American Football Wiki
Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia Cavaliers NCAA-ACC-2019 Virginia Cavs helmet
First season 1888
Athletic director Carla Williams
Head coach Tony Elliott
3rd year, 6–16 (.273)
Home stadium Scott Stadium
Year built 1931
Stadium capacity 61,500
Stadium surface Grass
Location Charlottesville, Virginia
Conference ACC
Division Coastal
All-time history
Virginia Cavaliers Historical Teams
1888 1889
1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
All-time record 683–642–48 (.515)
Postseason bowl record 8–13 (.381)
Conference titles 5 (1908, 1914, 1915, 1989, 1995)
Consensus All-Americans 11
Current uniform
NCAA-ACC-2019 Virginia Cavs Football Jerseys
Colors Navy Blue, Burnt Orange, and White


Mascot Cavalier (CavMan)
Marching band Cavalier Marching Band
Outfitter Nike
Rivals Maryland
North Carolina
Virginia Tech

The Virginia Cavaliers are a member of the NCAA FBS Atlantic Coast Conference, playing their home games at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Cavaliers are currently coached by Tony Elliott.

The Cavaliers have three major rivals in football: Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech. The ACC's longest series is the South's Oldest Rivalry between Virginia and North Carolina. The Cavaliers also compete for the Commonwealth Cup against Virginia Tech and play in the Beltway Brawl against Maryland. While Virginia has played North Carolina more times (116) than any other rival, all of these programs—Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech—consider Virginia to be their longest-standing rival.

Conference affiliations[]

  • Independent (1888–1894)
  • Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1894–1921)
  • Southern Conference (1921–1937)
  • Independent (1937–1953)
  • Atlantic Coast Conference (1953–present)
    • Coastal Division (2005–present)



File:Edwin E Alderman.jpg

Former University of Virginia President Edwin Alderman

The story of football at UVA actually begins in the fall of 1886, when two graduate students at the University, former Yale student Charles Willcox who was attending medical school at UVA,[1] and former Princeton student, Richard Reid Rogers [2] who matriculated to the law school, introduced the sport at Mr. Jefferson's University. After seeing the success of Princeton and Yale during their undergraduate careers, these two men brought a wealth of knowledge about this burgeoning sport to an area of the country that had no college football teams: the South.[3]

Students at UVA were playing pickup games of the kicking-style of football as early as 1870, and some accounts even claim that some industrious ones organized a game against Washington and Lee College in 1871, just two years after Rutgers and Princeton's historic first game in 1869. But no record has been found of the score of this contest. In 1874, University students were introduced to the sport of rugby when they played to a scoreless tie against a team of Englishmen from Albemarle County. Eight years later, in November 1883, a football club was reorganized, a constitution drawn up, and officers elected. 75 men competed against one another, but not against another collegiate club.[3] The University Magazine describes how "pluck is cultivated by throttling one's competitor and violently throwing him to the ground."[4]

Finally, in the fall of 1887, Willcox and Reid, after garnering interest in their fellow students throughout the year, helped Virginia put its first regularly organized team in the field. But, being the first, and only, collegiate team in the South, they had had no one to play. Fortunately, Pantops Academy, a boys' school founded just up the road from the UVA Grounds, agreed to a game on November 13, 1887. After playing to a scoreless tie, a rematch was scheduled for March 1888. The historic first touchdown was scored by quarterback Herbert Barry and the University won 26–0.[5]

The following season, on December 8, 1888, UVa would play their first intercollegiate game, a 26–0 loss to Johns Hopkins. The loss did not dampen their enthusiasm for the sport. Virginia returned the favor with a 58–0 drubbing of Hopkins the following season when they went 4–2, with a 180–4 margin in its victories and two close losses to an eight-win Lehigh team and Navy.[6]

Lambeth Field[]

Work began in 1901 on 21 acre Lambeth Field, propelling sports development at UVA. Lambeth Field was named after William Lambeth, a professor at the University of Virginia, and one of the participants in the major rules committees that were enacted to make football a safer sport. The trend was not welcome in all corners, however, according to University historian Philip Alexander Bruce, who wrote disparagingly of the arrival of "professional athletes in disguise" from all over the country. School President Edwin Alderman, though a tireless proponent of college football, was significantly alarmed to appoint an investigating committee in 1904, and a strict athletic code was written in 1906.[7]

Coaching Carousel[]

Between 1900 and 1915 saw Virginia change coaches 10 times and achieve 10 winning seasons with help from a quarterback named Robert K. "Bobby" Gooch and a Walter Camp All-America halfback named Eugene N. "Buck" Mayer. Season tickets were $7.50 for students and $9.50 for alumni when 8,000-seat Lambeth Stadium opened in 1913, with a price tag of $35,000. The season began with three home shutout victories for Virginia, followed later in the season by a home game with Vanderbilt that was billed as The Football Classic of the South. Trainloads of alumni rolled into Charlottesville to watch Virginia crush the Commodores, 34–0, at Lambeth's dedication.


For years hence, it was traditional to designate "a greatest home game" each season. In 1914, it was Georgia—a "Rally 'Round the Rotunda" won by UVA, 28–0, in a drizzle, as Bobby Gooch "general-led his men with rare ability," the Alumni News gushed.

File:University of Virginia Rotunda.jpg

The Rotunda

Betting was heavy on Yale for a 1915 game that ranked as the biggest all-time win at that stage of Virginia's history. No Southern team had ever defeated the Ivy League power until Virginia—led by quarterback Norborne Berkeley and Buck Mayer—won 10–0 in New Haven. Headlines in the Charlottesville Daily Progress read, "Yale Bowl a Soup Tureen—Virginia Eleven Serves Dish of Bulldog Stew!"[8]

The University's first-ever losing football season occurred the next year, including a 61–3 payback at Yale. "Played them too early in the season," moaned a 1916 Alumni News. Questions about the role of athletics were cast aside in 1917, dwarfed by a larger battlefront now known as World War I. Athletics were curtailed in 1917 and 1918 "in an effort to adapt this University to the stern necessities of a people at war," according to the Corks & Curls.[9]

The war ended, enrollment began to rebuild, and football practice resumed in 1919 with only two lettermen. "All Trains Lead to Charlottesville!" proclaimed posters promoting the "Great Post War Gathering of Virginia Alumni" for the November 15, 1919, home game with Vanderbilt. UVA lost, 10–6, and dropped the traditional Thanksgiving Day game with North Carolina to finish the "start-up" season at 2–5–2.

In December 1919, Dr. Rice Warren was hired as coach in 1920. Warren led the 1920 squad to a 5–2–2 record. UVA also joined the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1920, but left with many SIAA teams to form the Southern Conference in 1921. Rice Warren's tenure ended before the 1922 season, and new coach Thomas Campbell guided the team to a 4–4–1 record—not so mediocre considering the '21 team had managed only three points in its final four games.

Beginning of the Cavaliers[]

University teams became the Virginia Cavaliers around 1923, and the leader of the first "official Cavs" was Earle "Greasy" Neale. Although his 1923 record was 3–5–1, his teams enjoyed winning records from 1924–27 before falling to 2–6–1 in 1928. Student indifference ran high, participation ran low, and Neale resigned after the 1928 season.

Earl Abell took the football reins for two years in the midst of another athletic department reshuffle. The position of athletic director was created, and James G. Driver—a three-year letterman at UVa—was named Athletic Director.

Lambeth Field was outgrown by the spring of 1930, as varsity and first-year teams in football, baseball, track, and lacrosse attempted to practice there. UVA historian Virginius Dabney related that spring football workouts were stopped due to the javelins and discus throwers.[10]

New stadium[]

Scott Stadium

Scott Stadium

The University began negotiating to obtain land for a new sports site, and plans were finalized for Scott Stadium to open in October 1931. Land for practice fields between Ivy Road and the C&O Railroad tracks also was acquired.

Support for UVA football had become spasmodic—even fraternity brothers were betting openly against the Cavaliers—around 1930, but in 1931, a dynamic new coach named Fred Dawson buoyed spirits. Losing seasons and a lack of athletic scholarships took a toll on Dawson's enthusiasm, however, and he quit after 1933 and was succeeded by Gus Tebell.

Just as frustrated at the dearth of notable wins was University President Edwin Anderson Alderman, who impaneled a committee to study the situation. Virginia decided in 1936 to resign from the Southern Conference, which prohibited players from being paid, in order to be able to offer sports scholarships.

Tebell bowed out after three losing seasons, succeeded in 1937 by Frank Murray. Although the Cavaliers went 2–7 during Murray's first year, the team produced a state championship and near hysteria in the student body in 1938 with a 4–4–1 record.

WWII years[]

The 1940s were a time of mixed success for the Cavaliers—largely thanks to the large numbers of students who served in the armed forces—but it was also known as the era of "Bullet Bill." William McGarvey Dudley, a 168-pounder from Bluefield, Virginia, is often called the best ever to wear a Virginia uniform. Dudley, who wore jersey number 35, ran, passed, kicked, blocked, tackled, and intercepted his way to All America honors.

Under Murray, the 1940 team—running out of a T-formation—went 4–5, but improved to 8–1 in 1941, the only loss a 21–19 upset at Yale. In his final game as a Cavalier, Dudley scored 22 points at North Carolina in a Thanksgiving classic broadcast nationally. After a 28–7 UVA win, his teammates carried him off the field. Dudley finished fifth in the 1941 Heisman Trophy balloting. Murray's 1942 squad dropped to 2–6–1, having lost 29 players to graduation and "scholarshipping for Uncle Sam."

Until the war ended in 1945, UVA football functioned with makeshift teams—guest stars from other schools enrolled in the University's military units and were thus eligible to play. In spite of a 7–2 season, Frank Murray left, succeeded in 1946 by Art Guepe, who coached seven years with a winning record.

Post-war years[]

In 1947, Virginia defeated Harvard, 47–0, with a team that featured John Papit, George Neff, and Bob "Rock" Weir. The game was significant because UVA was facing its first-ever black player—Harvard's Chester Pierce.[11] The gridiron success of the late 1940s continued into the early 1950s, as Guepe teams—with Papit, Joe Palumbo, and Tom Scott winning All-America honors—lost only five games from 1950 through 1952. Virginia routinely finished ranked in the top ten schools in the country.

The Guepe years ended after the 1952 season, when the coach was wooed away by Vanderbilt in the wake of University President Colgate Darden's refusal to allow Virginia to participate in any postseason football play. Virginia had just escaped being banned permanently from the NCAA for granting athletic scholarships to student athletes, which was illegal at that time. The NCAA's "Sanity Rules" mandated that college athletes were required to work for their tuition, though this rule was often openly flouted (for instance, prior to the 1950 Rose Bowl, it was revealed that at least 16 Ohio State Buckeye football players had cushy jobs with the state of Ohio, including a running back on the payroll of the state’s transportation department as a tire inspector[12]).

President Darden made a principled argument against the statute, noting the example of teams such as Ohio State, and stated unequivocally that his school had no intention of following the Code as it enabled the powerhouse schools of the Big Ten and SEC to ignore academics and essentially pay to retain football talent. While UVA (along with traditional UVA rivals Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Maryland, and Boston College) escaped being banned from NCAA play, President Darden was concerned about the effect of "big time football" on the academical status of the University. After the 1951 football season, in which UVA only lost one game, the Virginia Cavaliers found themselves invited to the Cotton Bowl, which President Darden promptly declined, setting a precedent not broken for thirty years.[12]

Also in 1951, professor Miles Gooch wrote the "Gooch Report", which requested that UVA abolish its football program and discontinue giving athletic scholarships. While President Darden was opposed to entirely abolishing the football program or athletic scholarships, he did diminish the number of athletic scholarships given by 80%. The next year, the Cavaliers' record plunged to 1–8.

Joining the ACC[]

Heated arguments ensued about whether Virginia should join the Atlantic Coast Conference. Athletic Director and former football coach Gus Tebell and President Darden differed sharply—Tebell in favor, Darden worried about the league's academic standards and the belief that Virginia should only align with other Virginia schools—and the Board of Visitors backed Tebell. Virginia was admitted into the ACC on December 4, 1953.[13] The first 9 years in the ACC brought 9 losing seasons and a 28-game losing streak (the second worst in NCAA FBS history), lasting from the third game of 1958 until the opening game of 1961. The streak ended in front of 18,000 fans in Scott Stadium on opening day of the 1961 season. Virginia beat William & Mary 21–6.


In 1970, George Blackburn's last year, UVA's football program was integrated for the first time, with the signing of Harrison Davis, Stanley Land, Kent Merritt, and John Rainey.[14] Blackburn was replaced by Don Lawrence, who suffered through three consecutive losing seasons between 1971 and 1973. Lawrence was succeeded by Ulmo Shannon "Sonny" Randle, UVa '59. Astroturf was laid at Scott Stadium in May 1974 and the team still had a losing season, going 4–7.

After a disastrous 1–10 season in 1975, Athletic Director Eugene Corrigan fired Randle and hired Dick Bestwick in 1976. Bestwick proved to be popular with players, alumni, and faculty until the team suffered five losing seasons in six years. Bestwick was dismissed by Athletic Director Dick Schultz after the 1981 season.

The George Welsh era[]

Head Coach George Welsh was hired for the start of the 1982 season, leaving the same position at the U.S. Naval Academy. He spent years as an assistant coach under Joe Paterno and brought a winning tradition in his 19 years at the helm.

After going 2–9 and 6–5 in his first two campaigns, Welsh guided the Cavaliers to an 8–2-2 season in 1984 with a 27–24 Peach Bowl win over Purdue representing UVA's first-ever bowl appearance and win.

Many UVA firsts continued under George Welsh:

  • First-ever unanimous All-America choice—1985, offensive tackle Jim Dombrowski
  • First 10-win season—1989, 10–3
  • First ACC Championship—1989
  • First time ranked #1—1990, 4 weeks
  • First team to beat Florida State in ACC play—1995

In 1985 and 1986 the Cavs did not go to bowl games. In 1987 they started 3–4 but would win the last five games to finish 8–4 with an All-American Bowl win over BYU. In 1988 the Cavs started 2–4 but would win their last five games to finish 7–4 with no bowl game. The 1989 season was the greatest season in school history, with a record of 10–3 overall, and the winning of the program's first ACC championship. Virginia would go on to lose the Florida Citrus Bowl, the first New Year's Day bowl in school history.

Virginia, wearing new uniforms for the first time in 10 years and only the second time in head coach George Welsh's tenure, enjoyed one of the finest seasons in their history in 1994. Most noticeably, the team switched from white helmets with orange and blue stripes down the middle to dark blue helmets with a "V" over two crossed sabres on the sides. The V-Sabre logo was designed by Coach Welsh's son Matt. The rest of the uniform changed from predominantly orange and white to predominantly blue and white.

Representing a major athletic facility improvement, the artificial turf at Scott Stadium was removed and replaced with natural grass before the start of the 1995 season. Artificial turf was first installed at Scott Stadium in 1974. David A. Harrison III Field was dedicated September 2, 1995, at Virginia's home opener against William & Mary. In 1995, the Cavaliers won their second ACC title.

Citing concerns about his health as a primary reason for his decision, Welsh announced his retirement in a press conference on December 11, 2000, where he said simply "I am now, and forever will be, a Wahoo." Welsh stepped down at Virginia at the age of 67 after establishing himself as the winningest coach in UVA and ACC history. He compiled a 19-year record of 134–86–3 at Virginia, including a conference-record 80 ACC wins. Welsh led the Cavaliers to 12 bowl games and 14 consecutive years of winning at least 7 games.

The Al Groh era[]

With the retirement of a UVA legend, the Virginia faithful were looking for a new coach who could bring the same success to the team that George Welsh maintained throughout his tenure. On December 30, 2000, Virginia hired New York Jets head coach and former Virginia player Al Groh. His first year was a rebuilding year with the team going 5–7. Groh then led the Cavaliers to four consecutive winning seasons from 2002 to 2005, including a 3–1 record in bowl games. The 2002 squad saw the breakout season of quarterback Matt Schaub, who led the Cavaliers to a 9–5 season capped by a 48–22 blowout of #12 West Virginia in the Continental Tire Bowl. The 2003 team faced adversity with an early season injury to Schaub, but the team rallied to finish the year 8–5, including a victory over Pittsburgh in the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl. The 2004 team reached #6 in national polls after a 5–0 start, the Cavaliers' highest ranking since 1990, but they lost 36–3 at #7 Florida State and finished 8–4 after an upset loss to Fresno State in the MPC Computers Bowl. The 2005 team finished with a 7–5 record, but included Virginia's second-ever victory over Florida State and a win over Minnesota in the Music City Bowl. The 2006 squad's record slipped to 5–7. In 2007 the team went 9–3 for the season, including a 48–0 shutout of the University of Miami in the Hurricanes' last home game in the Orange Bowl Stadium, as well as setting an NCAA record for wins by two points or fewer (five).[15] Gaining an invitation to Jacksonville, Florida, for the Gator Bowl, they subsequently lost 28–31 to Texas Tech. For 2008, the team started with several big losses, but went on to win four games in a row before losing the last four of the season, finishing 5–7. Virginia's 2009 campaign under Groh started with a stunning 26–14 loss to William & Mary of the FCS (formerly I-AA). It was UVA's first loss to a I-AA team since losing to William & Mary 41–37 in 1986. The 2009 team ended 3–9 and Groh was fired following the last game of the season, a loss against rival Virginia Tech.[16]

The Mike London era[]

Mike London was named head coach of the Cavaliers on December 7, 2009.[17] London, who was previously head coach at the University of Richmond, was an assistant coach under Al Groh from 2001–04 and again from 2006–07. London became one of only 10 black head coaches at the Division I-A level. In his first season with the Cavs, the team went 4–8 overall and 1–7 in conference play.[18][19] He followed that up with an 8-4 (5-3 ACC) turnaround season, where he won the ACC Coach of the Year honors, after projected preseason to finish 5th in the Coastal division. He registered a win at Florida State for the first time in school history, and became the first program in FBS history to win games at Miami and Florida State in the same season. The team earned a bid to the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl, where they lost to Auburn 43-24.

Current coaching staff[]

Name Position
Bronco Mendenhall Head Coach
Ruffin McNeill Assistant Head Coach
Inside Linebackers
Robert Anae Offensive Coordinator
Inside Receivers
Mark Atuaia Running Backs
Marques Hagans Wide Receivers
Garett Tujague Offensive Line
Kelly Poppinga Special Teams Coordinator
Outside Linebackers
Nick Howell Secondary
Sean Cascarano Graduate Assistant/Offense
Daquan Romero Graduate Assistant/Defense

Head coaches[]

  • 1887–1891 Unknown, most teams were led by the players themselves
  • 1892 William C. Spicer [1]
  • 1893–1894 Johnny Poe
  • 1895 Harry Arista Mackey
  • 1896–1897 Marty Bergen
  • 1898 Joseph Massie (Virginia 1893)
  • 1899–1900 Archie Hoxton (Virginia 1896)
  • 1901 Wesley Abbott
  • 1902 John De Saulles
  • 1903 Gresham Poe
  • 1904 Foster Sanford
  • 1905–1906 William Cole
  • 1907 Hammond Johnson (Virginia 1907)
  • 1908 Merritt Cooke Jr. (Virginia 1906)
  • 1909 John Neff (Virginia 1908)
  • 1910 Charles Crawford (Virginia 1908)
  • 1911 Kemper Yancey (Virginia 1909)
  • 1912 John “Speed” Elliott (Virginia 1909)
  • 1914 Joseph Wood (Virginia 1914)
  • 1915 Harry Varner (Virginia 1911)
  • 1916 Peyton Evans (Virginia 1915)
  • 1917–1918 No Team
  • 1919 Harris Coleman (Virginia 1916)
  • 1913, 1920–1921 Rice Warren (Virginia 1905)
  • 1922 Thomas Campbell
  • 1923–1928 Earle "Greasy" Neale
  • 1929–1930 Earl Abell
  • 1931–1933 Fred Dawson
  • 1934–1936 Gus Tebell
  • 1937–1945 Frank Murray
  • 1946–1952 Arthur Guepe
  • 1953–1955 Ned McDonald
  • 1956–1957 Ben Martin
  • 1958–1960 Richard Voris
  • 1961–1964 Bill Elias
  • 1965–1970 George Blackburn
  • 1971–1973 Don Lawrence
  • 1974–1975 Sonny Randle (Virginia 1959)
  • 1976–1981 Dick Bestwick
  • 1982–2000 George Welsh
  • 2001–2009 Al Groh (Virginia 1967)
  • 2010–2015 Mike London
  • 2016–2021 Bronco Mendenhall
  • 2022–present Tony Elliott


  • 1888–1912 Madison Hall Field
  • 1913–1930 Lambeth Field
  • 1931–present Scott Stadium

Conference championships[]

Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championship

  • 1908

ACC Championship

  • 1989 (co-champions with Duke)
  • 1995 (co-champions with Florida State)

Bowl History[]

  • Main article: List of Virginia Cavaliers bowl games

Virginia's all-time bowl record is 7-11. The team has appeared in four consecutive bowl games twice in its history, once from 1994–1996, and the other from 2002-2005. Their most recent bowl was in 2011.

Memorable games[]

Virginia 20 – Clemson 7[]

Prior to the arrival of George Welsh, Clemson dominated the series against Virginia. The Tigers had not lost a single game to the Cavaliers and most games were blowouts. Former Clemson coach Frank Howard had referred to the Cavaliers as "White Meat" back in the 1960s and they hadn't lost to Virginia since. Despite Welsh's success, the Tigers' record against the Cavaliers stood at 29–0 after Clemson defeated the 1989 Virginia team that captured the ACC championship. Behind a high-powered offense with Shawn Moore, Herman Moore, and Terry Kirby and a strong defensive effort led by Chris Slade, the Cavaliers finally defeated Clemson, which was ranked in the top ten at the time, in the second game of the 1990 season. The win propelled the Cavaliers' rise in the polls, which culminated in a number-one ranking in late October.

Virginia 33 – Florida State 28[]

UVa managed to win its share of close games as the 1995 season unfolded, including a 33–28 upset victory over second-ranked and previously unbeaten Florida State. Playing on national television in the first-ever Thursday night game in Charlottesville, Virginia stopped the Seminoles at the goal line on the game's final play to preserve the win. With the victory, the Cavaliers ended FSU's four-year, 29-game winning streak against ACC teams since joining the conference in 1992. Florida State became the highest-ranked team to ever fall to the Cavaliers. Virginia and Florida State were later crowned co-ACC champions after finishing the season with identical 7–1 conference records.

Virginia 20 – North Carolina 17[]

During a generally disappointing 1996 season, the Cavaliers upset the top ten–ranked Tar Heels at Scott Stadium. In the fourth quarter, North Carolina led Virginia 17–3 and, having advanced within the Cavaliers' five-yard line, were about to put the game away. However, Virginia cornerback Antwan Harris intercepted a Tar Heel pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Tim Sherman then led the Cavaliers to another ten points, capped by Rafael Garcia's late game field goal, and the defense shut down the demoralized Tar Heels for a stunning 20–17 comeback victory. The defeat cost North Carolina a bid to the Bowl Alliance; coach Mack Brown left UNC for Texas after another highly-ranked Tar Heel team in 1997 also failed to receive a Bowl Alliance bid.

Virginia 36 – Virginia Tech 32[]

Virginia ended the 1998 regular season with a 36–32 victory at Virginia Tech in the greatest comeback in school history. Down 29–7 at the half, the Cavaliers outscored the Hokies 29–3 in the final two quarters. UVA capped its historic rally with a game-winning 47-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Brooks to wide receiver Ahmad Hawkins with 2:01 left to play.

Virginia 14 - Florida State 13[]

Before 2011, Virginia had never won a game against Florida State in Tallahassee. The Cavaliers' record against the Seminoles stood at (2-14) and (0-8) in Doak Campbell Stadium. Virginia running back Kevin Parks ran for a touchdown with 1:16 remaining in the game, giving Virginia the lead. Then, Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 42-yard field goal as time ran out, giving the Cavaliers their first win in Tallahassee in school history.


Major awards[]

Bill Dudley1941
  • Draddy Trophy
Thomas D. Burns1993
  • John Mackey Award
Heath Miller2004
  • Ted Hendricks Award
Chris Long2007
  • Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award
George Welsh1991
  • ACC Coach of the Year
Bill Elias1961
George Blackburn1968
George Welsh1983, 1984, 1991, 1995
Al Groh2002, 2007
Mike London2011
  • ACC Player of the Year
Bob Davis1966
Frank Quayle—1968
Barry Word1985
Shawn Moore1989, 1990
Matt Blundin—1991
Tiki Barber1996
Matt Schaub—2002
  • ACC Rookie of the Year
John Ford—1984
Ronde Barber1994
  • ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Anthony Poindexter1998
Chris Long—2007

First Team All Americans[]

Retired numbers[]

Retired jerseys[]

"Jersey retirement honors Virginia players who have significantly impacted the program. Individuals recognized in this way will have their jerseys retired, but their number will remain active."[20]

College Football Hall of Famers[]

  • Bill Dudley, halfback, inducted in 1956
  • Earle "Greasy" Neale, head coach, inducted in 1967
  • Tom Scott, defensive end, inducted in 1979
  • Frank Murray, head coach, inducted in 1983
  • Joe Palumbo, middle guard, inducted in 1999
  • George Welsh, head coach, inducted in 2004

NFL Hall of Famers[]

  • Bill Dudley, halfback, inducted December 6, 1966
  • Earle "Greasy" Neale, head coach, inducted September 13, 1969
  • Henry Jordan, tackle, inducted July 29, 1995

Traditional rivalries[]

  • Commonwealth Cup (Virginia vs. Virginia Tech)—the Cup has been given since 1996 to the winner of this game played 90 times and each year since 1970.
  • South's Oldest Rivalry (Virginia vs. North Carolina)—the schools have played every year since 1919 totaling 114 games, by far the longest series in the ACC.
  • Virginia–Maryland rivalry—official ACC "permanent rivals". Many athletes and students on both sides come from the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Non-annual rivalry games[]

  • Jefferson-Eppes Trophy (Virginia vs. Florida State)—a friendly rivalry to promote ties between the two universities, this trophy was created in 1996.
  • Virginia–West Virginia rivalry—Rarely played anymore, the last contest was a 48–22 Cavalier victory in the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl.
  • Virginia–Clemson rivalry—Virginia took 30 attempts to beat ACC foe Clemson, which sparked a rivalry.


NFL Players[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1893-Football in the South
  2. University of Virginia Football Vault,Ratcliffe, Jerry (2008). University of Virginia Football Vault. Whitman Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-0-7948-2647-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 University of Virginia Football Vault,Ratcliffe, Jerry (2008). University of Virginia Football Vault. Whitman Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-0-7948-2647-5.
  4. 1870, University Literary Magazine
  5. University of Virginia Football Vault,Ratcliffe, Jerry (2008). University of Virginia Football Vault. Whitman Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-0-7948-2647-5.
  6. 2008 UVa Football Media Guide
  7. History of the University of Virginia: The Lengthening Shadow of One Man,Bruce, Philip Alexander (1921). History of the University of Virginia: The Lengthening Shadow of One Man pp. 293–296. Macmillan. ISBN .
  8. Charlottesville Daily Progress
  9. Corks and Curls Yearbook web site
  10. Mr. Jefferson's University: A History,Dabney, Virginius (1981). Mr. Jefferson's University: A History pp. 191–192. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 0-8139-0904-X.
  11. Hudson, Mike. "Game Three: October 11, 1947, UVA vs Harvard" (PDF), Roanoke Times, 1997-10-05. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Watterson, John. University of Virginia Football 1951-1961: A Perfect Gridiron Storm. Journal of Sports History. James Madison University.
  13. This Is the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference site)
  14. "Their Growing Role in History: U.Va. players first, trailblazers later, even 40 years later," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 24 November 2011, p. C1.
  15. Official ACC Website
  16. "Groh fired as UVa coach", Lynchburg News & Advance, 2009-11-29. Retrieved on 2009-12-11. 
  17. UVA Football Holding Monday Press Conference. (2009-12-07). Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  18. Phillips, Michael. "Virginia to announce London as new coach", 2009-12-07. 
  19. Mike London Named Head Football Coach at U.Va.. UVA Today (2009-12-07). Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  20. 2008 Virginia Football Media Guide, page 175

External Links[]