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Mendenhall Elevates Vic So’oto to Defensive Line Coach

June 21, 2017

Charlottesville, Va. - Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Wednesday (June 21) that Vic So’oto has been elevated to defensive line coach. So’oto (So-OH-toe) was a graduate assistant for UVA in 2016 and replaces assistant head coach/defensive line coach Ruffin McNeill who has joined Lincoln Riley’s staff at Oklahoma.

“Vic was Ruffin’s understudy for the last year-and-a-half,” Mendenhall said. “He was my very first commitment at BYU when I became the head coach. He was a very good player for us and someone who has experience playing in the NFL. He’s very passionate. He is very knowledgeable about defensive football and our system. He knows the defensive line play in our system, inside and out. He’s a great teacher and fits perfectly and seamlessly into this position because he was taught and mentored by Ruff this past year. Our defensive front won’t miss a beat.”

So’oto was a four-year letterwinner under Mendenhall at BYU from 2005-10, losing two seasons to injury. Upon graduation, he spent four seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers.

So’oto started his post-playing career under Mendenhall at BYU as an intern in the football office in 2015 working with special projects and came to Charlottesville as a graduate assistant in 2016. He worked primarily with McNeill and the Virginia defensive line in 2016.

While at BYU, So’oto began his career as a tight end and played his final three seasons at linebacker and defensive end where he earned All-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior in 2010. During his career, he suffered two season-ending injuries and was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. He had 12 receptions for 124 yards on offense for the Cougars and tallied 55 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and one interception on defense. He earned his undergraduate degree in geography and made the Packers’ 2011 roster as a free agent and appeared in seven games that season.

 

 

So'oto is a second cousin of NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau. A native of Oceanside, Calif., he and his wife Ashley, who was Mendenhall’s personal assistant in the football office at BYU, have four children – Fia, Ave, Tre and Samson.

“Vic will be a tremendous coach and mentor for the young men in our program,” Mendenhall said. “He’s a passionate father and husband and espouses the values and principles that are the foundation for our program.”

Meyer Named Graduate Assistant Coach
Former Wisconsin punter Drew Meyer (Hartland, Wisc.) has been named a graduate assistant coach at Virginia. He served as the Badgers’ punter from 2012 to 2015. During that time he averaged 39.0 yards per attempt in 256 career punts. He owns the Wisconsin punting records for punts in a season (80, 2012) and career (256). He ranks No. 8 on UW’s career punting average list and first for total punting yards (3,233).

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jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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