at Western Kentucky (cornerbacks, 2013-15) and Nicholls State (safeties, 2011-12).
“Kelly, Shane and Ricky have established themselves as outstanding coaches and are ready for more responsibilities,” Mendenhall said. “These adjustments provide Coach Howell the opportunity and assistance to focus more of his efforts on the overall execution of the defense. Nick has developed into a trusted and valuable member of our staff. My intent is to maximize his knowledge and experience with our defense to provide our team with the best opportunity for success.”
With Brumfield’s move to a defensive coaching position, offensive coordinator Robert Anae will coach the Cavalier tight ends. He was responsible for that position group for Mendenhall’s first four seasons at UVA.
Virginia opens its 2021 season on Sept. 4 when the Cavaliers play host to William & Mary at Scott Stadium.