Jappy Oliver
Jappy Oliver

Position:
Defensive Line

Experience:
First Season

Alma Mater:
Purdue (1978)



Jerome "Jappy" Oliver is the defensive line coach and is in his first year at Virginia. Oliver joined Mike London's coaching staff on Jan. 13, 2014 after four seasons at Buffalo.

Oliver boasts 35 years of collegiate coaching experience, including stops at Air Force, Buffalo, Navy, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. Oliver comes to UVa after four seasons as the assistant head coach, defensive line coach and professional football liaison at Buffalo where the Bulls are coming off a 2013 appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, only the second bowl appearance in program history.

Oliver will be reunited with defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta at Virginia. Oliver and Tenuta coached together at Notre Dame during the 2008 season.

In Oliver's first season at Buffalo in 2010, he coached a defensive line that had 23.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. His defensive line improved on those numbers in 2011 with 24 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. In 2012, Oliver coached the duo of Steven Means and Colby Way who combined for 21.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. Means was named second-team All-MAC. Way went on to be named a third-team All-MAC honoree in 2013 after making 32 tackles, including 8.5 for a loss and 5.0 sacks, and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Oliver came to Buffalo in 2010 after spending four years at Notre Dame as the Irish defensive line coach. From 2005-08, Oliver helped the growth of Irish defensive ends Victor Abiamiri and Chris Frome as well as defensive tackles Derek Landri and Trevor Laws. Abiamiri was a second-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, while the Jacksonville Jaguars chose Landri that same year in the fifth round. Laws was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2008 draft and became the earliest Irish defensive tackle selected since Bryant Young was taken in the first round 14 years earlier. Frome was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears in 2007.

Oliver spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons as defensive line coach under Lou Holtz at South Carolina, helping to achieve a noteworthy turnaround on the defensive side in 2004 as the Gamecocks finished with a national ranking of 20th in total defense (315.18 yards per game).

Oliver previously served on the staff of Air Force's Fisher DeBerry for eight seasons from 1995 through 2002, helping the Falcons to five postseason bowl appearances including wins in the Oahu Bowl (1998) and the Silicon Valley Bowl (2000).

During Oliver's eight years as defensive line coach at Air Force, the Falcons finished a combined 65-33 and ended up 25th in the final USA Today/ ESPN poll in 1997 after finishing 10-3, then 10th in USA Today/ESPN in 1998 after finishing 12-1. Air Force won the Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division title in 1998.

One of Oliver's prize pupils, Bryce Fisher, earned WAC Mountain Division Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1998. Fisher was also the team's most outstanding player in the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl, and was later drafted in the seventh round by the Buffalo Bills. Oliver also helped turn Shawn Thomas into one of the Academy's best defenders. Thomas finished his career ranked fourth in school history in tackles for loss and quarterback sacks. In addition to his work with the defensive line, Oliver also worked with the Falcon kickoff team as well as the extra point and field goal blocking units.

From 1991-94 Oliver served on the staff at Vanderbilt, where he helped the Commodores defense set school records for quarterback sacks in consecutive seasons. Vanderbilt also lowered its team rushing yards allowed in each of Oliver's four seasons in Nashville under head coach Gerry DiNardo.

He began his coaching career in 1978 at Davison (Mich.) High School (near his hometown of Flint) where he coached the defensive backfield and wide receivers. He returned to his alma mater, Purdue University, as a graduate assistant coach in 1979 and 1980 (working with the wide receivers, tight ends and offensive line) for head coach Jim Young - and helped the Boilers to wins in the Bluebonnet (1979) and Liberty (1980) Bowls and consecutive 10-2 and 9-3 marks.

He then coached at Eastern Michigan (offensive backfield and receivers) from 1981-82 and Northeastern (outside linebackers) in 1983 under head coach Paul Pawlak. Oliver coached defensive linemen at the Naval Academy from 1984-86 under head coach Gary Tranquill. He also has coaching experience at Grand Valley State (defensive line in 1988) and Western Illinois (inside linebackers in 1989-90).

Oliver is a 1978 graduate of Purdue University where he earned his bachelor's degree in health and physical education. He lettered three years in football as a wide receiver (15 career receptions) and also spent one season as a reserve on the Boilermakers' basketball squad.

Oliver was a standout athlete at Southwestern High School in Flint, Mich., earning all-city and all-district accolades in both football and basketball. He was the city's athlete of the year in 1973 and captained teams in football, basketball and baseball.

He has one daughter, Candace, and a son, Justin.

Coach Oliver
Hometown Flint, Mich.
High School Southwestern HS, Flint, Mich., 1973
College Purdue, 1978
Family Daughter, Candace and son, Justin
Playing Experience
Purdue (1975-77)
Coaching Experience
1978 - Davison HS (Mich.)
Defensive Backs/Wide Receiver
1979 - Purdue
Graduate Assistant/Offensive Line
1980 - Purude
Graduate Assistant/Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
1981 - Eastern Michigan
Offensive Backfield
1982 - Eastern Michigan
Offensive Backfield/Receivers
1983 - Northeastern
Outside Linebackers
1984-86 - Navy
Defensive Line
1988 - Grand Valley State
Defensive Line
1989-90 - Western Illinois
Inside Linebackers
1991-93 - Vanderbilt
Defesnive Line
1994 - Vanderbilt
Linebackers
1995-2002 - Air Force
Defensive Line
2003-04 - South Carolina
Defensive Line
2005-08 - Notre Dame
Defensive Line
2010-13 - Buffalo
Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line
2014-Present - Virginia
Defensive Line
Postseason Experience
Bluebonnet Bowl (1979)
Liberty Bowl (1980)
Copper Bowl (1995)
Las Vegas Bowl (1997)
Oahu Bowl (1998)
Silicon Valley Bowl (2000)
San Francisco Bowl (2002)
Fiesta Bowl (2006)
Sugar Bowl (2007)
Hawai'i Bowl (2008)
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (2013)
Former Prominent Players Coached
Bryce Fisher (Air Force)
Shawn Thomas (Air Force)
Steven Means (Buffalo)
Colby Ways (Buffalo)
Victor Abiamiri (Notre Dame)
Chris Frome (Notre Dame)
Derek Landri (Notre Dame)
Trevor Laws (Notre Dame)