Reid, Moore among 4 assistants fired at Virginia

Reid, Moore among 4 assistants fired at Virginia

Virginia football coach Mike London fired four assistant coaches and reassigned another as part of sweeping changes to his coaching staff after the Cavaliers finished a disappointing 4-8 this season.

Defensive coordinator and associate head coach Jim Reid, defensive line coach Jeff Hanson, running backs coach Mike Faragalli and tight ends coach Shawn Moore have been dismissed, London announced Sunday.

Anthony Poindexter also has been relieved of his duties as special teams coach but will remain on staff, London said in a statement released by the school. Poindexter also coaches Virginia's safeties.

The four coaches fired have been with London throughout his three seasons at Virginia. Also Sunday, the school announced junior quarterback Michael Rocco will transfer.

In a statement, London hinted that the coaching changes might not all have been his idea.

``After conducting a complete evaluation of the program and discussing my thoughts with administration, there are a number of areas we need to improve on and it starts with me as the head coach,'' he said.

``The decision to release these four coaches is very difficult, but one I feel is necessary in order to meet the goals we have set for the Virginia football program,'' he continued. ``I have coached with some of these men for many years, won a national championship with some, and I truly appreciate their dedication and commitment, and more importantly, their friendships. I wish them all the best.''

Reid, who had London as an assistant at Richmond in 1995 and 1996, is the most surprising departure.

The Cavaliers' defense was their most consistent unit this season, especially as the season wore on and younger players forced into prominent roles gained experience. Virginia finished fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in total defense, allowing 353 yards per game, but struggled to make dynamic, game-changing plays. Reid's until had just 17 sacks and forced just 12 turnovers this season.

Over its last six games, Virginia opponents averaged just 306 yards on offense, a figure that would have placed the Cavaliers in the top 10 nationally if accomplished over the course of the season.

Reid was on the road recruiting this week, along with most of Virginia's staff. He did not immediately respond to phone and text messages left on his cellphone following the morning announcement.

Hanson, who also served as recruiting coordinator, and Faragalli both coached with London at Richmond, winning the FCS national championship in 2008, and came with him when London replaced Al Groh in 2009.

Moore, a former Cavaliers quarterback, had never been a college assistant before joining London's staff. His son, Michael Moore, was a promising freshman defense lineman on the team this season.

Poindexter, one of the most popular Cavaliers players, was the only holdover from Groh's staff, and has been the one under the most scrutiny because of Virginia's anemic special teams.

The Cavaliers allowed two kickoffs to be returned for touchdowns this season and routinely started offensive series inside their own 25 yard-line when their own kickoff returners were ineffective.

In Virginia's 17-14 loss to Virginia Tech in the season finale, the Cavaliers had an opportunity to kick a 38-yard field goal and go ahead 17-7 against a rival they had lost to eight consecutive times.

Instead, they faked the kick on fourth-and-8 and were stopped two yards shy of a first down.

The failure was viewed as a huge momentum swing in a game the Cavaliers lost, 17-14.

London said his search for replacement coaches to rebuild his staff will begin immediately.


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One thing doesn't make sense about Washington's dismissal of Alex Santos and Richard Mann II: The timing

One thing doesn't make sense about Washington's dismissal of Alex Santos and Richard Mann II: The timing

In a move that seemingly came out of left field, Washington fired two longtime front office members on Sunday -- Alex Santos and Richard Mann II -- just 16 days before training camp begins.

Sure, the team had its reasons for these moves. Only the people inside the doors of Redskins Park can explain. But what is a bit odd is the timing. Why now? Why in mid-July with training camp right around the corner?

Since last December, the Burgundy and Gold have made several organizational changes. The team's current staff has few holdovers from 2019.

Longtime team president Bruce Allen was fired on Dec. 30, and head coach Ron Rivera was hired two days later. Head athletic trainer Larry Hess, who had been with the organization for 17 years, was let go, too.

Washington has yet to announce a formal replacement for Allen, but Senior VP of Player Personnel, Kyle Smith, has served as the de facto acting general manager. Smith, along with Rivera, spearheaded Washington's 2020 draft, and the head coach had plenty of praise for Smith following the three-day April event.

Eric Schaffer, the team's VP of football operations, who spent 17 years with the franchise as the organization's respected salary-cap guru and general counsel, was let go in January as well. Rivera brought in Rob Rogers from Carolina to replace him. 

Doug Williams, one of the Burgundy and Gold's iconic players, was even reassigned from the pro personnel department to the player development department this offseason. 


All of these moves had one thing in common that these recent dismissal doesn't: the timing makes sense. 

Allen's firing in December was, by all accounts, overdue. He had spent 10 years with the organization, and during that span, Washington made the playoffs just twice with no postseason victories. Rivera's hiring in January was customary for when teams replace head coaches. Schaffer's dismissal came a few weeks after Rivera was hired in January, as the head coach was working through the process of which staff members he wanted to hold over.

But for Santos and Mann? The timing, on the surface level, just doesn't make sense. The team had months to make changes at their respective roles.

Should they have been let go in January, that would have made sense. Rivera would still have been in his first few weeks as head coach, figuring out how he wants to build his staff. Or maybe after free agency? That's when their jobs at the pro level would have been complete. 

Should this move have occurred in early May following the draft, that would have also made sense. Many front office staffers are let go across the NFL following the draft, as teams don't want to waste a year of their work by dismissing them prior to the draft itself. There are still priority undrafted free agents to sign and work to do. But, especially in 2020 when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic wiped out rookie minicamp, OTAs and veterans' minicamp. there was an easy gap to make changes. 

But once again, why now? July is usually a dead period in the NFL, as teams have one final break before gearing up for training camp and the upcoming season. Major personnel moves are rarely made in July, if ever.


Last year, the New York Jets got plenty of scrutiny for firing then-GM Mike Maccagnan in May, just a few weeks after the draft. That was in May, and the organization received major backlash.

Washington didn't get rid of a general manager on Sunday - Rivera is firmly in control there with Smith assuming more power - but it did dismiss two important members of its front office with training camp arriving soon. Those roles will have to be filled and it's not an ideal time to find candidates. Most prospects would have employment by now. Maybe there are internal hires the organization likes? 

With training camp just over two weeks away, the timing of Santos and Mann's dismissal is just plain odd. And with the team's potential name change still at the forefront, these moves will only add to what will likely be another crazy week in Ashburn.

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Capitals release 34-player roster for Phase 3 training camp

Capitals release 34-player roster for Phase 3 training camp

The Capitals released a 34-player training camp roster on Sunday for Phase 3 of the NHL's return to play plan. Training camp begins on Monday. The roster consists of 20 forwards, 10 defensemen and four goalies.

No notable names appear to be missing from the roster so presumably, no one has informed the team if they intend to opt-out of the postseason. The deadline to do so is 5 p.m. on Monday.

In addition to the regular NHL players, this roster includes a number of notable black aces: Forwards Shane Gersich, Philippe Maillet, Beck Malenstyn, Connor McMichael, Brian Pinho, Daniel Sprong, defensemen Alex Alexeyev, Martin Fehervary, Tyler Lewington and goalies Pheonix Copley and Vitek Vanecek.


For Phase 3, teams are limited to 30 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies. That number will have to be trimmed down to 28 skaters and 31 total players when the team departs for the hub city of Toronto.

The team has been divided into two squads for training camp with the first practice starting at 10:50 a.m. on Monday. All practices are closed to the public.


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