During the hubbub of Virginia winning its 21st NCAA title, courtesy of the men's soccer team, news also broke that the football team will be looking to fill a vacancy this offseason.
Offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim has been hired as the next head coach of the VMI Keydets. FootballScoop.com had the news early, which was confirmed by VMI and UVa's own Vincent Briedis.
Spent 8 seasons working with @CoachSWach between Liberty & #UVa. Very happy he has the opportunity to be a HC. #VMI is getting a good one!— Vincent Briedis (@Briedis_UVa) December 14, 2014
Coach Mike London had nothing but praise for his former assistant. London said in a statement:
I am very happy for Scott and his family. It is gratifying to see him presented with a head coaching opportunity after nearly 30 years in the profession. Scott will be a great fit for the VMI program. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy, he understands the culture and demands of the student-athletes he'll be coaching. He did a tremendous job coaching our offensive line, especially this year with the lack of experience and the number of injuries we had in that area. During his time at UVa he coached four players who went on to play in the NFL. That's quite an accomplishment. I'll miss his passion on the sidelines. He is a valued coach and friend. I wish him the best at VMI.
With Wachenheim headed to Lexington, who will be the next trench general in Charlottesville? Streaking The Lawn would suggest the answer may be found north of the border.
On Saturday, December 13th, as rumors of Wachenheim's departure began to circulate, STL's official Twitter account received a curious new follower: Jonathan Himebauch, the offensive line coach and run game coordinator for the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos. Himebauch following STL would not have been enough to pique our interest by itself. But when we looked more closely, we noticed his other two most recent follows: the official account for the football team, and the official account of Coach London.
Himebauch does not have any direct U.Va. ties, but was the offensive line coach at Wake Forest under Jim Grobe in 2012 and 2013. His college bona fides include three years as the offensive line coach at San Diego State (2006–08) and one year in the same position at UNLV (2004). In addition, Himebauch coaches at Nike's camps for elite high school prospects in the offseason.
Himebauch's CFL coaching career has been nothing short of spectacular. As the offensive line coach for the Montreal Alouettes under Marc Trestman—now the head coach of the Chicago Bears—Himebauch was a part of back-to-back Grey Cup Championships in 2009 and 2010. Two of his Alouette linemen won the CFL's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award: Scott Flory in 2009 and Josh Bourke in 2011. As offensive line coach and run game coordinator this season, Himebauch has led the Eskimos to the CFL's third best rushing attack and top overall offense (or "offence," as the CFL site spells it).
As a player, Himebauch was the center and long-snapper for the USC Trojans from 1993–98, and had a brief professional career that included stints in the NFL, NFL Europe, the CFL, and the short-lived XFL.
Coach Himebauch could not be reached for comment. When asked about Himebauch as a candidate to replace Wachenheim, the Athletics Department did not comment on Himebauch's name specifically but did say the search for Scott Wachenheim's replacement is underway.