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Virginia Tech To Hire Penn State’s Brent Pry As Next Head Coach

Virginia Tech has officially hired Penn State football defensive coordinator Brent Pry as its next head coach.

Pry, who formerly served as Penn State’s defensive coordinator, will formally introduce himself to the Hokies with a press conference at 9 a.m. on Thursday, December 2.

In a statement, James Franklin offered kind words for Pry’s move to Virginia Tech.

“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, who’s served with the Nittany Lions since 2014, has organized Penn State’s defense since 2018 and led its linebacker corps since his arrival. He originally coached alongside James Franklin at Vanderbilt before moving with him to Happy Valley.

Under Pry, Penn State’s defenses have generally impressed. This year, the Nittany Lions have allowed just 16.8 points per game, which ranks seventh across college football. Penn State’s allowed rushing and passing yards both rank among the top half of the Big Ten, too.

Penn State has also produced a number of top NFL talents under Pry’s watch, including Micah Parsons and Odafe Oweh. He’d likely help bring some big-name defensive prospects to Blacksburg as he firees up recruiting efforts.

Pry, a Virginia native, has not held a head coaching gig before in his college football career. He previously worked as a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech from 1995 to 1998 and has about 30 years of total coaching experience under his belt.

“Even after I departed Blacksburg, I always continued to appreciate Virginia Tech, its great players, its championship teams, and its wonderful traditions from afar,” Pry said in a statement. “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.”

Coincidentally, Pry’s first Virginia Tech game will come against Old Dominion. Former Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne left the Nittany Lions to take up the Monarchs’ head coaching gig in 2020.

Earlier this year, Virginia Tech fired head coach Justin Fuente. The Hokies ended the season with a 6-6 record and a big win over their rival Virginia Cavaliers.

For now, it’s unclear who will fill Pry’s shoes at Penn State. The Nittany Lions will likely conduct a national search for their next defensive coordinator.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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