MIKE BARBER Richmond Times-Dispatch
Virginia has hired Navy defensive backs/outside linebackers coach Kevin Downing as a defensive assistant, the school announced Wednesday.
Downing, a graduate of North Carolina Central, has been with the Navy for three seasons, having previously worked at Kennesaw State, Elon and Winston-Salem State. Downing’s exact assignment at UVa will be determined as more hires are announced.
Virginia reportedly targeted Purdue assistant – and former Charlotte head coach – Brad Lambert to be Elliott’s defensive coordinator, but Lambert took the defensive coordinator job at Wake Forest instead.
Downing is the second official hire of new coach Tony Elliott’s staff.
On Tuesday, the school announced the hiring of Atlanta Falcons running backs coach Des Kitchings, a former North Carolina State assistant, as offensive coordinator.
Elliott also retained defensive line coach Clint Sintim from the previous team, as well as wide receivers coach Marques Hagans and offensive line coach Garett Tujague.
After a strong 2019 season that ended with an ACC Coastal Division title and a trip to the Orange Bowl, the UVA defense has struggled over the past two years. Coach Bronco Mendenhall announced his decision to step away from college football after last season, which ended when the Cavaliers’ 6-6 appearance in the Fenway Bowl was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. within the UVA program.