Breaking Down The Hiring Of Offensive Line Coach Jeff Grimes

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Yesterday we profiled new Virginia Tech Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler and his job history/experience. Today we're doing the same for the Hokies' new Offensive Line Coach, Jeff Grimes:

Offensive Line Coach Jeff Grimes

Grimes, unlike Loeffler, was a name that Tech fans and media personalities were hearing all along as a candidate to replace Curt Newsome as the Hokies Offensive Line Coach. He was also at Auburn last season, as well as the previous three seasons, all holding the same position of offensive line coach. Grimes played offensive tackle collegiately at UTEP from 1987-1990, and while he wasn't drafted, he enjoyed a brief professional career, attending training camp with the Los Angeles Raiders and the World Football League's San Antonio Riders.

After two years as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at El Paso's Riverside High School, he decided to pursue coaching in the college ranks by taking a graduate assistant position with Rice in 1995. He spent his next two years in the same position at Texas A&M before landing a job as the offensive line coach for Hardin-Simmons, a Division III school in Abilene, Texas. After a two-year stint in which the Cowboys (of course they would be named that) went 21-2, averaged just under 40 points per game and reached the national semifinals, he landed a job under his collegiate head coach Dirk Koetter as Boise's offensive line coach in 2000. In that year, the Broncos lead the nation in scoring average and ran for 175 yards per game. When Koetter took the head job at Arizona State, Grimes followed, taking offensive line coach/running game coordinator (oh man, don't you love seeing that position title? You just don't see those anymore), where he stayed from 2001-03. In 2001, four of Grimes' senior linemen were drafted, something that had happened one other time since the seven-round format was adopted in 1993.

In 2004, Grimes took over as the offensive line coach for BYU, staying through 2006 and helping the Cougars to the nation's fourth best offense at over 465 yards per game (142 on the ground), an 11-2 record and a Mountain West Conference Championship. Grimes then moved on to coach under the legendary buffoon-of-a-coach (at least in his Colorado stint) Dan Hawkins at the same University of Colorado, this time with three position titles: offensive line coach, running game coordinator and assistant head coach. Grimes was then hired away from Colorado in 2009 (couldn't have been a better time) to coach the offensive line at Auburn under Gene Chizik, where he stayed until 2012. When Gus Malzahn was hired on December 4, all of Auburn's coaches were let go, which is how we got to here.

Several things about Grimes are that, one, the teams he coaches for seem to be successful almost everywhere that he goes, and two, he was once rumored to be offered the highest-paying contract for his position by Mack Brown at Texas following the 2010 National Championship season (I'll bet he wish he took that job now). He also has had success coaching and teaching players, as 12 of his former players played professionally. Lastly, Grimes is ONE HELL OF A RECRUITER! Going by the rankings on Rivals.com, since 2008, Grimes has scored commitments from 16 4-stars and one 5-star, almost exclusively offensive linemen, something that the Hokies have been completely inept at over the better part of the past decade. Even if those guys didn't pan out, it's saying that Grimes can go into a kid's house and land a commitment from a player that pretty much every other coach in college football agrees is one of the best players in America. That's telling. So what those four things alone tell me that Grimes is a terrific hire and Auburn's loss. Again, in hiring Grimes, Beamer has added another young coach to the mix, and one who has the proven penchant to be able to put together competent offensive lines who help their team as opposed to sabotaging them. This might be the best of the three hires the Hokies have made this offseason.

Remember to look for the profile of Aaron Moorehead in the coming days, as well as the profile of Scot Loeffler from yesterday. You can also keep track of all the Hokies' coaching hires in this story stream. For all of your major Hokie sports news, Gobbler Country is the place to be.

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