Everyone knew Brent Pry had a tough job ahead of him when he accepted the head-coaching position at Virginia Tech in December 2021. Under the previous regime, the Hokies had fallen off, lacked talent across the entire roster and left broken relationships with high schools throughout the state.
Pry went to work, helping close on a solid class for 2022. If you have a Twitter account, you’d see each of Pry’s assistants hitting the road at every open period, visiting high schools throughout the recruiting footprint, whether those schools had recruitable prospects or not.
But Pry knew he needed to win. And unfortunately, the Hokies didn’t do a lot of winning in 2022. Tech had its worst season since 1992 last fall, finishing 3-8, with the last game of the season against Virginia canceled.
A seven-game losing streak is what most will remember from last season. While some of those losses were ugly, Tech did show improvement but unfortunately blew late leads against N.C. State, Miami and Georgia Tech.
Heading into 2023, there is optimism surrounding the Hokies. While no one is expecting Virginia Tech to win the ACC, the Hokies were active in the NCAA transfer portal, adding talent at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive line, defensive end, and in the secondary. Combined with a softer schedule, the Hokies should bounce back to at least become bowl eligible in 2023.
Will Backus of CBS Sports recently ranked all 14 head coaches. Of course, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is No. 1. Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson is No. 2, followed by Mike Norvell of Florida State.
Where was Pry? Dead last — behind Virginia’s Tony Elliott.
It took just one season for Pry’s outlook at Virginia Tech to turn bleak. His initial hire did not generate a ton of buzz, and instead of quieting any doubters, he created more by winning just one ACC game in 2022 and finishing the year with a 3-8 record overall. Let’s not mince words here: The Hokies were awful in 2022. Few things stood out about the on-field product, and Virginia Tech only kept it close a few times during a seven-game losing streak that stretched from September to November.
Pry was behind Elliott and Georgia Tech coach Brent Key, entering his first full season as head coach.
Somehow, Mack Brown landed at No. 4. Brown can recruit still but is not a good football coach. While he’s recruited well, players aren’t developed, while others leave.
How Brown was ahead of Dave Doeren [N.C. State] makes zero sense. And for as unlikeable as he is, Pat Narduzzi [Pitt] is a much better coach than Brown.
Back to Pry. How was he behind Elliott? Has the writer not paid attention to how Elliott is running things in Charlottesville?
Pry may not be the answer at Virginia Tech. But he’s doing a lot of the right things. He also has recruiting heading in the right direction. He’s created excitement around the program. Now, he just needs to win, and if he does, we can laugh looking back at this list.