VMI Football: Three new coaches coming in 2023

Bryan Stinespring, Rich Yahner, and Pat Brown will be joining the staff next year

LEXINGTON, Va. – VMI Football has announced three new additions to their 2023 staff.

On Tuesday, VMI Football Head Coach Danny Rocco announced that Bryan Stinespring, Rich Yahner, and Pat Brown will be the new additions to the Keydet football staff next year.

“Stinespring joins VMI as the associate head football coach and offensive assistant, Yahner will take over the play-calling duties as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and Brown will work in the secondary with Bill Parker,” the press release read.

Stinespring has more than 30 years of coaching experience, including two years as a part of Coach Rocco’s staff at Delaware, and more than 26 years of experience in a variety of roles at Virginia Tech, including 11 seasons working as an offensive coordinator, according to VMI.

Before Stinespring went to VT, he worked at Lexington High School and Patrick Henry High, officials said. After working at Tech, he returned to JMU to help the Dukes reach back-to-back FCS National Title games in 2016 and 2017.

During his time in Delaware, we’re told Stinespring coached the offensive line and tight ends as the Blue Hens reached the FCS Semifinals in the spring season of 2020-21, staying with Rocco for the fall 2021 campaign.

And, Stinespring continued his success in Virginia when he returned to his hometown to serve as the Activities Director for Alleghany County Public Schools and Alleghany Highlands Public Schools this past year.

Coach Rocco explained the tools Stinespring will bring to the table, reflecting on their coaching experience.

“Bryan is an outstanding football coach and an even better person. He has great history and an outstanding reputation in the state of Virginia,” Coach Rocco said. “Coach Stinespring has a great respect for the high school coaches and programs throughout the state of Virginia, with a special appreciation for those coaches and programs in southwest Virginia.”

Like Stinespring, Yahner is coming back to join Coach Rocco after three seasons as the linebackers coach for Delaware, VMI said.

Yahner has coached at all levels of college football, is a Penn State graduate, and has a mutual connection with Coach Rocco from their respective times at Penn State and Virginia, before they worked together at Delaware.

We’re told Yahner had a great, immediate impact on the Delaware defense – he helped the Blue Hens reach the FCS Semifinals in the 2020-21 spring season, with Yahner’s linebackers aiding a CAA defense that held opponents to a league-low 14.4 points per game and a league-best 118.4 yards per game on the ground.

Before he went up to Delaware, VMI said Yahnew coached four All-Patriot League performers at Lafayette after stops at San Diego Mesa Community College and Seton Hill University.

Yahner also helped head the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record as head coach Bill O’Brien would be named the Bear Bryant Maxwell Football Club and ESPN National Coach of the Year, according to VMI.

“Coach Yahner’s resume covers a wide range of experiences at a variety of different universities. Rich and I have shared common experiences having both coached at Penn State as well as at The University of Virginia,” Coach Rocco said. “Rich brings a great work ethic and a detailed approach to the workplace on a daily basis. I am excited to announce Coach Yahner as our Defensive Coordinator and Linebacker Coach.”

The third addition to the coaching staff: Pat Brown former defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach for Widener College.

According to VMI, Brown has a bit of hands-on experience of his own in the sport. Brown played tight end for Greensboro College where he was a USA South Academic Team honoree, graduating with his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport studies in 2012.

Now, Brown is heading to VMI after serving as the defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach for Widener College. In his first year at Widener, Brown helped the Widener defense allow nearly 70 fewer yards per game in the air than the defense did in 2019.

Before his tenure at the college, Brown made stops at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Catawba College, and Millersville University, overseeing defensive backs and special teams along the way, VMI said.

Just two years ago in 2020, Brown was selected for the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching for the Chicago Bears.

“Coach Brown has experienced a wide range of coaching opportunities over his career which have prepared him well for this opportunity at VMI,” Coach Rocco said. “His experiences last season at Widener as its defensive coordinator have allowed him to continue to add value as an assistant coach. We are excited to announce the hiring of Coach Brown as our newest addition to our defensive staff.”

About the Authors

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.

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