Hometown challenge: Former Hokies assistant named athletic director as Alleghany County, Covington schools merge

Bryan Stinespring, a Clifton Forge native, is coming home to lead the Cougars in the summer of 2023

After two decades of talking about it, two local school districts are finally merging and they're bringing someone special to the athletic department.

ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. – Hokie fans know him for his 26 years on Frank Beamer’s staff — including 11 years as offensive coordinator. With 32 college seasons under his belt at five different universities, the Alleghany County product was called home this spring.

Bryan Stinespring was tasked with a job that he’s probably been qualified for his entire career.

“I attribute a great deal to right here — this place. It taught me a lot growing up: accountability, responsibility, family, and hard work. The support network of a community like this. This community has been so supportive of me throughout the years, and this is an opportunity for me to hopefully come back in this moment and hopefully have a positive influence in this situation,” Stinespring explains.

Stinespring will be the man charged with bringing the combatants for the Brackman Cup together. He’s the new Athletic and Activities Director as the Covington Cougars and the Alleghany Mountaineers will become the Alleghany Cougars in the summer of 2023.

“ I certainly don’t want anybody to think this is just a difficult challenge — it’s an exciting challenge. Exciting for the school system, for this area, There are some concerns here — there’s always going to be — but at the end of the day we’re all gonna be ‘in’. We’re all gonna go ‘all in’ on this, and move forward,” said Stinespring.

Stinespring grew up in Clifton Forge before graduating in 1982.

After graduating from JMU, he started his coaching career at nearby Lexington High as an assistant.

A career ball coach for sure, but an accomplished recruiter, and a master communicator. A people person, through and through.

“When we started this process we kind of layered what hopefully I can bring to aid our coaches, to be supportive of our coaches. I’m not gonna be here to micro-manage them. There are good coaches here, there are good people here. but I do feel like there’s hopefully an opportunity for me to assist and offer opinion on how I’ve seen some things go — regardless of the level.”

Two schools. Rivals. Becoming one.

Decisions on staffing, coaching and facilities are all carrying the weight and the emotion of community history and pride.

He gets it — as very few could.

“So I understand all that. I have felt it. I’ve been a part of it. And it hasn’t changed. There’s a lot of pride, but we don’t have to say ‘We’re gonna drop Clifton Forge, we’re gonna drop Allegany, we’re gonna drop Covington.’ We’re bringing the best of each of them — all that pride, all that enthusiasm and hopefully merge it all together and blend it,” Stinespring says.

He’s home, and he knows the goal and what’s best for these students. He was one of them after all.

And even after all his accomplishments, he hasn’t forgotten.

About the Author:

John serves as the Sports Director at WSLS 10. From Virginia Tech, to NASCAR and everything in between, WSLS 10 Sports covers the names making big plays in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.