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Virginia Tech Hires Penn State Defensive Coordinator Brent Pry As Head Coach

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Virginia Tech officially announced Brent Pry as the school’s next head coach on Tuesday.

Pry, 51, has served as defensive coordinator at Penn State under head coach James Franklin since 2014. Though he’s a 30-year coaching veteran, this will be Pry’s first head coaching gig. He takes over for Justin Fuente, who was fired two weeks before Virginia Tech’s regular season ended.

Pry is no stranger to Blacksburg. He was a graduate assistant/defensive line coach under longtime head coach Frank Beamer from 1995-1998.

“On behalf of Amy and our family, we are extremely grateful to President Sands and Whit for extending us this opportunity at Virginia Tech,” Pry said. “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.”

After 25 consecutive winning seasons, the Hokies standard fell under Fuente. Two losing seasons in the last three ended his tenure. Pry said he looks forward to getting Virginia Tech back to the winning standard.

“Even after I departed Blacksburg, I always continued to appreciate Virginia Tech, its great players, its championship teams, and it’s 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!”

After leaving the Hokies, Pry had stops at Western Carolina (1998-2001), Louisiana-Lafayette (2002-2006), Memphis (2007-2009), Georgia Southern (2010) and Vanderbilt (2011-2013) before finding a home in Happy Valley.

Pry left Vanderbilt for Penn State when James Franklin did in 2014. The two had success together at Vanderbilt, going 9-4 in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013. Under Pry, Penn State’s defense became one of the best in the nation and produced many high NFL draft picks.

In 2018, Penn State led the FBS with 3.62 sacks per game and held three opponents to fewer than 60 yards through the air. Eight players from the 2018 defense received All-Big Ten recognition.

Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is the most recent Nittany Lion defender to be highly drafted. Parsons was selected 12th overall by the Cowboys in the 2021 NFL Draft and is the frontrunner for the NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year.

Follow Nick Geddes on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. Nick is a life-long sports fan who is proud to say he suffered through 15 years of Bucs futility to witness a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Nick has a passion for writing and is proud to represent OutKick. Follow me on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

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  1. Hopefully a successful hire for my many Hokie friends. … There can be many reasons that a life-long /highly respected “Assistant” coach has never been a Head Coach. Perfect case in point = VT’s Bud Foster.

    The skill set for a Head Coach is different than for a Coordinator / Assistant. The $$$ are greater but so is the stress and headaches.
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