Source: London has contract with Cavs

Updated: December 7, 2009, 9:16 AM ET
By Joe Schad | ESPN.com

Virginia is expected to introduce former Richmond coach Mike London as its new head coach after contract details were agreed upon overnight, a person close to London said on Sunday.

A news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday.

London is a former Virginia defensive coordinator, who led the Spiders to a Football Championship Subdivision title last year and the playoffs this year.

A second source said London has told his staff that he will meet with each of them individually on Monday morning to discuss their situations.

London would replace Al Groh and would be the third minority coach already hired this cycle.

Virginia called Richmond officials on Sunday to ask permission to speak to the Spiders' head coach, London's agent, Dennis Cordell, said.

The Spiders, who won the FCS national championship last season in London's first year as coach, were beaten 35-31 by Appalachian State on Saturday night in the quarterfinals. The winning points came on a touchdown with 10 seconds left.

Virginia was at least the fourth school with a coaching vacancy to call seeking the right to pursue London, joining Western Kentucky, Akron and Memphis, Cordell said.

The opportunities were "obviously something we're thinking about with all the interest that's come up," he said

That possibility of change, he added, was something London didn't take lightly.

"A lot of people would think about themselves" and the money they could make, he said. "Mike doesn't sleep because of things like that, thinking about all the people involved."

London declined to confirm the reports in text messages from The Associated Press Sunday night, and Jim Miller, Richmond's athletic director, said in an e-mail to AP that he does not discuss personnel matters.

A message left by AP on Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage's cell phone was not immediately returned. Littlepage said at the time that he announced Groh's firing that he would have no further comment until a search for a coach was concluded.

London, 49, spent six seasons on Groh's staff in Charlottesville, serving as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 2001-04 and defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007. In between, he spent a season as the defensive line coach for the NFL's Houston Texans.

He has a career record of 24-5 in two seasons at his alma mater.

London is widely respected as a recruiter in Virginia, particularly in the talent-rich Hampton Roads area where he was raised.

He also has experience recruiting to a high academic standard, which is essential at Virginia. He's also coached at William & Mary and Boston College in his career.

After their loss on Saturday night, London declined to address whether he had coached his final game with the Spiders, but seemed to some to be moving on in his postgame remarks before even being asked him about speculation linking him to the Cavaliers' opening.

"I've been really blessed to be the head coach of this football team," London said. "That's a hurt locker room in there, but I'll tell you what -- 11-2, conference champions, had the year we had. I'm so proud of those guys. Coaches, players, the fans that came out to this game, particularly the students. Words can't describe the gratitude I have for being a part of something like this and being a part of this team."

Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Joe Schad

College Football

ALSO SEE