Early Tuesday morning, it appeared Virginia Tech was close to hiring Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry as the new head football coach. Around lunchtime, Virginia Tech made it official, announcing Pry as the new coach.
Pry will be introduced at a press conference on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. ET. You can watch live on HokieSports.com/watch.
Athletic director Whit Babcock released a statement on Pry’s hiring:
We are excited to welcome Coach Pry, Amy, and their family to Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg community. I’m confident that Hokies everywhere will come together to embrace and support them as we enter this new chapter in the history of Virginia Tech Football.
Coach Pry owns a winning track record on the football field, as well as a history of developing young men into leaders off the field and in the classroom. He’s earned his way up the coaching ranks, and we believe he is the right person to lead Virginia Tech Football and to achieve the goals that we all aspire to attain. He and his staff will aggressively recruit our region to keep in-state recruits home and attract the talent necessary to win championships in Blacksburg.
Pry released the following statement:
On behalf of Amy and our family, we are extremely grateful to President Sands and Whit for extending us this opportunity at Virginia Tech. Working for Coach Beamer and Coach Foster as a graduate assistant in the 1990s, I was privileged to have been a part of this program as the Hokies established themselves as a national power, consistently proving they could beat anyone in the nation.
Even after I departed Blacksburg, I always continued to appreciate Virginia Tech, its great players, its championship teams, and its wonderful traditions from afar. The resources, facilities, university backing of Athletics, and phenomenal fan support that Virginia Tech enjoys made this a very desirable situation. But just as importantly, the opportunity to raise our children in a community like Blacksburg also has great appeal. We can’t wait to meet the team, the support staff, and Hokie Nation. We will be prepared to hit the ground running in order to attract the type of student-athletes to Virginia Tech who can help us achieve sustained success. Go Hokies!
In more good news, Pry confirmed he was retaining J.C. Price on his new staff. Cornerbacks coach Ryan Smith is also likely to be retained, but Price is the only one named for now.
Fans wanted a splash hire. Pry is not a splash hire. Who cares? I want a winner. We all want a winner. Pry doesn’t come to Blacksburg with the promises of a sexy offense that will put up big numbers. Steven Godfrey of the Split Zone Duo podcast described Pry as a modern-day Bud Foster, as head coach.
Pry will bring toughness back to Blacksburg.
In Babcock’s meeting with the press after announcing the departure of Fuente, he named several requirements for the next coach of Virginia Tech. The only one Pry didn’t meet was head-coaching experience. But, he has plenty of big-time college football experience after spending the past eight seasons in charge of Penn State’s defense. When you hear fans of Penm State speak glowingly of Pry, you have to like the hire. How often do you hear fans speak highly of a departed coordinator?
Pry has regional ties. He has relationships with some of the top high schools in Virginia. Fuente never made a concerted effort to develop those relationships. You can bet Pry is going to make Virginia players a priority. While Penn State and North Carolina will still get players from the Commonwealth, it won’t be as easy. It’s funny, regardless of how many shiny recruiting classes UNC signs, the Hokies still curbstomp them.
Two big moves for Pry are who does he hire as an offensive coordinator? And strength and conditioning coach? Hokie fans miss the great Mike Gentry.
As for an offensive coordinator, my hope is Pry looks for a young and innovative coach, someone such as Zach Kittley of Western Kentucky.
We’ll have continuing coverage of Virginia Tech’s new head coach and his all of his staff moves as they develop.
Welcome home, Coach Pry.