When you lose a valuable person in an organization, the key long-term question oftentimes isn’t why they left.
It’s “who is the replacement?”
In Virginia Tech’s case, it looks like the Hokies had a solid answer, naming a defensive line coach who happens to be a former player. One who was an All-American defensive lineman that anchored a dominant defense.
That man is JC Price, who is almost exactly what the Hokies needed.
Price’s addition is more than just adding an experienced coach to one’s staff. It’s a recognition of two problems that have plagued the Hokies for years.
Yes, Price has a solid resume. Price has spent the last nine seasons coaching under the widely respected Doc Holliday at Marshall. He’ll be a terrific fit alongside Bill Teerlinck when it comes to X’s and O’s.
But Price’s addition is encouraging for two other reasons.
Price will also serve as Virginia Tech’s defensive recruiting coordinator, a brand-new title under Fuente. Theoretically, Price will oversee evaluations of defensive prospects and help organize the Hokies’ efforts in recruiting those players.
Not only is Price experienced in this regard, but he’s an outside voice who brings a wealth of experience that isn’t under Fuente. He can look at things from a different perspective.
Price’s impact on alumni relations should be felt as well. Few people should be able to relate and connect with alumni of the football program as well as Price, who is himself a member and a notable one at that.
There are now seven members of Virginia Tech’s football staff who are alumni of the program — Price, defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton, linebackers coach Jack Tyler, director of defensive player development Pierson Prioleau, assistant directors of player personnel Corey Fuller and Jerod Gouveia-Winslow and director of football strength and conditioning Ryan Shuman.
That’s quite an investment in alumni of the program. But now it needs to translate into real, tangible progress with some of Virginia Tech’s former players.
Darryl Tapp was supposed to solve that issue. He was also supposed to help resolve Tech’s recruiting issues, particularly in-state. Price is no Tapp, but he’s probably the closest thing out there.
Virginia Tech has acquired people that should be able to rectify some of their institutional problems that culminate in disappointment on the football field. Now it’s time for them to get down to brass tax and offer solutions.