Virginia announced today that Larry Lewis has been hired as the Cavaliers' newest Special Teams Coordinator and Running Backs Coach. He has small shoes to fill, as under the previous ST/RB coach, we did not return a single punt, make a single field goal or extra point, or register a single rushing yard.
That's because the previous ST/RB Coach Jeff Banks only lasted nine days before heading to Texas A&M to coach in the SEC instead. The news of Lewis's hiring comes just two days after Banks announced he would be resigning at Virginia.
"Larry Lewis has probably been coaching special teams for as long as anyone in college football and we're really fortunate to have him join our staff," London said in a released statement. "On the offensive side of the ball, he has worked for some very successful and innovative coaches out west and coached two of the nation's top running backs over the past two seasons."
Get excited, Wahoo fans - this one's a good hire. Lewis has been coaching for over 30 years, and his experience includes all three units as well as a seven-year stint as head coach.
Lewis comes to Charlottesville by way of Nevada, where he coached just one season, in the same position. While at Nevada, the Wolf Pack ranked fourth in the country in punt returns (15.13 yards) and had the seventh best rushing offense in the country (271.00 yards per game).
A large part of that rushing offense came from Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson, the sophomore running back that finished second nationally in average rushing yards per game (144.85) and was one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, presented to the nation's top running back.
"Larry is high energy and our players are going to enjoy his style," London said.
A fun fact? Lewis actually coached Jeff Banks when Banks was a punter at Washington State.
"It is ironic that Jeff Banks played for Larry at Washington State," London said. "I guess you could say we've gone from the pupil to the teacher."
According to Virginia, Lewis has been hired for two years, with an annual salary of $220,000.
Seasons - Team/School (Title/Position Coached)
81-85 - Weber State (Outside Linebackers)
86-88 - Weber State (Def. Line/ Recruiting Coord.)
89-94 - Washington State (Defensive Ends)
95-98 - Washington State (Asst. Head Coach/Sp. Teams)
99-06 - Idaho State (Head Coach)
08-10 - Colorado State (Safeties/Special Teams)
11-12 - Colorado State (Assoc. Head Coach/Special Teams/RBs)
12-13 - Nevada (Special Teams/RBs)
13-__ - Virginia (Special Teams/RBs)