The Virginia head coaching position came open on Thursday when incumbent Bronco Mendenhall made the surprise announcement that he was stepping down following Virginia’s bowl game.
One of the first names to be rumored as a candidate for the opening is a former Cavaliers great.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg tweeted that Penn State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Anthony Poindexter is “an early name to watch” to replace Mendenhall.
The 45-year-old Poindexter is a native of Lynchburg, Virginia and was a star safety at Virginia from 1995-98 under George Welsh. Virginia retired Poindexter’s No. 3 jersey, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2020.
Following his playing career which was cut short because of an injury he suffered during his senior season, Poindexter joined the Virginia coaching staff in various capacities from 2003 until 2013. From there, he was named defensive coordinator at UConn in 2014 and then moved to Purdue in 2017 as their defensive coordinator. Poindexter then joined James Franklin’s staff this season as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach.
Prior to today’s news, it was expected that Poindexter would be named the sole defensive coordinator at Penn State but this sudden opening at Virginia could change that.
Just yesterday, Penn State officially lost long-time coordinator Brent Pry, who became the head coach at Virginia Tech.