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Jay James interviews Oliver weekly on his Best Seat in the House Show on WINA. In this weeks show, Oliver addressed scheduling of Oregon game, Lazor leaving, and rebuilding of UVA football program.
On scheduling Oregon game, said UVA had been working w/ Oregon for a while on scheduling game in Europe. Good opportunity for both athletic and academic programs. Oregon notified UVA of possible opportunity for game in 2013. UVA had kept PSU in loop all along. Game on again, off again for six weeks; died three times. Complex arrangements that involved not only Oregon, UVA and PSU but also Nevada and BYU. Nevada coach retired and school didn't want to play Oregon right away.
On benefits of playing Oregon: Wasn't done to boost attendance as some fans were speculating. Not about one-year fixes, "want to be a great football team." Helps w/ recruiting; helps with brand whether win or lose. USC game helped recruiting even though UVA lost. Tone in weight room changed dramatically day after game announced. Kids have "something definitive to prepare for. "Creates buzz, gets recruits attention." "Not afraid to play people. People need to understand that." First time in UVA history have eight home games.
On Lazor leaving: just another "opportunity to get it right and hit a home run if you have the opportunity." UVA had people they were interested in having come to UVA, they just needed to convince them to come here.
On rebuilding football program: Department totally invested in building a high caliber football program. Recent staff changes, building of indoor practice facility, and schedule changes signs of this. Everyone buying in--academic staff, coaches, players........... "Everyone pulling in same direction, best he's every felt in his time at the University of Virginia." "Not a one-year fix."
Great write-up from the interview Rally!
For the sake of the fans, players, coaches, and Jon Oliver..... I hope these moves pay off in spades!
It was posted on another board (quite well) and I've been thinking the same thing...looking back at where we were after the VT loss, are we not better off now from a complete coaching staff perspective? Did we not (fingers crossed) hold on to our recruiting class and then some? Is there not a buzz significantly higher than 2 months ago coming off a losing season? I know some may not like his methods/timing but I have a hard time looking back on what has transpired since December and not say, if this was his doing, JO deserves some serious credit.
If anything, he's raising the bar...and that is the #1 thing everyone needs to do.
I know it's cool to bash Jon Oliver right now, but I'm actually a fan of ALL of the moves he's made this offseason. Furthermore, maybe he's misguided or in over his head, but I'm glad that SOMEONE in the administration is 100% focused on football, without needing to also put in time working on basketball and the non-revs. This interview transcript (thanks for that, rally eagle!) only drives the point further home for me.
There was a buzz when we hired Greg Brandon, in the end its the results that will matter.
Well obviously....and Brandon was given 1 season, hardly doubt that counts as an accurate judgement. But, if you had to pick a side...would you say that we have improved the makeup of our team/staff/program as a whole since December, yes or no? Keeping in mind we just finished 4-8.
Brandon wasnt even given a full season. Al took it from him mid way thru the year and went back to more of a pro set.
Jon Oliver is focused on football but he is also focused on all the other sports at UVA. He made that point in this interview. He commented that the revenue sports get most of the attention in the news but not in the Athletic Department. That he expects excellence across the board and he is committed to do what he can to ensure it. I think he has been very involved in all (not just football or basketball) the recent coaching hires at UVA.
Man for man yes we have had a significant upgrade, but my question is can London be an effective CEO. In the past his organizational skills have been lacking and he had a fued with Lazor for 2 years it seems. Cohesion and organizational effectiveness is whats gonna matter and there is no way to tell how this will go. I love the hires but the environment will have to be right for them all to work effectively together, and that is London's responsibility. I simply brought up brandon to make a similar point. Simply putting a lot of talent/intelligence in a room and expecting effectiveness is foolish. London now effectively has 3 coaches working under him who were better at their jobs then he has been so egos are going to have to be checked at the door. Love the hires in terms of experience and expertise they bring, just have tempered expectations of what to expect at this point.
The one thing different is there isn't going to be a philosophy change in this move, i.e. pro style to spread, so hopefully it isn't as drastic for the offensive players to adapt to a new play caller.
Possibly the best decision in Al's tenure. If I were a bigger donor, I would've made a play for a parking pass in the splits of our O-Line that year.
Good points and more than reasonable doubts/questions/hesitancy. I agree with you and honestly think the biggest question mark now is London himself. I'm on record as saying I have not been impressed with him in regards to his game day coaching. But I do feel the changes made will benefit him in the long run.
I just know that there have been a LOT of people (not saying you because I don't remember them all) hammering JO for various things this offseason. Looking at how things ended up though I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people to say that as a whole we are not better off now than after the season ended.
Will the moves all pay off? Not sure. But the moves made have been impressive, haven't hurt us in recruiting so far and certainly show a willingness/commitment towards making things better.
This post was edited by hoofan11 18 months ago
Did he explain why Jim Reid was fired? I still don't understand that one.
Jon Oliver said "I wanted to pee in Mr. E's cheerios"
Reid had two total seasons of coaching experience at the D-1A / FBS level prior to his stint as Virginia's DC -- he was the defensive coordinator at Boston College in 1994 and was the defensive line coach at Syracuse in 2004. Hanson spent two seasons in some sort of undefined role at Marshall in 1980 and 1981. And that's it. These guys are older, but they were still just cutting their teeth at this level.
Some national rankings...
-- 98th (out of 124) in sacks with 17
-- 117th in INTs with just 4
-- 69th in points allowed with 29.8 ppg
-- 76th in opponent red zone scoring % with 83.33%
-- 112th in takeaways per game with just 1.1
The opponent yards per game (32nd, 361.3 ypg) and 3rd down % (13th, 31.71%) were very good, but this defense only ever did enough to maybe keep us in games. It didn't help out the struggling offense with game-changing plays. We wanted more blitzing, more takeaways, more game-changing plays. Reid ran a solid system, but it was very vanilla. We needed some spice!
You mention struggling offense too. For the exception of Miami and LaTech (two very bad defenses) our offense was offensive.
I'm just saying status quo on defense wasn't exactly an awesome option, that's all.
Point taken but it didn't look quite as vanilla when we had a healthy Reese, Brathwaite, Reynolds, etc., in the lineup. Granted that rarely ever happened. When it did (see first half of game in Blacksburg), there we good results (i.e. defensive TD). The question to ask is "could any DC have obtained significantly better results given the personnel and injury 'circumstances'? " I hope the answer is Yes because that gives us hope for the future with Tenuta. A little better luck with injuries and attrition would go a long way but we're not off to a good start in that regard.
Did you mistake Euorpe and Eugene or were we really trying to play a game across the fuggin ocean?
Thanks Durty! Yo da Meng! +1
isn't Oliver the same guy who brought BOC and TB to the Ville? Not to mention Boland. Dunno who exactly is responsible for some of these hires, but I get the sense that CL is the CEO/Donor manager and Oliver is the COO/Operations. If so he's had a big hand in each of these hires. Seems like to me the Oliver bashing has been going on longer than just this past off season and really the man is due some applause if the above is true.
This post was edited by jhooVA 18 months ago
Why on earth is this unqualified person have his tentacles so far entrenched in the minutia of the mgmt of the team itself ? This guy personifies the dysfunction for which UVa is famous.
He has absolutely no qualifications to be making coaching decisions. The fact he is quoted in the OC hiring press release is a joke.
We pay Mike London millions of dollars to manage his own football program.
You are absolutely MAD to defend Oliver. He is well beyond his pay grade.
What? He has his balls entrenched in our program? Kind of a strange visual, my dude.
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