Throughout Tuesday morning, rumors had it Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry’s move to Blacksburg to become Virginia Tech’s head coach was imminent. Now, it’s official. At noon on the dot Tuesday afternoon, Virginia Tech football’s twitter account tweeted that Pry had been named head coach.
Pry had been an assistant under James Franklin at Penn State since Franklin took over in 2014, and Pry became Penn State’s defensive coordinator in 2016.
In the early days of Pry’s coaching career, he worked at Virginia Tech under head coach Frank Beamer and defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
“Even after I departed Blacksburg, I always continued to appreciate Virginia Tech, its great players, its championship teams, and its wonderful traditions from afar,” Pry said.
Pry said that Virginia Tech has the elements needed institution-wise to make it an ideal head coaching destination, and looks forward to living in Blacksburg as well.
“The resources, facilities, university backing of Athletics, and phenomenal fan support that Virginia Tech enjoys made this a very desirable situation,” he said. “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!”
Beamer, a Hall of Fame coach known for leading Tech from 1987-2015, called Pry a “great coach and a wonderful fit for our football program.”
“Not only is Brent exceptionally intelligent, he also possesses a great deal of football knowledge,” Beamer said. “Growing up as the son of a coach, he’s been around the game all of his life. I’m confident that he’ll do a tremendous job as head coach of the Hokies.”
Foster, who was an assistant for all 29 of Beamer’s seasons + four years under Justin Fuente, also weighed in, saying that Pry has the qualities needed to win at Virginia Tech.
“It’s been such a pleasure to watch Brent grow, mature and excel at a very high level in the coaching profession,” Foster said. “I’m so excited that he’s earned this opportunity to lead our football program. The best coaches are the ones who are always striving to get better, who are open to new ideas and who can put their players in the best position to be successful. Brent embodies all of those qualities and so many others that it takes to be a leader. I’m so excited that he’s coming back to Virginia Tech.”
It appears that Pry will keep current interim coach J.C. Price on as associate head coach/defensive coach.
Pry’s soon-to-be former boss, James Franklin, issued a statement praising Pry’s leadership, work ethic and football knowledge.
Pry had worked under Franklin since 2011, first for three years at Vanderbilt and then eight seasons at Penn State.
“I’m truly excited for Brent and his family,” Franklin said. “He’s a passionate leader who’ll inspire his team to play their best football; but his greatest strengths are his dedication, relatability and humility. It’s those characteristics combined with his deep understanding of X&Os that will serve Virginia Tech and the entire Blacksburg community best.”