College Football Notebook: Virginia hires former Wolfpack coach O’Brien
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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.
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.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State says All-American defensive end Bjoern Werner will forego his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
The school announced Werner’s departure Thursday, two days after the Seminoles’ 31-10 Orange Bowl victory.
Werner ranks seventh in the NCAA in sacks per game and second in total sacks. In 2012, he finished with 42 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and eight pass breakups. He entered the Orange Bowl leading the nation in yards accumulated on tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Over his last two seasons, Werner recorded a sack or tackle for loss in 17 of Florida State’s 27 games, and he recorded a tackle in 34 consecutive games.
FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher congratulated Werner on his decision enter the draft.
Fisher said: “I wish him nothing but the best, and he will always be remembered as one of the great players in FSU history.”
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell is headed to the NFL draft after a tireless junior season in which he carried the ball 382 times.
Bell said Thursday he will skip his senior year following a terrific performance as the focal point of the Spartans’ offense.