It’s been a wild coaching carousel over the last few weeks, and now, Virginia Tech finally has its man. According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Hokies are expected to hire Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry as head coach.
Sources: Virginia Tech’s search has focused in on Penn State DC Brent Pry. No deal is done yet, but the hire is expected to happen soon.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 30, 2021
David Teel of the Richmond Times-Dispatch followed up Thamel’s report by saying an official announcement could come as soon as Tuesday.
Announcement on #Hokies hiring Penn State DC Brent Pry likely today. @PeteThamel first. Pry’s big-whistle debut will be at @ODUFootball against his former Nittany Lions colleague Ricky Rahne. #SmallWorld— David Teel (@ByDavidTeel) November 30, 2021
So, it’s official, folks.
Pry, 51, has been with Penn State since 2014 when he followed head coach James Franklin from Vanderbilt to Happy Valley. In his first two years with the Nittany Lions, Pry served as co-defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and linebackers coach. In 2016, he became the sole defensive coordinator, while maintaining his role as linebackers coach.
Pry has a connection to Virginia Tech, having served as a graduate assistant in Blacksburg under legendary defensive coordinator Bud Foster from 1995-97. Pry graduated from Lexington High School in Lexington, Virginia, in 1988, where he played defensive back and quarterback.
He played one year of college football at Maryville College before transferring to Buffalo, where he played safety for three seasons.
Pry coached at East Stroudsburg (PA) before coming to Blacksburg in 1995. He’s also coached at Western Carolina, Lousiana-Lafayette, Memphis and Georgia Southern before becoming defensive coordinator Vanderbilt for three seasons before following Frankin to Penn State.
Is this the hire everyone wanted? No. But does that mean it’s a bad hire? No. Pry’s staff will be key, but I would expect cornerbacks coach Ryan Smith to be among those who remain. Smith worked under Pry at Penn State. Smith is arguably Tech’s best recruiter and a promising young coach, so keeping him on staff is a good move. Intermin coach J.C. Price played at Virginia Tech in 1995, Pry’s first season as a grad assistant, so that’s something to watch, too.
We’ll have more on this later when the official announcement is made.