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Chris Slade, two others set to join Virginia’s new coaching staff

By Jerry Ratcliffe


According to Yahoo Sports reporter Pete Thamel, former Virginia All-American defensive end Chris Slade is returning to the Cavaliers’ coaching staff along with two other coaches expected to be hired in the coming days: Army wide receiver coach Keith Gaither and Navy defensive line coach Kevin Downing.

Earlier today, the Atlanta Falcons confirmed that running backs coach Des Kitchings has been hired as UVA’s new offensive coordinator.

Reports surfaced Sunday that Virginia head coach Tony Elliott had targeted Purdue co-defensive coordinator Brad Lambert, but on Monday, it was reported that Wake Forest was also in pursuit of Lambert, who spent 10 years under Jim Grobe in Winston-Salem several seasons ago.

Slade was in Charlottesville for Elliott’s introduction as UVA’s new head coach a couple of weeks ago. The former Virginia star, who still holds the ACC career quarterback sacks record, said he got to know Elliott while Slade was head football coach at Pace Academy in Atlanta.

Slade has since resigned as Pace’s coach, but led the school to a state championship in 2015. One of the most popular players in UVA history, Slade came to Charlottesville from Tabb High School in Newport News and became an almost instant star along with Tabb teammate, running back Terry Kirby.

Slade, who said he has developed a relationship with Elliott on recruiting visits by the former Clemson offensive coordinator, played for the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1997.


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