Cavaliers' London hires four, including Tom O'Brien, Tenuta
Virginia coach Mike London has reached into the Cavaliers' past to refill his coaching staff.
London on Thursday hired former Boston College and North Carolina State head coach Tom O'Brien to be his associate head coach for offense and coach tight ends, Jon Tenuta to be his associate head coach for defense and defensive coordinator, and Jeff Banks to coach special teams and running backs.
He also promoted wide receivers coach Marques Hagans from graduate assistant to fulltime assistant, and said cornerbacks coach Chip West has been promoted from assistant recruiting coordinator to recruiting coordinator.
O'Brien, Tenuta and Hagans have deep Virginia roots.
O'Brien was an assistant under George Welsh at Virginia from 1982-96, the most successful era in school history, before becoming the head coach at Boston College and then N.C. State. He was fired at N.C. State on Nov. 25 with a career mark of 115-80, including an 8-2 record in bowl games.
He also had London on his staff at Boston College, and becomes the second former boss to join London's staff. Jim Reid, the Virginia defensive coordinator who was fired along with three other assistants after the Cavaliers finished 4-8 last season, had London as an assistant coach when he was at Richmond.
"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," London said in a statement provided by the school. It said none of the coaches would be made available to comment until after the American Football Coaches Association convention that runs from Jan. 6-9.
O'Brien received a two-year contract with a $150,000 signing bonus, an annual salary of $450,000 and a $300,000 bonus at the conclusion of the deal. The package makes him the highest paid assistant on London's staff; offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's contract pays him a base salary of $453,000.
Tenuta was a defensive back at Virginia who graduated in 1982. He has 32 years of experience, half of it as a coordinator with stops that include Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. He received a five-year contract with an annual salary of $500,000.
"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," London said. "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."
Hagans was a wide receiver and quarterback at Virginia from 2002-05. He ranks seventh in career passing yards at Virginia with 4,877 and is from Hampton in the state's most fertile recruiting area. He received a two-year contract with a salary of $150,000.
Banks, a former punter, has coached special teams for 12 years at the college level, the last nine at UTEP. He replaces Anthony Poindexter, who remains on staff coaching safeties but had the special teams duties taken away in the staff shakeup announced Dec. 2.
Banks received a two-year contract at an annual salary of $200,000, and all the assistants are entitled to performance bonuses based on success.