Charlottesville, VA (WWBT)- In just his second season, Virginia head coach Mike London has been named the 2011 ACC Coach of the Year, after leading the Cavaliers on a remarkable turnaround that resulted in the program's first bowl bid since 2007.
After a 4-8 2010 and a predicted fifth place Coastal Division finish, London and the Cavaliers shocked the ACC by finishing 8-4 and staying in conference championship contention until the final weekend of the regular season. UVa finished 4-1 on the road and was 3-1 in the month of November, after going three straight seasons without a victory in the eleventh month of the year. London's Wahoos became the first team in history to beat Florida State and Miami on the road in the same season.
The turnaround comes after a rough opening year to London's era. 2010 saw the Cavaliers win just one conference game and struggle away from Scott Stadium, failing to win a road game.
London became the head coach in Charlottesville on December 7, 2009, following Al Groh's firing, and promised change, though also encouraged patience. He assembled a coaching staff that shared the same vision as he did and went to work on a program that had suffered two straight losing seasons.
Prior to his time at Virginia, London held his first head coach job at Richmond and led the Spiders to the 2008 FCS National Championship, and received National Coach of the Year honors following that season. He's the fifth UVa head coach to capture ACC Coach of the Year honors and the award has been given to those five coaches a total of ten times. Groh was the last Cavalier head coach to receive the honor in 2007.
London and the Wahoos will discover which bowl game they are headed to on Sunday.