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When the Virginia football team takes the field for the first time in 2022, the Hoos will be led by a new "Cavalier on Horseback". 

Last season, it was announced that Kim Kirschnick, who had held the role for 21 years, would be retiring at the conclusion of the season. For a while, it was uncertain what the future would look like for the iconic opening piece of Virginia's football entrance. 

Finally, on Tuesday, UVA announced that Kirschnick's successor would be Julie Caruccio, who currently serves as the assistant vice president for research on the student experience. Caruccio was the interim dean of students last year. 

A lifelong member of the UVA community, Caruccio grew up the daughter of a University professor, earned two degrees from Virginia, and has worked at UVA since 2003. 

Caruccio has plenty of experience with horses, having trained horses and taught riding lessons in the past as well as being a member of the UVA riding team during her undergraduate years. She even has experience riding the specific horse Kim Kirschnick rode most recently at UVA football games. 

Caruccio is the first female to be named the full-time Cavalier on Horseback. When the tradition began, members of the UVA club polo team worked the job on a rotating basis and at least two women were the Cavalier on Horseback for UVA football games back in the 1990s. 

Julie Caruccio will make her debut as the Cavalier on Horseback on Saturday, September 3rd, when she leads the Virginia football team onto the field to open the 2022 season at Scott Stadium. 

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Read the full story on Julie Caruccio from UVA Today here.


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