Its official; Brent Pry is new VT football head coach; Price will stay on staff

Its official; Brent Pry is new VT football head coach; Price will stay on staff

Brent Pry
( Photo from Penn State Athletics)

(from Hokiesports.com) BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced on Tuesday that Brent Pry has accepted the Virginia Tech Football head coaching position. The Altoona, Pennsylvania, native joins the Hokies after serving the past eight seasons as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Penn State. Pry returns to Blacksburg after working as a defensive graduate assistant for the Hokies from 1995-97 under head coach Frank Beamer and defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

Pry will be formally introduced to Hokie Nation at 9 a.m. ET Thursday in Blacksburg. Details on the press conference will be shared with the media when finalized. The media session is not open to the public, but will be streamed live at HokieSports.com/Watch.

“Laura and I are looking forward to cheering on Coach Pry and the Hokies under his direction,” President Sands said. “We are pleased to welcome him back to Blacksburg. Coach Pry understands what it means to be a Hokie, and now he will have the opportunity to lead our team into Lane Stadium while Hokie Nation jumps to ‘Enter Sandman.’ Coach Pry owns an exemplary record during his previous coaching stops, and we expect that he and his family will call Blacksburg home for many seasons. We wish them the very best as we embark on this journey together.”

“We are excited to welcome Coach Pry, Amy, and their family to Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg community,” Babcock said. “I’m confident that Hokies everywhere will come together to embrace and support them as we enter this new chapter in the history of Virginia Tech Football.

“Coach Pry owns a winning track record on the football field, as well as a history of developing young men into leaders off the field and in the classroom,” Babcock continued. “He’s earned his way up the coaching ranks, and we believe he is the right person to lead Virginia Tech Football and to achieve the goals that we all aspire to attaining. He and his staff will aggressively recruit our region to keep in-state recruits home and attract the talent necessary to win championships in Blacksburg.”

“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. “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.

“Even after I departed Blacksburg, I always continued to appreciate Virginia Tech, its great players, its championship teams, and its wonderful traditions from afar. 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 indicated that J.C. Price will remain on his staff as associate head coach/defensive coach. Price led the Hokies to a 29-24 victory over Virginia as interim head coach in Tech’s 2021 regular season finale. He will continue to serve in that role through Tech’s bowl game. 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.

A 30-year coaching veteran, Pry has coached teams that have qualified for 15 bowl appearances and have finished in the FBS top 25 in total defense eight times. He has played an instrumental role in coaching top 10 defenses at Virginia Tech, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Georgia Southern, and Western Carolina. Since his promotion to defensive coordinator in 2016, the Nittany Lions have posted three seasons with 11 wins and four seasons with nine or more victories. He helped the Nittany Lions to the 2016 Big Ten Championship after defeating No. 6 Wisconsin in that conference’s championship game. His longtime association with current Penn State head coach James Franklin dates back to 1993-94 when Franklin was the quarterback for East Stroudsburg University, where Pry coached outside linebackers and defensive backs.

“I’m truly excited for Brent and his family,” Franklin said. “He’s a passionate leader who’ll inspire his team to play their best football; but his greatest strengths are his dedication, relatability and humility. It’s those characteristics combined with his deep understanding of X&Os that will serve Virginia Tech and the entire Blacksburg community best.”

Pry was a 2021 Broyles Award nominee for the top assistant coach in the country as the Nittany Lions ranked fourth nationally in Red Zone defense (66.7%), seventh in scoring defense (16.8 ppg), eighth in defensive pass efficiency (111.98), and held their opponents to 4.7 yards per play. Under Pry’s direction in 2020, Penn State ranked third in the Big Ten in total defense (328.8 ypg), good for 17th nationally, second in pass defense (198.6 ypg), second in TFL (6.7 per game) and fourth in rush defense (130.2 ypg).

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