With Tony Elliott assembling his staff to help him coach the Virginia Cavaliers, the new head Wahoo just made his biggest hire yet as Desmond Kitchings joins the staff as Elliott’s offensive coordinator.
Most recently the Atlanta Falcons’ running backs coach, Kitchings spent one season in that role before another year as the running backs coach at South Carolina and eight years at N.C. State where he coached in a variety of positions including as the co-offensive coordinator in 2019.
Before N.C. State Kitchings also worked as an assistant at his alma mater Furman, Vanderbilt, and at Air Force.
In his player career, Kitchings was an all time great as a receiver and kick returner at Furman and is actually the youngest ever inductee in the school’s Hall of Fame. After four years there, Kitchings was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the seventh round of the 2000 draft. He spent four seasons on various NFL rosters and practice squads.
As someone with a background in coaching running backs, Kitchings is similar to Elliott in that sense which could suggest a more run-heavy attack for the ‘Hoos in the near future despite the incredible passing game success the program as experienced as of late.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Kitchings will take on play-calling duties as the offensive coordinator. He’s had limited experience as a play-caller with only one that season as the co-offensive coordinator at N.C. State.
Especially considering that Elliott himself is an offensive mind who called plays at Clemson, he could take on that role and leave Kitchings more responsible for player development and recruiting.
Recruiting in particular is where Kitchings is known to thrive. While he doesn’t have any direct UVA or Virginia connections, a good recruiter is a good recruiter and he does have plenty of experience as such. As he was the recruiting coordinator at N.C. State from 2014 to 2018, that could be more telling of the role Elliott has outlined for him at Virginia.