The Virginia Tech Hokies are parting ways with head coach Justin Fuente, which puts them in the market for a new head coach. Here are five potential head coach candidates for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
1. Billy Napier
Napier is one of the hotter names on the market for this coaching cycle. He has compiled a 37-12 record in four seasons at Louisiana. After going 7-7 in his first year at the helm, Napier went 11-3, then 10-1. This season, Napier has the Ragin’ Cajuns with a record of 9-1. Before his time as a head coach, Napier was an assistant at Alabama, Clemson, Arizona State and Colorado State.
Over his four years as head coach, Napier has proven to be able to coach. His job at Louisiana, along with most of his jobs as an assistant, has allowed him to become familiar with recruiting in the south. Virginia Tech could be in a bidding war with a few schools for Napier, but Virginia Tech should be one of the more attractive destinations.
2. Jamey Chadwell
Another coach that has done a great job at his school is Jamey Chadwell. He took over a Coastal Carolina program that was making the transition from the FCS to the FBS. In his first two seasons as head coach, he won eight games. In the last two seasons, he has won 19 and counting. He has spent time as an assistant and head coach at various levels of college football.
The amount of good recruiting, player development and coaching skill that it took to take Coastal Carolina from the FCS to a ranked FBS team are incredible. Chadwell is from Tennessee and has coached exclusively in the south, which makes him a good geographical fit. His offense has sparked some life into Coastal Carolina and could do the same for Virginia Tech.
3. Dave Clawson
Clawson has done an incredible job at Wake Forest that has them in the running for an ACC Championship. At Wake, he has a 49-46 record. That record is brought down by the fact that he had just three wins in each of the first two seasons with the team. Since that point, they have made a bowl game in every season. He also has previous coaching experience at Bowling Green, where he had a 32-32 record.
His experience as a head coach and as an assistant across different levels of the sport and at different areas across the midwest and south is impressive. What’s more impressive is the job he has done at Wake Forest, who were bottom-feeders in the conference for a long time. His offense could be implemented at Virginia Tech and he should be able to recruit decently well.
4. Brent Venables
Could the highest-paid assistant in college football finally leave for a head coaching gig? Brent Venables has been a great defensive coordinator for Clemson since 2012. Before that he was at Oklahoma as the defensive coordinator. He has also spent time at Kansas State. His defense currently ranks third in the country in scoring and has produced many NFL players.
Venables has been up for jobs in the past, but has elected to stay at Clemson. A down year for the Tigers could have him wanting to leave for a head coaching job. He has familiarity coaching and recruiting in the ACC, which makes him an excellent candidate. He would need a good offensive coordinator to complement him. The only other question is: Would he leave Clemson for the job?
5. Shane Beamer
While he is a longshot for the job based on odds, Beamer comes in with a lot of knowledge about the program. He is Frank Beamer‘s son and played at Virginia Tech. Beamer is currently the head coach of South Carolina, where he has a 5-5 record in his first season. That is impressive given that many thought it would take a little rebuilding before the Gamecocks would be able to compete for a bowl game. He has spent time as an assistant at Virginia Tech, UCF, Tennessee, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Beamer is still a young head coach, but has produced some decent results so far. Add in the fact that he is an alum and that his dad is the most notable coach in program history and he will be considered. He should be able to recruit well and with experience as an assistant in all three phases of the game, could pick up some wins for the Hokies.
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