Virginia's football program will head into next season with new coordinators on both sides of the ball after offensive coordinator Bill Lazor opted Tuesday to take a position on the Philadelphia Eagles' staff.
Lazor, who has been U.Va.'s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since Mike London started coaching at Charlottesville in 2010, is the fifth coach to either leave or be fired from U.Va.'s staff since the end of the season.
U.Va. confirmed Lazor's departure Tuesday afternoon in a release from its athletic department, but the school didn't state he is heading to Philadelphia. CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman first reported Lazor would take a position with the Eagles.
"I appreciate Bill Lazor's time here as a member of my staff," London said in the release. "We are now wrapping up our recruiting and starting our preparation for the 2013 season. We will move quickly to find a new offensive coordinator to keep the program moving forward."
On Jan. 3, U.Va. announced it hired Tom O'Brien as associate head coach for offense and tight ends coach, Jon Tenuta as associate head coach for defense and defensive coordinator and Jeff Banks as special-teams coordinator and running backs coach. Hampton High graduate Marques Hagans was promoted at the time from graduate assistant to wide receivers coach.
Less than a week and a half later, Banks took a job on Texas A&M's staff. U.Va. replaced him with Larry Lewis. In adding O'Brien, Tenuta, Lewis and Hagans, U.Va. fired defensive coordinator Jim Reid, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Hanson, running backs coach Mike Faragalli and tight ends coach Shawn Moore.
Lazor, a 40-year-old native of Scranton, Pa., also coached U.Va.'s wide receivers this past season. U.Va., which ran a pro-style attack under Lazor, finished 62nd in the nation out of 120 Bowl Subdivision programs this past season in total offense (396.5 yards per game), 93rd in scoring offense (22.8 points per game) and 96th in rushing offense (128.5 yards per game).
He rotated quarterbacks Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims for the last four games of this past season. Rocco decided to transfer to Richmond after the season.
In 2011, Lazor rotated Rocco and Hampton High graduate David Watford at quarterback for the first seven games before settling on Rocco. U.Va. was 46th in total offense (399.8 yards per game), 52nd in rushing offense (162.1 yards per game) and 86th in scoring offense (23.2 points per game).
In 2010, U.Va. was 37th in total offense (404.8 yards per game) with Marc Verica at quarterback and 75th in scoring offense (25.3 points per game). With Verica under center, U.Va. threw 17 interceptions in the '10 season — a total that was surpassed by only nine teams in the nation.
Lazor interviewed last year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive coordinator position under new coach Greg Schiano. Mike Sullivan ultimately became the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator.
Prior to coming to U.Va., Lazor coached seven straight seasons in the NFL — two seasons as the Seattle Seahawks' quarterbacks coach in '08 and '09, four seasons as an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins (including the '06 and '07 seasons as the Redskins' quarterbacks coach under former coach Joe Gibbs), and a season as the offensive quality control coach for the Atlanta Falcons under former coach Dan Reeves. Lazor's first stop as an offensive coordinator was in '01 and '02 at the University of Buffalo, where he was the quarterbacks coach.
"We have always been aware Bill Lazor might pursue a great opportunity in the National Football League," U.Va. executive associate athletic director Jon Oliver said in the release. "The job he is taking with an NFL team is simply that. We see this as an opportunity for our football program that we will seek to maximize."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun