London ready to make return to UVA

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Mike London knew the questions were coming as he talked to reporters at his weekly news conference on Tuesday.

With a 30-17 win at home against Lafayette last weekend, London is off to a 1-0 start to his tenure as head football coach at William and Mary. Now the Tribe is preparing for Friday's game at Scott Stadium against Virginia -- the program London coached for six years before his departure following the 2015 season.

"I've been asked that question a lot of times. And obviously you could give the coach answer, but there's a human element to it," London said on Tuesday. "I spent a lot of years there."

London went 27-46 in his half-dozen seasons with the Wahoos. His tenure was highlighted by an eight-win season in 2011 that included wins at Miami and Florida State -- making London the first coach to ever win at both of those schools in the same season -- and an appearance against Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. London was named ACC coach of the year that season.

But as London pointed out on Tuesday, his ties to UVA run deeper than his time as the Cavaliers' head coach. He spent six seasons in a seven-year span as an assistant on Al Groh's UVA staff. His daughter Kristen played women's basketball for Debbie Ryan for two seasons, while his brother Paul was a defensive back for four seasons under George Welsh.

"I'd be sitting here lying to you if I said (he hadn't thought about returning to UVA,)" London said. "There's people up there that I know, that I love, that I cherish. That were instrumental in a lot of things. There were some good times up there; there were some tough times. But in this profession, that's what happens."

After leaving UVA, London spent one season as an assistant at Maryland and two as the head coach at Howard before replacing the retired Jimmye Laycock this past off-season.

London's head coaching career also includes two seasons at Richmond before taking the job at UVA. London went 24-5 at his alma mater, including an FCS national championship season in 2008 and a season-opening win at Duke in 2009.

London's debut at Howard was another win against an FBS team -- a 43-40 victory at UNLV that ESPN has called the biggest upset in college football history. At UVA, London's teams went unbeaten against FCS opponents.

"I've been on both sides. FBS playing an FCS. FCS going up to play an FBS team. So it's exciting for the players to be able to do that," he said on Tuesday. "Obviously going back is something that you look forward to. But I'm the head coach at William and Mary now. My job is to try to put a game plan together, go up there and be competitive."



 
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