Mike London
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamWilliam & Mary
Biographical details
Born (1960-10-09) October 9, 1960 (age 61)
West Point, New York
Playing career
1983Dallas Cowboys
Position(s)Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1989–1990Richmond (OLB)
1991–1994William & Mary (DL)
1995–1996Richmond (OLB/RC)
1997–2000Boston College (DL)
2001Virginia (DL)
2002–2004Virginia (DL/RC)
2005Houston Texans (DL)
2006–2007Virginia (DC/DL)
2016Maryland (AHC/DL)
2019–presentWilliam & Mary
Head coaching record
Tournaments5–1 (NCAA D-I playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
1 NCAA Division I (2008)
1 CAA (2009)
AFCA FCS Coach of the Year (2008)
BCA National Coach of the Year (2008)[1]
ACC Coach of the Year (2011)

Michael Wilson London Sr.[2] (born October 9, 1960) is the current head football coach for the William & Mary Tribe football program at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.[3] He is a former defensive back and associate head coach and defensive line coach for the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to Maryland, London was the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers football program of the University of Virginia. Prior to William & Mary, London was head coach of the Howard Bison football program at Howard University in Washington, D.C. A native of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, London played college and pro football as a defensive back for the Richmond Spiders and Dallas Cowboys. He was a police officer and detective in Richmond, Virginia with the city's street crimes unit before pursuing a coaching career.

He has served in various coaching roles with Richmond, William & Mary, Boston College, and Virginia, as well as the Houston Texans. His most notable roles have come as defensive coordinator and later head coach at the University of Virginia, head coach at Howard University where in 2017 he coached his team to the largest point spread upset victory in college football history,[4] and previously as head coach at the University of Richmond, where his team won the NCAA Division I Football Championship in 2008.

Coaching career

Position coach

First hired as a linebacker coach at the University of Richmond, Mike London later coached the defensive line at the College of William & Mary, Boston College, the Houston Texans of the National Football League, and the University of Virginia, twice.

London worked closely with St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long while he played for the Virginia Cavaliers. In an interview with The Washington Post, Long would later say of London, "when you get a coach who matches your intensity and emotion, you can just look at that person and know that at some level that coach is going to be with you through the thick and the thin."[5]

Defensive coordinator

In 2006, London was named by Virginia coach Al Groh as the team's new defensive coordinator to replace Al Golden. Virginia's defense under London was much more aggressive than it was under Golden.[6] Allowing just 289.5 yards per game, the Virginia defense under London gave up fewer yards than any Virginia defense had in the past 27 years. London developed first year defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald, who by the end of the season had more tackles than any other freshman in the country.[7]

The next year his defense was perhaps even better given the scope of the UVA football program. A highlight of this season was when Virginia was scheduled to play the Miami Hurricanes in the last game ever in the legendary Miami Orange Bowl. The Virginia defense, under the supervision of London, dominated the 'Canes and Virginia won, 48–0. It was Miami's worst loss at the Orange Bowl in their 70 years of playing there. The Cavaliers finished the season ranked 6th in the nation in sacks with 40, and allowed the 19th-fewest rushing yards (106.7 yds/game) and the 16th-fewest points against (19.7/game) on the way to a 9-win season and a narrow loss to Texas Tech and Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Crabtree in the Gator Bowl.[8] At the end of the season, lineman Chris Long won the Ted Hendricks Award and was drafted second overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Head coach

Richmond Spiders

2008 season

Main article: 2008 Richmond Spiders football team

On January 19, 2008, Mike London was named the head coach of the Richmond Spiders. Previous coach Dave Clawson had left to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee. Sixteen starters returned from a team that Clawson had taken to the semifinals of the FCS Football Championship playoffs. Soon after opening the season with a loss to Football Bowl Subdivision team Virginia 16–0, the team suffered heartbreaking losses to the James Madison Dukes and Villanova Wildcats by a touchdown or less. After the JMU loss, London's team stood at 4–3.

The 2008 Spiders would not lose another game. They rattled off nine straight victories including last-minute heroics against the William & Mary Tribe and Northern Iowa Panthers, a 33–13 dismantling of the heavily favored Appalachian State Mountaineers in Kidd Brewer Stadium, and culminating with a 24–7 blowout victory against the Montana Grizzlies in the NCAA Championship Game. In his first season, the University of Richmond had earned its first National Championship in any sport.

2009 season

Main article: 2009 Richmond Spiders football team

On September 5, 2009, Richmond upset the Duke Blue Devils of the Atlantic Coast Conference, 24–16, on their home turf in Wallace Wade Stadium. After beginning the 2009 campaign 8–0 and riding a streak of 17 straight wins, the Richmond Spiders became only the third FCS team ever to receive a vote in the AP Poll (after Northern Iowa in 2007, and Appalachian State later in the same season). Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the Spiders their AP Top 25 vote for the week of November 2.

The Spiders won the CAA regular season, but lost in the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament to Appalachian State. Just two days later, Mike London was announced as head football coach at the University of Virginia on December 7, 2009.

Virginia Cavaliers

2010 season

Main article: 2010 Virginia Cavaliers football team

Following the termination of Al Groh, London was hired to coach the Virginia Cavaliers and initially awarded a five-year contract paying $1.7 million per year.[9] He is the third African-American head football coach in the ACC, behind Wake Forest's Jim Caldwell and Miami's Randy Shannon.[10] He is also the second African-American head coach of a major sport at Virginia; the first was former men's basketball coach Dave Leitao.

In London's first season with Virginia, his Cavaliers went 4–8, with two wins coming against I-FCS opponents.[11] The best win of the season was over then-#22 Miami.

Following the season, London enjoyed a strong recruiting class, pulling in what is widely regarded as UVA's best (and largest) recruiting class since Groh's first full season in 2002.[12]

2011 season

Main article: 2011 Virginia Cavaliers football team

Having finished with a 4–8 overall record and having managed just one win in the ACC the previous season, London orchestrated a turnaround in 2011, taking the team to an 8–4 regular season record and a 5–3 mark in the conference. Signature wins in the 2011 campaign included upsets over previously undefeated and 12th-ranked Georgia Tech, at Miami, and at 23rd-ranked Florida State, at a venue (Doak Campbell Stadium) where UVA had never won. The final regular season game of the year pitted the 24th-ranked Cavaliers against the #5 Virginia Tech Hokies in a battle for not only the Commonwealth Cup, but also for the Coastal Division crown and a chance to play in the ACC championship. UVa lost the game 38–0, suffering its first home shutout since 1984.

Following the regular season, London was named ACC Coach of the Year, receiving 31 votes, ahead of Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, who received 12 votes, and Clemson's Dabo Swinney, who received two votes.[13]

2012 season

Main article: 2012 Virginia Cavaliers football team

After leading the Cavalier football program to a bowl game the year before, London led UVA to a disappointing 4–8 season. Highlights included wins over Penn State and Miami. The Cavaliers suffered a loss to rival Virginia Tech their final game of the season, making it the ninth year in a row UVA has failed to beat Virginia Tech.

2013 season

Main article: 2013 Virginia Cavaliers football team

The Cavaliers won their opening game against BYU, then lost ten of the next eleven games, culminating in a 2–10 season. The University lost every game against ACC opponents. The team suffered lopsided loses to Oregon, Ball State and Duke. Despite not being able to win consistently, London was able to recruit a small but stellar class for the 2014 season headlined by consensus five-star prospects Andrew Brown and Quin Blanding.

2014 season

Main article: 2014 Virginia Cavaliers football team

Despite an opening game loss to UCLA, Virginia began the season 4–2, including an upset of top-25 Louisville, in their first game as ACC rivals and their first meeting at all in twenty-five years. Virginia lost their next four games, but rebounded with a win against Miami, only to lose at Virginia Tech.

2015 season

On November 26, 2014, Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage confirmed that London would remain as coach for the 2015 season.[14]

After a 1–3 start in the 2015 season, including a September 25 14-56 blowout loss to the Boise State University Broncos,[15] calls for London's resignation or termination began appearing in the media and elsewhere [16][17][18] The University had no comment to the rumors and press stories, and many college football pundits did not give the reports much long term credibility, including Mike London himself.[19][20] On November 29, 2015, after losing the last game of the season to Virginia Tech, London announced his resignation.[21]

Howard Bison

2017 season

Main article: 2017 Howard Bison football team

London became Howard University's head coach prior to the start of the 2017 season.[22][23] On September 2, 2017, under the leadership of freshman quarterback Caylin Newton (younger brother of Cam Newton), London coached Howard to the program's first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) win; defeating UNLV, a 45-point favorite, in the biggest upset in college football history by point spread.[24] The Bison would finish the season 7–4, 6–2 in MEAC play to finish in a tie for second place.

2018 season

Main article: 2018 Howard Bison football team

The 2018 season was less favorable for Coach London's Bison as the team finished the season 4–6, 4–3 in MEAC play to finish in a tie for fourth place. However a bright spot for London was that his sophomore quarterback Caylin Newton was awarded 2018 MEAC Offensive Player of the Year.[25]

On November 19, head coach Mike London resigned to become the head coach at William & Mary.[26] He finished at Howard with a winning two-year record of 11–10.

Personal life

His son, Brandon London, is a retired wide receiver who played for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. His younger brother Paul London played defensive back for Virginia under George Welsh in the early 1990s. His daughter, Kristen London, played women's basketball at Virginia under famed former coach Debbie Ryan, and is currently playing professional football for the Denver Bandits of the Women's National Football Conference (WNFC). He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa - The National Leadership Honor Society, and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# Media°
Richmond Spiders (Colonial Athletic Association) (2008–2009)
2008 Richmond 13–3 6–2 3rd (South) W FCS Championship 1 1
2009 Richmond 11–2 7–1 1st (South) L FCS Quarterfinals 5 5
Richmond: 24–5 13–3
Virginia Cavaliers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2010–2015)
2010 Virginia 4–8 1–7 T–5th (Coastal)
2011 Virginia 8–5 5–3 T–2nd (Coastal) L Chick-fil-A
2012 Virginia 4–8 2–6 6th (Coastal)
2013 Virginia 2–10 0–8 7th (Coastal)
2014 Virginia 5–7 3–5 7th (Coastal)
2015 Virginia 4–8 3–5 6th (Coastal)
Virginia: 27–46 14–34
Howard Bison (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) (2017–2018)
2017 Howard 7–4 6–2 T–2nd
2018 Howard 4–6 4–3 T–4th
Howard: 11–10 11–6
William & Mary Tribe (Colonial Athletic Association) (2019–present)
2019 William & Mary 5–7 3–5 T–9th
2020 William & Mary 1–2 1–2 3rd (South)
2021 William & Mary 6–5 4–4 T–5th
William & Mary: 12–14 8–11
Total: 74–74
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth
  • #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
  • °Rankings from final Sports Network Poll.


  1. ^ "London named male coach of the year over Steelers Tomlin". Thecollegianur.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  2. ^ "Young - London". Newport News Daily Press. February 16, 1997. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  3. ^ "William & Mary hires former UVa coach London". 19 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Howard (+45) pulls CFB's biggest upset ever". 3 September 2017.
  5. ^ Carpenter, Les (September 1, 2009). "London's Calling: From Cop to Coach". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ "Breaking down the ACC". ESPN.com. 9 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". www.virginiasports.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2022.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Mike London Named Richmond Head Football Coach". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23.
  9. ^ "London replaces Groh at Virginia". Associated Press via ESPN. 2009-12-09.
  10. ^ [1] Archived October 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Yanda, Steve (2010-12-02). "Poll: Grading Mike London's first season as Virginia's HC". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ Kurz, Hank (2011-02-02). "London gets Virginia's biggest class since 2002". Associated Press via USA Today.
  13. ^ "Virginia's London Named ACC Coach of the Year". AP via the ACC. November 29, 2011. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  14. ^ "Head Coach Mike London to Return for 2015 Season". VirginiaSports.com. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Boise State vs. Virginia - Game Recap - September 25, 2015 - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  16. ^ Elder, Robert (2015-09-26). "The beginning of the end for Mike London?". The Cavalier Daily. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  17. ^ Robby Kalland. "Boise State blows out Virginia 56-14, Mike London's seat gets hotter". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  18. ^ "Ben Kercheval on Twitter: "Mike London's Wikipedia page is interesting"". Twitter. 2015-09-26. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  19. ^ Khurshudyan, Isabelle (2012-12-14). "Virginia football Coach Mike London gives cold shoulder to the hot seat". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  20. ^ "UVa football: Virginia's Mike London stays focused while ex-U.Va. QB Greyson Lambert soars at Georgia". Daily Press. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  21. ^ "London resigns after 6-year stint with Virginia". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  22. ^ "Newsroom".
  23. ^ "Maryland's Mike London hired as Howard head coach". 6 January 2017.
  24. ^ Thompson, Chris (September 3, 2017). "Cam Newton's Brother Led The Largest Point-Spread Upset In College Football History". deadspin.com. Deadspin. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  25. ^ "Newton, Johnson Named MEAC Offensive, Defensive Players of Year".
  26. ^ "William & Mary names Mike London as 30th head football coach". www.wm.edu. College of William & Mary. November 19, 2018. Coach Mike London was announced Nov. 19 as the next head coach of the William & Mary Football Team. London is no stranger to the Tribe, he served as assistant coach here earlier in his career.