Virginia Tech hires Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry as football head coach

Nittany Nation

FILE – Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry gestures during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Virginia Tech is finalizing a deal to make Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry its next head coach, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Nov. 30, because details were still being worked out and neither school was prepared to make a formal announcement. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger, File)

Virginia Tech hired Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry as its next head coach. The school made the announcement Tuesday, saying Pry will be introduced Thursday.

Pry has been with Penn State since 2014, first as co-defensive coordinator before becoming the defensive coordinator in 2016. Penn State has ranked in the top five in defense in the Big Ten every season since he’s been there.

In a statement, Pry said returning to Blacksburg is a good opportunity for him and his family.

“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,” he said in a release. “But just as importantly, the opportunity to raise our children in a community like Blacksburg also has great appeal.”

Pry’s history with the Hokies dates back to his time as graduate assistant working with the defensive line in 1995-98 under Bud Foster. The Virginia Tech won the 1995 Sugar Bowl in that time.

“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,” athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement released by the school.

“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.”

A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Pry’s coaching career began when James Franklin was playing for East Stroudsburg where Pry was the OLB and DB coach.

2021present Virginia Tech (Head Coach)
2018-2021– Penn State (Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2016-17 – Penn State (Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2014-15 – Penn State (Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2013 – Vanderbilt (Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2011-12 – Vanderbilt (Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2010 – Georgia Southern (Defensive Coordinator and Safeties)
2007-09 – Memphis (Defensive Line)
2004-06 – Louisiana-Lafayette (Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers) 
2002-03 – Louisiana-Lafayette (Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers)
2000-01 – Western Carolina (Defensive Backs and Special Teams)
1998-99 – Western Carolina (Defensive Line)
1995-98 – Virginia Tech (Graduate Assistant, Defensive Line)
1993-94 – East Stroudsburg (Outside Linebackers and Defensive Backs)

Pry has helped each program he’s coached to success, including 14 bowl appearances, with top-25 finishes in total defense in eight of his last 11 seasons (4 at Penn State; 3 at Vanderbilt; 1 at Georgia Southern).

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