Virginia’s Mendenhall shakes up defensive staff assignments

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall is shaking things up a bit on his staff.

Mendenhall said Monday that defensive coordinator and secondary coach Nick Howell will continue as coordinator and oversee the secondary, but former inside linebackers coach Shane Hunter will become the safeties coach. Kelly Poppinga, who shares the coordinator’s role with Howell, will now coach inside and outside linebackers.

“These adjustments provide coach Howell the opportunity and assistance to focus more of his efforts on the overall execution of the defense,” Mendenhall said in a release. “… My intent is to maximize his knowledge and experience with our defense to provide our team with the best opportunity for success.”

Additional changes include Ricky Brumfield, the tight ends coach in 2020, moving to the defensive side to coach cornerbacks while continuing as special teams coordinator, and offensive coordinator Robert Anae again instructing the tight ends, which he did for his first four years in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers finished 5-5 overall, 4-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and declined the opportunity to participate in a potential bowl game.

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