BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry announced Tuesday that Chris Marve has joined his coaching staff as defensive coordinator. Marve most recently served as defensive run game coordinator/linebackers coach at Florida State the past two seasons, guiding the Seminoles to a much improved defensive effort in 2021.
In 2020, Marve helped the Seminoles linebacker corps flourish as the group combined for 218 total tackles, including 17.5 TFL. The team’s top three tacklers were all coached by Marve. LB Amari Gainer led the team with 65 total tackles (26 solo), while LB Emmett Rice (62 total tackles) and Stephen Dix (45 total tackles) ranked right behind him. Rice’s 7.5 TFL led the team and he recorded Florida State’s first safety since 2017. Dix earned Rivals Freshman All-American status to become FSU’s second freshman All-American linebacker and the school’s first since 1978.
Prior to his time in Tallahassee, Marve spent the 2019 season at Mississippi State as defensive run game coordinator/linebackers coach. The Bulldogs tied for the SEC lead with 13 fumble recoveries, seven of which came from Marve’s linebackers. LB Erroll Thompson led the team with 84 tackles, including 3.5 TFL. Meanwhile, LB Willie Gay, Jr. proved to be a defensive playmaker, registering a 52-yard INT return TD for the Bulldogs, to go along with two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 3.5 TFL. Gay was a second-round pick of Kansas City in the 2020 NFL Draft and won the AFC Championship with the Chiefs as a rookie.
Marve has been recognized as a rising star in the coaching profession for several years. He earned a spot on the American Football Coaches Association 35 Under 35 list in 2017, in addition to the 247 Sports 30 Under 30 coaching squad in both 2017 and 2018. He also earned a spot on ESPN’s 40 Under 40 list of ascending coaching stars in 2018.
Marve began his coaching career at his alma mater of Vanderbilt in 2014 as a defensive quality control assistant. He served as a graduate assistant in charge of the outside linebackers in 2015 before working as the Commodores’ inside linebackers coach from 2016-18.