Report: O’Cain Fired by Hokies

Mike O’Cain was released by Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer on Tuesday, January 15th, per a Richmond Times-Dispatch report.

Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported that Virginia Tech quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain has been fired.

In his article for the RT-D, Barber interviewed O’Cain, who said that he was fired Tuesday by head coach Frank Beamer. O’Cain’s firing was the day after Scot Loeffler and Jeff Grimes visited Blacksburg. reported Monday night that Loeffler has been hired by Virginia Tech as offensive coordinator, but there has been no official acknowledgement of Loeffler’s hiring.

O’Cain, 58, is a 1977 Clemson graduate who has been coaching college football since he was a graduate assistant at Clemson in 1977. He was head coach of NC State from 1993-1999, and his coaching career includes stints at The Citadel, Murray State, ECU, and North Carolina. Overall, O’Cain has spent 19 years as an offensive coordinator, QB coach, or both. He was hired in 2006 as Virginia Tech’s quarterbacks coach. O’Cain made a salary of 252,776 for the 2012 season.

O’Cain’s firing is the first acknowledgement that any of Virginia Tech’s offensive coaches have been released, by either Virginia Tech or the coaches involved. It is widely reported and rumored that wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman is headed to Purdue and offensive line coach Curt Newsome is returning to JMU. Loeffler is reportedly replacing Bryan Stinespring as OC and O’Cain as QB coach, while Grimes will replace Newsome. Virginia Tech has interviewed Stanford wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead as a replacement for Sherman.

Related article: O’Cain Deserves Credit for Tech QB Play
— Chris Coleman,, March 30, 2012


41 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I keep reading comments about how the players like or love one or more of the coaches of offense, most of whom are departing. The players are not the best judges of a good coach, so their feelings about a coach is mostly irrelevant. The offensive line personnel probably do not realize that nice guy Coach Newsome is enabling their ineffectiveness and killing their chances in the pros. I am so glad the offense coaching lineup is changing- I do not know what the future holds for VT football offense, but it simply cannot be worse, can it?

  2. Not surprising news given this past season’s results. Seemed like a nice guy and with Tyrod, he had some success and also first year with LT. The odd situation he was put in with him calling the plays 2 years ago even though Stiney was OC was likely not ideal either and I doubt you could find that situation elsewhere at other programs. Seems to me having him and Stiney in the box makes you wonder about CFB’s real offensive strategy with such an odd set up? Regardless, much of this past season misery on O falls on Newsome and just a very turrible OL! I’m certain both O’Cain and Newsome are great guys, but this staff just wasn’t going to lead us to elevated O status. I wish them both well and hope the new changes bring the badly needed improvement on O! Go Hokies!

  3. I don’t remember seeing these articles linked in the TSL News Articles section this week>

  4. I think everyone has forgotten that O’Cain was doing low level broadcasting when Frank picked him up. Frank gave him a chance and it just did not work out.

    1. It worked out. We can’t say it didn’t work out. Tyrod Taylor shows that it worked out. LT went from a TE to a potential NFL QB.

      1. Agreed. I think Mike O’Cain did a great job with both Tyrod Taylor and Logan Thomas. But he really wasn’t much of a force on the recruiting trail and once Beamer had made the decision to overhaul his entire operation on the offensive side of the ball, there really wasn’t any way that O’Cain could be retained, given that two spots were already reserved for Shane and Stiney.

        I wish him the best in whatever he decides to do next.

      2. I would argue that TT did a lot of his work on his own. I appreciate Ocain, but lets not overstate what he accomplished. He seems like a good man, but I am glad to see him move on.

        1. Tyrod was a once-in-a-lifetime athlete. To say that O’Cain developed him is laughable. If anything, our offense held him back. Imagine Tyrod at Oregon…

      3. Tyrod came in ready to play. What do you think O’cain did for him? As an aside, TT was mishandled badly by VT. He should never have played as a freshman unless he was going to be “the man”. I do not see where O’Cain made LT a better QB either. In fact he got worse!!

    2. Think he did pretty well last year w/o the co-pilot in the booth. I think we all wish the guy well !

      1. Agree – blocking was the main problem here but putting Stiney in the booth with him this year didn’t seem to help matters.

  5. You dont hear the offensive players comment much about the coaches like the defense tallks about Bud Foster.Bud has the fire and the players for the most part respond. If you dont produce results Bud will put you on the bench, the way it should be.

    1. NOt many people interview the offensive coaches. Wilson talked about Shane during the spring after he was hired. He liked him. And the OL have occasionally said nice things about Newsome.

    2. simply not an accurate statement. The OL absolutely loved Newsome. Go back and read the articles on Nosal, Sergio Render and DeChristopher and you will change your opinion. Newsome had his players back 100% and they had his. Seems to me i remember reading the thursday night dinners they always had at the Newsome’s house being commented on quite frequently.
      As for O’Cain he has gotten countless praise from TT Glennon and LT.

      1. If your players don’t hate you, you’re probably not a good coach. The proof is in the pudding. Love your coach, he lets you play to get by, there’s little incentive to be good.

        1. I don’t think they have to hate you, they have to respect you – not be your best friend. Same thing with parenting.

          1. This. You don’t want them to hate you because then they won’t listen. It’s respect, and that’s good and all they enjoyed his dinner parties; however, the effectiveness of his job was shown in our inability to create holes…or really block at all.

        2. Wrong. Good players recognize good coaches. They trust good coaches. They may hate their coaches in practice, but good coaches want their players to like them and trust them. Even Bob Knight ‘s players loved him, except in practice! And he loved them. Just ask them.

  6. He might have been a really good coach — hard to tell when the offensive line has been so bad for so long.

    1. seems like we had career rushing records set by Evans and Williams and Wilson in recent years
      not so sure our line has been “so bad for so long”
      hard to argue that our Pass blcoking this year was nothing but good
      next year the focus may be on the quality of RB we have and the inability to settle on a RB rotation

  7. Stinespring should stay. He is a good coach, just not a good OC. He may one of our best recruiters and has been plugged into the state of VA for a long time & high school coaches trust him. People will say “what other offers would he have or who would want him?” Given the abundance of talent in the state, someone would take him just for his recruiting prowess alone. If he’s retained it also says a lot about his humility. To quote Frank “That’s a tough deal right there now”

    With regard to O’Cain, I think he was given every opportunity to land on his feet somewhere and it just didn’t work out. He’ll land somewhere and I really hope he does well. We may not like the way these guys have coached our team, but I think these departures have represented VT pretty well…no scandals, house fires, etc.

    Time for something new and hopefully better.

    Go Hokies!!!!

    1. Agree with Chili.

      O’Cain is a terrific human being. Also agree that Stiney is a real asset to VT, but just not as the OC. I’ve sometimes thought Brian would be a better HC than OC.

      I just hope that Grimes is “the real deal”. His role is CRITICAL.

  8. I thought the play calling was much better with O’Cain. Even this year the plays were there but lots of execution issues which were coaching and player alike stifled the O. However, I am glad this “experiment” is done with as it has not been a fun time watching this mess. Best of luck to him.

    1. Ultimately I think we may have done better on offense with O’Cain as OC the last 6 years, but we’ll never know.

    2. I agree completely. For example, we went years without trying to use screen passes to slow down blitzes. It’s like we didn’t have a screen pass in the playbook. The past couple of years we have used screen plays a lot. I have surmised that part of it was Thomas’s height just made them more comfortable. There are always plays when you scratch your head and go “what?” but those are the plays that don’t work out which always lend themselves to 2nd guessing. Overall I saw a lot more creativity in the play calling the past couple of years.

  9. “Released” would seem more appropriate. I think O’Cain did a decent job but things just ain’t right this past year. Not sure if it was “too many cooks, toom any chiefs, etc.” or why LT3 regressed so far this year. Time for some new blood. Best of Luck

    1. I for one was initially impressed by Mike O’cain when hired. Seemed like he had a good resume, and was well qualified. I am still on the fence with him, not sure he is the problem on offensive coaching staff..

      Stinespring next? Ha ha ha ha…it’s like that guy is teflon or something. He seems immune to the change thing. My wife hates him, hates him…something about him staring at her tatas at the Ladies Football clinic she attended a few years ago, but I’ll give him that…I do too!! I have been an on the fence Stiney hater for years, but I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. In 2011 I was back on board because things were working with him in the booth, and not on the field. In 2012, I am back off of the Stiney train. and I think he needs to go, not be reassigned, GO!!

      1. I think in 2011 Stiney was on the field and MOC and Sherman were in the booth. Sr WRs didn’t need as much coaching and the young TEs did. Situation was different this year

  10. Let the waterfall of news begin…..Best of luck to O’Cain. Good guy, just not our guy for the future.

    1. That’s the thing about these firings, I hope people keep perspective that these are real people.

      He put in good yeas and had loyalty to the program. With this witch hunt on the offensive side I hope people wish them the best if dismissed.

      1. Witch hunt? That’s laughable.

        The offensive staff is damn lucky they lasted as long as they did. VT should have cleaned house after the 2008 season.

      2. In a normal situation, all those O coaches would have been shown the door long ago. The offensive side of the ball has underperformed for a decade now. A 6 & 6 regular season finally caused the scales to fall from Beamer’s eyes.

        For years, he always hid behind the 10 win mantra. I think his assumption was 10 meant the O was good enough.

      3. All I was saying is that VT fans have been on the warpath for new offense and so hungry for it that coaches don’t seem like anything other than nameless faces. That is where it becomes a “witchhunt”. Everybody has to go! Doesn’t matter, clean house!

        From all I have heard like the original post that I commented on, and through all accounts O’Cain was a good guy who has a family.

        Keep sight of that, he was in a bad situation, but was very loyal to the program. For better or wrose.

        All the best to him and the family.

        1. I am so over people crapping on the fans all the time. The fans are on a “witch hunt” because this offensive situation was allowed to continue for fall too long. This wouldn’t fly at any other program in the country for as long as we did.

          And now were supposed to feel sorry for MOC because of the mean old fans? Pass.

          I thank him for his service to his program and wish him nothing but the best, but if he’s suprised at how anything has played ou or is pretending he didn’t get an absurdly long tenure relative to performance or that the fans are in any way being unreasonable, he’s out of touch.

          1. Who said O’Cain was surprised? All the guys saw this coming, and I haven’t heard of any of them complaining about being treated unfairly. Beamer doesn’t hire whiners in the first place. He hires good people, and it pains him to have to let them go. Sometimes people just don’t fit in. Badmouthing the unfortunate tacky. This is Friday; announcements have been made, the’re gone. Let it go. Look for better days. I’m not sayin’….

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