Virginia Tech hires Penn State DC Brent Pry to be Hokies next head football coach

Pry served as a graduated assistant at Virginia Tech from 1995-97

There's a new man soon to be in charge of Virginia Tech football.

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s official.

Virginia Tech has hired Brent Pry as its next head football coach.

“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 in a news release. “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.”

The hire was fully endorsed by former Head Coach Frank Beamer.

10 News talked with Frank Beamer to see what he thinks of the new man in charge of Hokies football.

“I think everyone knew that I was all for Brent Pry. I thought his name came up a couple times, I thought personally it was going to be a great hire. I had nothing to do with it, that was Whit [Babcock} and the people at Virginia Tech, the President, I think it was a great hire for Virginia Tech.”

“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. “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!”

Pry’s roots run right through I-81, a graduate of formerly Lexington High School, now Rockbridge County High School in Lexington, and was an all-region quarterback and defensive back. Virginia Tech Color Analyst Mike Burnop said that ties to the area is important.

“He was here back in 1995, 96, 97 when Virginia Tech was getting going. The Sugar Bowl year, and the cool thing was is that J.C. Price was on that team,” Burnop said. “When they went 0-2 and won ten games in a row and went to the Sugar Bowl. He’s built himself up, he’s went to place to place, he’s done such a good job for Coach Franklin, I think he’s going to do well here.”

The Hokies are officially getting a new coach.

And during his tenure on Beamer’s staff, he proved time after time that he was capable of having success in the coaching business.

“He’s football smart, he’s a smart guy, he’s football smart too. The game makes sense to him, calling plays, I thought he would do a good job at it in that regard,” Beamer said. “He was here when we were very successful, I think he knows what it takes here to be very successful. I look forward to seeing him and watch him go to work.”

WSLS 10 Sports Reporter Brooke Leonard spoke to former Hokies coach Frank Beamer about the program's new leader.

Current interim head coach J.C. Price will remain on Pry’s staff as associate head coach/defensive line coach.

Pry worked with Price during his senior season as a player in 1995 when Tech finished the season with 10 consecutive wins, culminating with a 28-10 win in the Sugar Bowl over No. 9 Texas.

“Virginia Tech is getting a great coach and a wonderful fit for our football program in Brent Pry‚” said Hokies legend Frank Beamer in a news release. “Not only is Brent exceptionally intelligent, he also possesses a great deal of football knowledge. 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.”

“It’s been such a pleasure to watch Brent grow, mature and excel at a very high level in the coaching profession,” said former Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who has served as a longtime mentor to Pry. “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.”

Pry will be formally introduced during a news conference on Thursday at 9 a.m.

10 News has confirmed through a source familiar with the situation that Virginia Tech is expected to hire Brent Pry as its next head coach. The 51-year-old has served as the defensive coordinator at Penn State for the past eight seasons and has been highly regarded as one of the great defensive minds in college football.

Pry has also been highly touted for his recruiting, which has a huge footprint here in the Commonwealth -- something Hokie nation longed for over the past few seasons.

Pry is no stranger to Southwest Virginia. While at Lexington High School he starred as an all-region quarterback and defensive back for a staff that included former Hokies assistant Bryan Stinespring.

Brent Pry (number 2) was an All-Region quarterback and defensive back at Lexington High School (WSLS/Greg Moore)

Pry later joined the Virginia Tech staff as a graduate assistant from 1995-97 after spending his collegiate career at Buffalo.

His other stops have included Western Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt--where he linked up with James Franklin. He made the move with Franklin to Penn State in 2014.

Jim Pry, Brent’s dad, also has football roots in Southwest Virginia. He played at Ferrum College before moving on to Marshall. He too has had an extensive coaching career which included a stint at VMI in the late ‘80s.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.