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  • Mike London will return to Virginia for the 2015 season

    UVAtunnel

    Citing continued improvement over the last few years, Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage put any speculation to rest by announcing today that Mike London would be returning for the 2015 season; but has not extended London’s contract which ends at the end of the 2016 season.

    Four of the Cavaliers’ six losses this season have come by single digits, including back to back losses to Duke (by seven) and North Carolina (by one). A few weeks later against Florida State, they gave the defending national champs all they could handle before losing by two touchdowns. Needless to say, that 5-6 record could easily look a whole lot different.

    In the release, Littlepage pointed out the efforts of London and his staff to get things back on the right track.

    “It was important to see improvement in our football program this season. I’ve seen signs of progress in many areas.”

    “Through the staff changes made over the last two years, we are better at teaching the game and in the overall development of the student-athletes. We also continue to notice the commitment by this group of coaches and student-athletes to their academic and community responsibilities.”

    London’s teams are 23-37 cumulatively in his five years leading the program, including a mark of 5-6 this season. This weekend against a struggling Virginia Tech team, London will have the opportunity to triple their win total from last season (2) and match their combined win total from 2012 and 2013 (6).

    “The staff has re-focused its recruiting efforts to emphasize the need to attract student-athletes capable of helping the program compete at a high level in the expanded Atlantic Coast Conference.” Littlepage went on to explain.

    In closing, Littlepage noted the confidence that he has in London and the direction of the program.

    “I trust the plan Mike has in place and believe his leadership provides the best opportunity for Virginia football to be successful in the future.”

  • Four assistants in line to interview for Kansas’ head coaching position

    The Kansas search is one that is likely to be settled the week of December 8th. Should Kansas beat Kansas State this Saturday though, nearly everyone that I have spoken with believes that Clint Bowen will wind up being the next head coach.

    If Kansas were to lose this weekend, the names that we keep hearing that Sheahon Zenger plans to interview include Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck, Texas A&M receivers coach David Beaty and Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner.

    Here’s how we see it playing out…

  • Troy is locking in on their new head coach

    Larry Blakeney’s final game as head coach is Saturday afternoon when his Trojans host Louisiana Lafayette.

    Word in the coaching profession is that Troy will shortly thereafter attempt to finalize an agreement with their new head coach. We are under the belief; based off of what we have been hearing, that the new head coach will be in place by the middle of next week, if not earlier.

    Here’s a quick update on those who have interviewed as recently as this week and those that are real candidates. This is a high character group of individuals. Troy is going to have an impressive new head coach next week.

  • Video: SI goes behind the scenes of a storied high school rivalry in Pennsylvania

    Ford City and Kittanning are two Pennsylvania high schools, located just 4 miles each other, that have been playing football for about 100 years.

    Heading into the final match up ever between the two schools, the overall record sat at an incredibly even 37-36-1, with Ford City holding the advantage.

    The 2014 match up marked the very last time that the two hated rivalries would ever face off against each other. Because of their close proximity to each other, the decision was made to combine the two schools due to budgetary restrictions, effectively ending the rivalry and forcing the two programs to combine to field a team next season.

    Sports Illustrated provided a great look behind the scenes of both programs before their last tilt, with coaches, players, and community members sharing story after story about what makes the rivalry so great and heated and how the community is coping with monumental change.

    This is a high quality story and job from the folks at Sports Illustrated. You’ll want to make time for the whole 13 minutes.

  • Coaches: What books would you recommend for other coaches this offseason?

    TresselOhioState

    Update >> About 30 coaches have now weighed in with their recommended reads.

    With the regular season done for nearly everyone (except the FBS), college coaches are hitting the road to recruit, while high school coaches are enjoying a brief breather before getting back in the weight room.

    While it’s far from an offseason of any kind, this time of year does leave coaches with some “down time” on their hands, even if that includes sleeping in hotels far away from family, or long nights on the open road.

    That may help to explain why, over the last few days, we’ve fielded a number of emails, calls, and texts from coaches looking for some recommended reading material before next season creeps up. Plus, clinic season, when coaches are at their thirstiest for knowledge, is approaching quick.

    Instead of responding to every coach personally with my own personal take on great reads, I thought I would instead provide my personal top three, and then open things up by taking recommendations from the coaching community to further help our colleagues in this great profession.

    Leave your top 3-5 picks in the comments below, or shoot it to me @CoachSamz on Twitter, or at doug@footballscoop.com, and I will update the article throughout the day. All genres are wide open, if you think it can somehow help a coach out there, send it over.

    My list is as follows:

    winnersmanual

    The Winners Manual - Jim Tressel

    When it comes to creating a culture of winning and a championship mindset, coach Tres did it better than anyone in my opinion, and he lays it all out in The Winners Manual, especially the intangibles of a great program. In my first year of coaching I heard the quote “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” from coach Tressel, and I knew I had to read the book

    Winslosseslessons

    Wins, Losses, and Lessons – Lou Holtz

    Holtz shares his wealth of experience in this one, as well another book of his Winning Everyday. and has a ton of great advice. Reading either one of them means you won’t ever have to pay to hear him speak, because he covers everything in this book.

    petecarrollwinforever

    Win Forever – Pete Carroll

    To be honest, I bought this book about a year ago, and had been chipping away at it up until recently taking a renewed interest in it. My advice for this one is to pick out a coach (who has a book out) who your coaching style most resembles and you’re bound to pick up a few good things from it. Pete Carroll is that guy for me.

    Now time for your recommendations.

     

     

    1: Earn the right to win – Tom Coughlin: Much like Coach Carrol’s book, he talks about building a program, the stress it takes on a family, and the mistakes he made.
    2. The Education of a Coach by Book by David Halberstam is a great read and very well written.  Coach Belichick’s meticulous attention to detail is impressive.
    – via email from Hans Straub

    1. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn 2. Good to Great by Jim Collins 3. Built to Last by Jim Collins
    – via email from Jason Aubry

     

     

    Swing Your Sword by Mike Leach
    Life is Yours to Win by Augie Garrido
    The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle by Michael J. Mooney
    Inside Out Coaching by Joe Erhmann
    It’s the Will, Not the Skill by Herm Edwards
    -Email submission from Gil Speer of the Indiana Football Coaches Association

    Season of life by Jeffery Marx
    – Email submission from John Morrison, HC at Francis Parker HS (CA)

    “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lenciconi is a must read, especially for coaches taking over a program.”
    – Email submission from Tom Walsh