BLACKSBURG, Va. – Head coach Justin Fuente announced Tuesday that he is adding former Tech defensive tackle J.C. price to his staff as co-defensive line coach/defensive recruiting coordinator. A third-team All-America selection for the Hokies as a senior in 1995, Price was a four-year starter who captained Tech’s 1995 BIG EAST championship team that defeated Texas in the Sugar Bowl. He returns to his alma mater after spending the past nine seasons at Marshall University, most recently as co-defensive coordinator (2019-20).
Fuente also announced on Tuesday that Adam Lechtenberg is adding offensive recruiting coordinator his duties as running backs coach. Fuente indicated the addition of recruiting coordinator designations for Lechtenberg and Price were part of the continued evolution of Tech’s recruiting and player personnel strategy. In addition, Fuente confirmed that cornerbacks coach Ryan Smith will add passing game coordinator to his duties on the defensive side of the ball, continuing his work with defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton in developing defensive game plans and schemes.
While both Lechtenberg and Price will be heavily engaged in the prospect evaluation process, Lechtenberg and Price will now oversee their respective sides of the ball from the coaching side of the recruitment process. The entire coaching staff will continue working in conjunction with director of player personnel Mark Diethorn and his staff to identify and recruit student-athletes who will excel at Virginia Tech and help win football games.
“First and foremost, we’re excited to welcome J.C. and his family back to Blacksburg,” Fuente said. “J.C. played an integral role in establishing Tech’s winning tradition and helping the Hokies earn a place on the national stage. We’re not only adding a coach who owns nearly two decades of coaching experience, but J.C. also brings another talented recruiter to our ranks. He possesses a long history of strong relationships with high school coaches across Virginia, particularly in the 757, Richmond and Northern Virginia. He’ll be great fit with the rest of our staff and I know our players will respect what J.C. has accomplished both as a player and a coach.”
Price served on the Marshall staff as defensive line coach from 2012-17 before being promoted to assistant head coach in 2018 and then being elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2019. Named the Conference USA Recruiter of the Year in 2015, Price was part of seven Marshall squads that earned bowl berths, the 2014 C-USA championship, as well three C-USA East Division titles.
“I’m grateful to Coach Fuente and Coach Hamilton for the opportunity to coach at a place I love so much,” Price said. “My wife and I are both proud Virginia Tech alums, so the chance to bring our family back to Blacksburg is an incredible blessing. I’m looking forward to working with the entire staff that Coach Fuente has assembled. And rest assured, it’s going to be my distinct pleasure to extol the virtues of Virginia Tech on the recruiting trail. I’ll do everything I can to bring the right kind of young men into our program. Go Hokies!”
Price is married to the former Jenny Root, who was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. A standout for the women’s basketball program, her 1,582 career points still rank as the fifth-highest total in Hokies’ history.
Prior to his tenure with the Thundering Herd, he spent eight seasons as defensive line coach/run game coordinator at James Madison (2004-11). The Dukes won the FCS national title in 2004 and also qualified for the FCS playoffs in 2006, 2007 and 2008. His defensive line was a key reason JMU set an FCS single-season record with 57.0 sacks in 2004. The Dukes also led all FCS teams with 47.0 sacks in 2006. In 2009, he coached DE Arthur Moats, who won the Buck Buchanan Award as the top FCS defensive player in the nation.