Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer is reportedly looking for a new offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and quarterbacks coach. It’s important to note that no coaching changes have been officially reported from the athletics department, but all the beat writers who cover the Hokies all seem to have the same “source.”
The Virginia Tech alum has coached his alma mater for the last 26 seasons and has more wins than any other active FBS college football coach in the game today. He is known for his loyalty to his assistants and conversely, his assistants’ loyalty to him. Turnover is almost unheard of at Virginia Tech.
But after another disappointing offensive season, it appears the long-time coach can no longer ignore the need for new blood and new ideas. The question is, who does he get? While we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, it’s already being reported that Tech was unable to lure Stanford OC Pep Hamilton to Blacksburg.
Even if they had, Hamilton is already garnering NFL interest, so how long would he stay in Blacksburg? And therein lies Frank Beamer’s dilemma. Finding a coach that won’t leave in two years. Finding a coach that will become part of the Hokie Nation and embrace the culture of family and loyalty Beamer has carefully crafted over the last quarter century.
But is that a realistic expectation in today’s coaching environment where one or two good seasons at a big program can launch a young coach into a head coaching job, or even an NFL gig? Most college and pro teams are so afraid to miss out on the next great young coach that they hire someone based on a very short resume. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but teams are willing to take that chance it seems.
So who’s next on Beamer’s list? Mike Barber of theRichmond Times-Dispatch reported that a source has Chuck Long as the next man on Beamer’s radar. So far, that bit of news has left the Virginia Tech fan base slightly deflated based on social media posts and comments.
Long, who was the runner-up to Bo Jackson in the 1985 Heisman voting and is a member of the college football hall of fame, last coached in college in 2011 as the Kansas offensive coordinator. In two years as the offensive coordinator, the Jayhawks were 5-19.
In 2011, Kansas ranked 106th in total offense and 95th in scoring offense. In 2010, Kansas ranked 113th in total offense and 111th in scoring offense. Those offensive numbers are actually worse than Virginia Tech.
In 2001, after having served as quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma for college teammate Bob Stoops, Long was promoted to OU’s offensive coordinator position. The Sooners won the 2003 Rose Bowl (2002 season).
The following season, OU’s offense set a Big 12 conference record by averaging 51.5 points per game. The next season, Long was a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, which honors the top assistant coach in college football.
During his four years as offensive coordinator for Oklahoma (2002-05), the Sooners were 44-9. In 2002, OU’s offense ranked 37th in total offense. In 2003, it improved to 19th. Long led the offense to an 8th place ranking in 2004, his third season, before dropping off to 71st in his final season as OC.
Long has also been a head coach, having spent three seasons at San Diego State (2006-2008) where he went 9-27 and lost to a I-AA team twice.
Everything is still a rumor at this point, but if the Hokies are hoping to keep quarterback Logan Thomas around for his final year, a decision will have to be made by Tuesday, Jan. 15, the deadline Thomas faces for withdrawing his name from the NFL draft.
EDITED: 1/11/13 - 12:00 p.m. to include Long’s record as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma.