Hokies Announce Football Coaching Staff Changes

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Virginia Tech announced on Friday that tight ends and offensive tackles coach
Danny Pearman has been reassigned to other duties in the athletic department,
and that Mike O’Cain, Curt Newsome and Kevin Sherman have been hired to fill
the three voids on the coaching staff. This is the most significant staff
changeover the Hokies have experienced since after the 1992 season.

Newsome has a background in coaching at the high school and college level in
the state of Virginia. His hiring will make an immediate impact on Virginia Tech’s
recruiting in the Tidewater area. Newsome has served as head coach at two high
schools in Tidewater, Kecoughtan and Heritage. He has also been an assistant
coach at Ervinton High School and Phoebus High School.

In 1999, Newsome moved to the college level, taking an offer to coach the
defensive line at James Madison. He has been a member of the JMU staff ever
since, serving in a variety of positions. Most recently he was the Dukes’
offensive line coach and assistant head coach.

Curt Newsome’s Coaching Experience

Year

School

Position

1987-1997

Kecoughtan High School

Head Coach

1998

Heritage High School

Head Coach

1999-01

James Madison

Defensive Line

2002

James Madison

Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends

2003-05

James Madison

Offensive Line/Assistant Head Coach

As you can see, Newsome has spent his entire coaching career inside the borders
of the Commonwealth of Virginia. But recruiting isn’t his only quality. He has
vastly improved the effectiveness of James Madison’s offensive line since he
took over the position.

James Madison Rushing Stats, 2003-05

Year

Yards Per Game

Yards Per Carry

2003

165.58

3.74

2004

212.9

4.24

2005

234.5

5.31

The Dukes’ running game has steadily improved throughout Newsome’s tenure.
In 2004 James Madison won the Division 1-AA National Championship behind the
strength of a powerful running game. Newsome will coach the offensive line at
Virginia Tech.

Mike O’Cain is a well-respected quarterbacks coach who has spent the
majority of his coaching career in the ACC region. O’Cain was also Frank Beamer’s
quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Murray State from 1981-84. He
served as head coach at NC State from 1993-1999 and helped the Wolfpack to three
bowl games.

Mike O’Cain’s Coaching Experience

School

Years

Position

Clemson

1977

Grad Assistant

The Citadel

1978-1980

Offensive Backfield

Murray State

1981-1984

Assistant Head Coach/QB Coach/Off. Coordinator

East Carolina

1985

Assistant Head Coach

NC State

1986-1992

QB Coach and other positions

NC State

1993-1999

Head Coach

UNC

2000

QB Coach, Offensive Coordinator

Clemson

2001-2004

Quarterbacks Coach, Offensive Coordinator

O’Cain is as qualified a candidate for a job as quarterbacks coach as there
is, especially at Virginia Tech. His experience coaching against ACC teams will
be invaluable. As a longtime coach in North Carolina and South Carolina, his
experience on the recruiting trail will be invaluable as well. The Hokies have
attempted to expand their recruiting into the Carolinas since their move to the
ACC, and the Mike O’Cain hire will help.

O’Cain should be very familiar with Virginia Tech’s team. He did not
coach anywhere in 2005, instead serving as the color commentator on Hokie
Playback, which replayed Tech football games on stations around the state of
Virginia.

O’Cain will have his work cut out for him from the very beginning. He must
find a quarterback to replace Marcus Vick, who was dismissed from the football
team in January and then declared for the NFL Draft.

Kevin Sherman, a native of Radford, Virginia, will replace Tony Ball as
Virginia Tech’s wide receivers coach. Sherman has a lot of coaching experience
in Virginia and North Carolina. He was a standout at Ferrum College, where he
was team MVP following the 1992 season. Sherman coached wide receivers, running
backs, quarterbacks and was coordinator of the passing game during a four year
stint at VMI.

Since coaching at VMI, Sherman has served on Jim Grobe’s staff at Ohio and
Wake Forest as a wide receivers coach. He has experience recruiting in Virginia
and North Carolina.

Kevin Sherman Bio

School

Years

Position

Methodist

1992

Assistant Coach

VMI

1993-96

WR Coach, QB Coach, RB Coach, Coordinator of Passing Game

Ohio

1997-00

WR Coach

Wake Forest

2001-05

WR Coach

According to his bio on WakeForestSports.com, Sherman began to play a greater
role in the implementation of Wake Forest’s passing game during the 2003
season.

Sherman will take over Tony Ball’s recruiting territories in Maryland and Washington, D.C. He will also recruit western North Carolina. Curt Newsome will recruit Tidewater Virginia and Southside Virginia, while Mike O’Cain will head to central North Carolina and South Carolina.

It is unclear what position Danny Pearman has been offered within the
athletic department, but sources indicate that he will pursue a coaching job
elsewhere rather than stay in an administrative position at Virginia Tech.
Pearman has been coaching at Virginia Tech since 1998.

The coaching changes may not be over. Sources say that defensive backs coach
Lorenzo “Whammy” Ward interviewed for a position with the Oakland Raiders
this week, and could be Oakland’s #1 target. He will be attending the NFL
Combine over the weekend and should know by Sunday if he is going to take the
job.

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