Monday, two days after the final career game for longtime head football coach Jimmye Laycock ’70, William and Mary announced the hiring of his successor in Mike London. London, who has led programs at Richmond, Virginia and most recently Howard, was an assistant to Laycock from 1990-1993 and will return to become the 30th head coach in Tribe football’s history.
“This is an exciting day for William & Mary, and we are thrilled to welcome Mike and his family back to Williamsburg,” Director of Athletics Samantha Huge said in a press release. “Mike embodies the values and character that we need to lead our football program forward and he has demonstrated an ability to develop players and win championships over his nearly 30 years in coaching. His unique journey and commitment to the development of young men make him the perfect successor to carry on Coach Jimmye Laycock’s 39-year legacy while forging a new path for Tribe Football.”
Originally from the Hampton Roads area, London played football at Richmond and graduated in 1983. After a few years as a detective, London returned to his alma mater as the outside linebackers’ coach in 1988. Laycock then hired London as the Tribe’s defensive line coach in 1990, a post he held for four years.
Laycock’s assistant coaching career included stints at Richmond, Boston College, Virginia and the National Football League’s Houston Texans. London returned to Richmond from 2008 to 2009 as head coach, winning a national championship his first year on the job. Virginia then came calling yet again, and London spent the next six years as the head coach for the Cavaliers. While he led the team to a successful 8-5 season in 2011, his tenure was characterized by losing records, and he resigned from the position in 2015 after a 4-8 campaign.
London spent a year as an assistant at Maryland before taking the job at Howard, where he spent the past two seasons. This year, the Bison finished 4-6, good for fifth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
“I come to William & Mary with a deep appreciation for the university, football program and community,” London said in a press release. “I am honored and excited to build on the incredible tradition of excellence Jimmye Laycock established. He is a part of the foundation of my career and someone I have always respected. I sincerely appreciate President Katherine Rowe and Samantha Huge for making this opportunity possible. I look forward to working with them to pursue championships while developing student-athletes who will pursue excellence in the classroom and on the playing field.”
London will be introduced as head coach Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Zable Stadium.