Last updated: February 16. 2013 10:08PM - 202 Views

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Well before Bill O'Brien's name entered the rumor mill – before Chris Petersen and Mike Munchak and Dan Mullen and most every other name you could think of – there was Mike London.


Just days after Joe Paterno was fired back in November, London's name was the first to surface as a possible successor when The Washington Post reported that Steve Garban – then the chairman of Penn State's Board of Trustees – had reached out to a third party to gauge London's interest.


The reply came back quickly. London was just fine being the head coach at Virginia, thank you.


"I love the job that I have," London said Tuesday at his weekly press conference when asked about the situation. "I love this place, I love this community and I love the players here and what this university stands for.


"That always happens. There are always people throwing your name out there and then it growing legs, and all of a sudden, it's a centipede and you have all kind of people talking about it. Flattering, perhaps, being mentioned. But at the same time my focus is here, and this is where I want to be."


The Cavaliers are happy to have him. A former Virginia assistant coach and head coach at FCS Richmond, London is the reigning ACC Coach of the Year after ending the Cavs' three-year bowl drought with an 8-4 season in 2011.


Now in his third year at the helm in Charlottesvile, London, a former cop, has Virginia back on the upswing.


London and O'Brien shared a similar upbringing as coaches and even faced off against each other during O'Brien's stops through the ACC at Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke.


"We've met," London said. "I think that you follow guys' careers from afar. In particular now, playing Penn State, you appreciate the job that he has and the task that he has of getting his team prepared and ready to play, despite all the obstacles and things that occurred there."


As such, London said that he and his staff did not aggressively pursue Penn State players this summer when the NCAA lifted traditional contact and transfer rules after imposing sanctions on the Nittany Lions.


London did, however, still hear all about opposing schools setting up camp in State College, looking to recruit.


"When it came out that the opportunity (to transfer without penalty) was going to be extended to those players, I had heard from other coaching friends that they were on the next flight to Happy Valley," London said. "And you hear the stories about coaches walking around with their school logos on, and it was kind of like an open market.


"We didn't try to make an approach that way. We saw other people doing that, and also there are all the issues with us as far as transfers and things like that. But it was kind of you looked at it and you felt bad for Coach O'Brien. Because here he is, just gets there, finds out what's going on, and players have a chance not only to leave at that time, but again leave at the end of the season if they don't go in and play.


"So I'm quite sure he's trying to put a game plan together and kind of a program together to keep these guys together, not only committed recruits for next year, but also the guys on his team."

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