According to multiple reports, including SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty and 247 Sports, Virginia has hired UTSA tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Ricky Brumfield to coach special teams for the Virginia Cavaliers next year.
Currently, Kelly Poppinga holds that role as special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach, a role he’s played for head coach Bronco Mendenhall since 2013 at BYU.
Having joined the UTSA Roadrunners coaching staff in 2016 when Frank Wilson was hired as head coach, Brumfield was part of the coaching staff that led the Roadrunners to the program’s first-ever bowl game, the 2016 Gildan New Mexico Bowl. His special teams set multiple records in his first season coaching them, including the number of touchbacks, points, extra points, and punting average by the special teams during the 2016 season.
This year, though the Roadrunners are not in postseason play, special teams has still played an integral part of UTSA’s 6-5 record (the UTSA - Houston game at the beginning of the season was cancelled). UTSA ranked No. 35 in the country in net punting (39.36 net yards), while Virginia was ranked No. 105 (36.31). Its special teams was also ranked No. 6 in the country in punt return defense, allowing just 2.88 yards per return, while Virginia ranked near the bottom at 117th, allowing 13.08 yards per return.
UTSA’s kicker Jared Sackett was named All-Conference USA after hitting a school-record 19 field goals on 22 attempts. Sackett was named a Lou Groza Award semifinalist for being one of the nation’s top place kickers. Meanwhile, junior punter Yannis Routsas was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award as one of the country’s top punters.
Brumfield is one of a number of UTSA coaches who are jumping ship this season. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding will be headed to Alabama, while safeties coach Patrick Toney was hired by Louisiana-Lafayette. Golding, Toney, and now Brumfield all appear to be making lateral moves (in Toney’s case) or upgrades to Power 5 schools. UTSA also relieved offensive coordinator Frank Scelfo of his duties at the end of the regular season.
Gearing up for the Military Bowl on Thursday, Virginia has not made any official announcement of the hire or how Poppinga will be reallocating his time.