Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hokie Nation Celebrates As Beamer Names New OC


Hokie Nation is happy today because Virginia Tech has a new Offensive Coordinator after an offseason of hiring, firing, resigning and reassigning.

The question is are fans of Frank Beamer’s squad happy becue the new OC is Scot Loeffler who held the same position at Auburn or are they happy just because he’s NEW and not named Stinespring?

We suspect the answer is a little bit of both after an overhaul that follows the Hokies' worst season in two decades and several seasons of grousing about the offense.

Beamer announced Friday that he's hired former Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler to lead Virginia Tech's offense, former Stanford wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead to take over the Hokies' wideouts, and another Auburn assistant, Jeff Grimes, to coach the offensive line. Grimes was Auburn's O-line coach.

The Hokies finished 7-6, in large part because of their inability to run the ball consistently and a regressing passing game. Virginia Tech's streak of eight consecutive 10-win seasons ended, and the Hokies had to win their last two regular-season games just to qualify for the Russell Athletic Bowl -- where they beat Rutgers 13-10 in overtime.

The moves mark the second major overhaul of Beamer's offensive staff in seven years, and the departures of three staffers brought on during the last one. Quarterbacks coach (and former N.C. State head coach) Mike O'Cain was fired, receivers coach Kevin Sherman left for the same position at Purdue and Curt Newsome left the program, reportedly to head back to James Madison, although the school has not said if he was fired or resigned.

Bryan Stinespring, the offensive coordinator since 2001 and a 20-year member of Beamer's staff, has been moved to recruiting coordinator. Considered the Hokies' best recruiter, he also will continue to coach tight ends. 

While Stinespring had the coordinator's title, O'Cain has called the plays for the past two seasons.
The Stinespring-O'Cain combination directed a record-setting season in 2011, powered by NFL first-round draft choice David Wilson at tailback and emerging quarterback Logan Thomas. Wilson ran for a school-record 1,709 yards, and Thomas had a school-record 3,482 total yards.

But in 2012,  VT finished 81st nationally in both total offense (376.7 ypg) and scoring (25.08 ppg). Thomas completed just 51.3 percent of his passes and had 16 interceptions during an inconsistent campaign.

The big sweep is somewhat unusual in Blacksburg as Beamer is intensely loyal to his staff and often cites the absence of significant turnover as a reason for the Hokies to climb to the ranks into college football's elite.

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