Virginia Tech held a press conference and introduced new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, new OL coach Jeff Grimes, and new WR coach Aaron Moorehead.
Some notes from the press conference:
- In addition to the title of OL coach, Jeff Grimes will have the title Run Game Coordinator (per @VT_Football Twitter).
- Salaries for the new coaches: Loeffler – $400K; Grimes – $265K with retention bonus; Moorehead – $150K with retention bonus; Stinespring – $300K (down from about $362k) (per @VT_Football Twitter).
- Loeffler will be paid $150K by Virginia Tech this year and next year. His $400K salary kicks in July, 2014. Auburn apparently owes the difference from his old contract ($350K) (per Andy Bitter on Twitter).
- Grimes will be paid $150K per year by Virginia Tech through June 30, 2013. Again, Auburn apparently owes the difference from his old contract, another $250K (per Andy Bitter on Twitter).
- Recruiting responsibilities and territories have not been determined yet.
The following is a partial transcription of the press conference, which also featured head coach Frank Beamer. Some quotes were not included in this transcript, and some of the wording may not be exact, but for the most part, it is accurate.
Frank Beamer Opening Remarks
The first thing I want to say, the guys that aren’t here … they’re good coaches, great people We ran into a situation as a group, me included, where we weren’t as consistent on offense as we need to be. The bottom line is that we weren’t as efficient as we need to be. I felt like we needed to make some changes.
I feel like when things are not working as well as they need to, we need to change it around. I found three guys here I feel great about and I think will really add to the program. When you add new people, new personalities, there’s a freshness there, starting over, that gets everyone excited. Meeting these guys, I certainly got excited.
I’m proud I convinced Bryan Stinespring to stay with us. It’s an unusual situation, but he’s a guy who’s extremely knowledge about football. When you look at recruiting, he has a strength that across the state is very valuable.
If he wasn’t the kind of guy he is, I don’t think it would work. There’s a love for Virginia Tech and the players in this program. Bryan is going to make this thing work. I feel very fortunate that he’s staying on. He means a lot to us.
Barber: did you want to find a staff that would still kind of run what you wanted and keep the identity of Virginia Tech offense?
Beamer: I haven’t change my belief in that the first thing you need to be able to do is run the football. There are times in the game where you have to be able to run the football. With that, there are times in the game where you’ve got to be able to throw the football. If you’re going to be a championship team, you have to do both. In talking to all three, they’re going to be strong in helping us run the football.
Their philosophies are very similar. After that, Scot’s going to be in charge [of the offense]. Jeff’s going to be in charge, with final approval by Scot, to coordinate our running game.
Shane will be the running backs coach, and Bryan will be the tight ends. I think all of us can put together the right offense, but it’s going to be Scot’s job to put it all together.
Teel: can you discuss how these coaches came up on your radar?
Beamer: I talked to a lot of pro coaches, a lot of college coaches, about these guys, and Scot in particular, both the NFL coaches and college coaches, the comments were very, very positive. I can get into the coaches I talked to if you want me to. John and Jim Harbaugh, Nick Saban, Lloyd Carr, Will Muschamp, Mark Richt, Bruce Arians, Steve Addazio … [more listed, too rapidly to capture them all]. I got involved with a lot of people that I really respect in the coaching business, and everything has been good with regard to these guys here.
Kurz: Scot, can you talk about if you’ve had a chance to look at the offense? How much is similar to your theories, and have you met with Logan Thomas, and what do you think of him?
Loeffler: This week, I was able to look at a little bit of game film. The philosophies here at Virginia Tech are what I grew up with, particularly my Michigan years. VT plays great defense and great special teams. Our goal is to run run the ball, play action pass, third down efficiency, score touchdowns rather that field goals. There are things Bryan Stinespring has done in his system that are similar to what we believe. In. The marriage between the past and what we want to do is very similar.
I studied Logan Thomas a lot, and had a chance to meet with him and talk. He’s a wonderful person and has tremendous upside as a quarterback. But what I like best about him is that Virginia Tech football is important to him. He came back to win championships, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.
Wells: Frank, continuity is important to you. How tough was it to get to this point and decide that you need a change?
Beamer: It’s not easy. When you’re talking about people’s lives and changing and transitioning, it’s not easy. The guys that aren’t here, I really like those guys and what they’re all about. It was just something I felt like we needed a change in how we were doing things. I felt like it was the right thing for Virginia Tech football.
Stamm: how big was recruiting in deciding to hire them? Will you be expanding the footprint, and what’s the plan for recruiting?
Beamer: We’re getting ready to have a recruiting meeting and find out how we can do things. These guys here have been in some great programs, and we’re going to see how they fit into our program. We’re going to determine specifics later.
These guys know how important recruiting is. If you recruit well, you can be better coaches in the fall.
Barber: Jeff, what is your relationship with Scot. Did you know each other before the one year at Auburn?
Grimes: I didn’t know him until about a year ago, but we had an immediate connection. He’s a lot like an offensive lineman, in his habits and how he approaches the game. He seems like he’s been an o-lineman in the past, he coaches like an offensive lineman, he really gets after the guys. We have a great relationship, and we really got to know each other over the last year.
Unknown questioner: Loeffler was asked what went wrong at Auburn.
Loeffler: I believe you can learn when things go well, and you can learn when things to poorly. After things go bad, you look at things and evaluate how you would do things differently. I’m at VT now, and to talk about what happened at Auburn would be unfair to the people at Auburn. Did I learn lessons, yes. Do I want to get into what went wrong at Auburn? No. I’m at Virginia Tech now.
Unknown questioner: Beamer was asked about discounting the bad year at Auburn.
Beamer: you deal in what’s real. The people I talked to it was overwhelmingly positive, then when I sat down and visited with them, I felt good. It’s circumstances sometimes. The players you’ve got, the situation you’re in .. you’ve got to sit down and take in what’s real. I’m thoroughly convinced I’ve got three great guys here.
Bailey: asked Grimes about offensive line philosophy.
Grimes: I’m worried about developing the toughest line in the ACC … that’s my number one goal and approach. In order for us to do the things we want to do on offense, we’re going to have the approach that we’re going to dominate the game from the offensive line position. We’re the tip of the spear, so to speak, and if we do our job with the right approach and mindset the other guys will follow.
Beamer: Bryan Stinespring brought up Jeff’s name before I ever knew who he was. Bryan was the first guy to mention him to me.
Unknown questioner: Beamer was asked how he got interested in Moorehead.
Beamer: The thing on Aaron, we were visiting with Pep, and one of the guys he really liked was this guy [Moorehead]. We met with him at the convention, and we really liked him. The thing we liked about Aaron is that he walked on at Illinois and end up all conference. He wasn’t drafted, but he wound up playing in the NFL. He knows about hard work, dedication, and out working the other guy. I told him I like him because he reminded me of me. The athleticism wasn’t necessarily there, but he outworked the other guys.
Howell: Is there a type of QB you’ll target/recruit?
Loeffler: We’re looking for smart, tough football players. Any time you find that, it doesn’t matter if a he’s’ a great runner or great passer, you’ve got a chance. We’re going to gear the offense to a guy who’s smart and tough. Is that hard to find. Absolutely. Every QB that’s out there has at least one deficiency. They all do. But any time you’re smart and tough you can overcome your deficiencies. We’re going to find the best possible QB to fit what we want to do at Virginia Tech.
Unknown questioner: Moorehead was asked about moving from California to snowy Blacksburg.
Moorehead: first and foremost, I lived in the Midwest most my life, so the snow doesn’t bother me. It was a short time out there [in California]. We played these guys three years ago in the bowl game, and you watch the athletes they had all over the field at every position … everyone knows Virginia Tech has had great athletes. I knew when I got here we’d have great athletes. We’ve got some good, young, talented players here.
Teel: Frank, before these changes, the average age of the offensive staff was about 50, now it’s about 40. Was that intentional?
Beamer: Not only younger, but taller … everybody stand up. [Coaches stand up and tower over Beamer.] You’ve got to have knowledge, first of all. Having a good blend of older and younger guys, connecting with kinds in recruiting, it can help.
Unknown questioner: Asked Frank many guys he talked to.
Beamer: You know, the coaches I mention here … I think the big thing is make sure you end up with the right guys, and I’m very comfortable with what we have. I’m kind of a person guy, a people guy, and I connect with what you’re all about, and these guys are about the right stuff.
(Beamer was asked if he offered the job to Pep Hamilton)
Beamer: I don’t think that’s important. I think it’s important that you end up with the right people. And we ended up with the right people.
Coleman: Beside the staff changes, are there other program changes, or is this strictly a coaching change?
Beamer: Our other operation is basically the same.
(Coleman wins the award for shortest answer.)
Kurz: Is it easier to make changes on one side all at once?
Beamer: Change is not easy for me, I don’t like change, to be exact. At the same time, you have to do what’s right for your overall organization. In this case, I like the people I had, and I like the people we’re bringing in . Different personalities and so forth can bring freshness to your organization.
(At that point, Antone Exum introduced himself as being from “The Lunch Pail Defense” and talked a little friendly smack with Moorehead, who told Exum to “be ready” for his wide receivers this coming spring. Unfortunately, we missed the exact quotes because we were busy screen-capping Moorehead as he talked … and that was the end of the press conference.)