Virginia head coach Mike London will return next season, the school announced Wednesday.
The Cavaliers are 5-6 this season and 23-37 overall under London, who is in his fifth season at UVa. Virginia must beat Virginia Tech on Friday to become bowl-eligible; the Hokies also are 5-6. Depending on the outcome of Friday's game, UVa could finish in a tie for last in the ACC Coastal Division; the Cavs also could finish as high as a tie for second.
The decision is mildly surprising, given the timing. A loss Friday would mean that Virginia has failed to make a bowl game in four of London's five seasons, and it's not as if the ACC has been filled with high-caliber teams during those five seasons.
Virginia started 4-2 this season, but has beaten only Miami since. The Cavs beat the Hurricanes last Saturday to snap a four-game losing streak.
The Cavaliers have been to one bowl under London, in 2011, when they finished 8-5. This is the only other season they've won more than four games in London's tenure.
In announcing London would return next season, athletic director Craig Littlepage said he has "seen signs of progress in many areas." Littlepage also said "through the staff changes made over the last two years, we are better at teaching the game and in the overall development of the student-athletes."
Virginia has seven seniors listed as starters on the depth chart for the game with Virginia Tech, so the Cavs potentially have 15 starters returning next season. London and his staff also have recruited well in the past two years and are in line for a solid class this recruiting cycle.