Possible head coach candidates for Virginia


Possible head coach candidates for Virginia

The Mike London era is over for Virginia meaning the Cavaliers are now in need of a new head coach.

UVa offers candidates a Power Five job in the very winnable ACC Coastal Division. They can't match teams like Texas or Alabama in terms of salary, but coaches won't be playing for peanuts as London was the third-highest paid coach in the ACC in 2015. On the negative side, the new coach will have to deal with strict academic guidelines and a stagnant fan base.

With that in mind, here are some possible coaching candidates for the Cavaliers:

Mark Richt: When Richt was fired at Georgia, there were some who thought he would step away from coaching. Richt quickly countered that notion at his press conference on Monday saying "I'll listen to anyone who has interest in me coaching or not." With that, Richt shot up to the top candidate for every job opening in the country.

Richt was run out of Georgia despite a .740 win percentage thanks to the ridiculous expectations of the fan base. The strict discipline with which he ran the Bulldogs program would fit in well in Charlottesville. He interviewed with Virginia and was thought to be interested before accepting the Georgia job. Athletics director Craig Littlepage will have plenty of competition if he hopes to bring in Richt considering what he accomplished while in Athens, but UVa would not be doing its due diligence if Littlepage did not at least reach out and gauge Richt's interest.

RELATED: Maryland Search: Richt says 'about five' schools reached out

Dan Mullen: Why would an SEC coach whose team was ranked No. 1 just last season leave for Virginia? The rumblings out of Starkville indicate that Mullen wants out. It's hard to win in Mississippi State and what he accomplished in 2014 is likely the team's ceiling. Leaving the SEC West for the wide open ACC Coastal has to be an appealing thought. According to Jacquie Franciulli of, Mullen has shown "significant interest" in Virginia.

Al Golden: Golden wore a tie on the sidelines so clearly he's a good fit in Charlottesville. All kidding aside, Golden was a graduate assistant at Virginia under George Welsh and returned as the defensive coordinator for five years under Al Groh. Undoubtedly fans would not be too thrilled about this hire after Golden went 1-3 against UVa while he was at Miami, but Golden rose to prominence during his time as the head coach at Temple so you already know he can recruit this area. 

Matt Rhule: Speaking of Temple, current Temple coach Matt Rhule will also likely be a popular name this offseason because of what he has done for the Owls. He has recruited well in the mid-Atlantic and can develop an offense which should generate some much needed excitement for Virginia.

Greg Schiano: After a disastrous move to the NFL, Schiano is expected to move back to the college ranks. With all the jobs that are available, he will likely get a lot of consideration this offseason, as well he should. Schiano built a winning program at Rutgers which is really hard to do. Just ask Kyle Flood. With a proven background at the college level and recruiting ties in the northeast, he's someone Virginia should absolutely consider. For what it's worth, Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated predicted Schiano would ultimately be UVa's next coach.

Mack Brown: Known mostly for his time in Texas, Brown cut his teeth in the ACC spending 10 seasons as the head coach at UNC. His daughter also works for UVa according to The Daily Progress. Brown is reportedly very interested in Virginia, but that interest is not yet reciprocated by the school. Though he does have a national title on his resume, Brown is 64 years old and left Texas in rough shape. Should Littlepage strike out on other targets, Brown could emerge as a potential candidate later on. He would very much be a short-term solution and an exit strategy would have to be considered if this is the route Littlepage ultimately goes. The only way this could work is if Brown is able to bring in strong coordinators to eventually succeed him.

Mike Sanford: Sanford is an up-and-coming coordinator who is destined to become a head coach at some point. He currently is the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame and has recruited for the Irish and for Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw at Stanford. If there is one guy who understands the challenges of recruiting at a school with strict academics, it's Sanford. He is originally form Virginia as he was born in Lexington, Va. and his father was the quarterbacks coach at VMI. Being the coordinator at Notre Dame, however, means you can be picky. Sanford makes a lot of sense for the Cavaliers, but If he's not interested in UVa there's no need for him to reach. 

Bill Lazor: Lazor's background is largely in the pros, but he did serve as the offensive coordinator at Virginia from 2010 to 2012. He was fired by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday so obviously he is available. Lazor will likely remain in the NFL, but considering his history with the school, he has to at least be on their radar.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Justin Fuente formally introduced as Virginia Tech head coach

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.


Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State


Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.


Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.