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Virginia coaching staff: Ruffin McNeill, Nick Howell, and Kelly Poppinga join defensive staff

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UVa makes things official with offensive coaches, fill in defensive staff

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Bronco Mendenhall's staff for his first season at Virginia is nearing full completion, as the athletic department officially announced the addition of eight coaches to the football staff in Charlottesville.

We had shared earlier reports that Robert Anae would be coming from Provo to be the Hoos' offensive coordinator, along with almost the entire rest of BYU's offensive coaching staff. Those reports were confirmed by the University today.

But the biggest news is that Virginia has hired former ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill as assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach.

McNeill brings six years of head coaching experience from ECU, including two wins over Virginia Tech. Prior to coaching the Pirates, he was the defensive coordinator at Texas Tech for 10 years under Mike Leach.

The reaction to UVa hiring McNeill? Overwhelmingly positive.

Along with McNeill, BYU coaches Nick Howell and Kelly Poppinga will be coming to Charlottesville as well. Howell will coach the secondary, while Poppinga will coach outside linebackers and serve as the special teams coordinator. Both served in the same roles for BYU.

Virginia also confirmed that UVa alum and current WR coach Marques Hagans will remain on staff in the same role.

The full list of 2016 coaches is below. What an incredible job by Craig Littlepage and—yes—Jon Oliver in pulling together this staff.

  • Bronco Mendenhall, head coach and defensive coordinator
  • Ruffin McNeill, assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach
  • Robert Anae, offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach
  • Marques Hagans, wide receivers coach
  • Mark Atuaia, running backs coach
  • Jason Beck, quarterbacks coach
  • Garrett Tujague, offensive line coach
  • Nick Howell, secondary coach
  • Kelly Poppinga, special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach