Virginia Tech Promotes Justin Hamilton To Defensive Coordinator

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Justin Hamilton, Virginia Tech
Justin Hamilton will take over as defensive coordinator in a move endorsed by Bud Foster. (Jon Fleming)

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente has promoted safeties coach Justin Hamilton to defensive coordinator, per a press release from the school this morning.  Per the press release, running backs coach Zohn Burden and cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell will not be returning.  Sources tell TSL that Burden and Mitchell will not coach in Tech’s bowl game.

“Justin has earned this opportunity to lead our defense and our football team,” Fuente said. “Everyone in our program has a great deal of respect for him and his abilities. Coach Foster has reiterated to me on several occasions that Justin is ready for this next step in his coaching career. I feel the same way and am convinced he’s exactly the right fit for this role at Virginia Tech. Coach Hamilton is a talented coach and recruiter with a deep passion for both the game and Virginia Tech. He possesses a great knack for connecting with our players. His voice carries tremendous weight on the field and in the locker room because he’s worn that helmet and experienced many of the same things the young men in our program are going through. 
“Just as importantly, Coach Hamilton exemplifies the Hard, Smart, Tough mantra that is so important to us at Virginia Tech,” Fuente continued. “Nothing was ever handed to Justin Hamilton, he’s had to earn everything. I respect his work ethic and roots in this region very much. Coach Hamilton and I both understand the legacy and tradition of Lunch Pail Defense that Coach Foster and generations of players have established at Virginia Tech. Justin has been, and certainly continues to be a big part of that. There’s no way to replace a man like Bud Foster. What we need is a coach, a teacher and a talent evaluator who can help our current team continue to succeed, while recruiting the right kind of young men to join our program in the future. There’s no question in my mind that Justin Hamilton is the right man for the job.” 

Hamilton played for Virginia Tech from 2001 through 2005, lining up at running back, wide receiver and free safety during the course of his career.  He went on to have a short NFL stint with the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.

“I’m honored, humbled and beyond excited about this opportunity,” Hamilton said. “I appreciate the faith and trust that Coach Fuente has placed in me. I understand and appreciate the responsibility that comes with this position. I was raised in this game by Frank Beamer and Bud Foster. Virginia Tech football will always be part of my identity. No one can ever fill Bud’s shoes, but we are going to strive to play tough, aggressive defense just like we always have here at Tech. I’m indebted to Coach Fuente to get to continue coaching at a place I love very dearly. We’re going to do everything we can to uphold the Virginia Tech standard on the defensive side of the ball.”

Hamilton native spent four seasons at VMI prior to returning to Blacksburg in 2018. He worked as VMI’s inside linebackers coach in 2017 after a three-year stint coaching outside linebackers. He also served as co-special teams coordinator for his final three seasons with the Keydets. Hamilton joined VMI after serving as defensive coordinator at UVA-Wise from 2011-13. He also spent time as a strength and conditioning coordinator at UVA-Wise in 2010-11.   He was a defensive assistant at Virginia Tech in 2018 before being elevated to safeties coach in 2019.

Hamilton will continue in his role as safeties coach while also assuming defensive coordinator responsibilities.  That means Virginia Tech will be in the market for a new linebackers coach to replace Foster.

“I couldn’t think of anyone better to continue our tradition of Virginia Tech defense than Justin Hamilton,” Foster said. “Justin embodied our team-first mentality as a player and did anything and everything we ever asked of him. He was a gritty player, and he’s exactly the same way as a coach. He’s fought and competed for every opportunity he’s earned in the coaching profession, and I respect the way he’s approached it from day one. When we brought Justin back to Virginia Tech, in the back of my head I was hoping that I could help groom him to someday become a defensive coordinator. While I didn’t know when or where that opportunity might come, I’m thrilled that it’s happened for him at Virginia Tech. 
“When Coach Fuente asked whether Coach Hamilton was ready, my answer was, ‘Absolutely, he’s ready. He’s a guy who will evolve, learn and get better from every experience,'” Foster continued. “I know Coach Fuente didn’t have to ask my opinion, but when he did it just confirmed what we were both already thinking, that we had the right man already in the building to carry the torch for the Lunch Pail Defense. I couldn’t be more proud of Justin and I’ll continue supporting him and the Hokies in any way I can in my new role away from the field.” 

TSL will have more on this move in our Monday podcast, as well as in upcoming articles throughout the week.

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119 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I like hiring the rising young coaches to keep the program fresh and innovative and appealing to recruits. Justin Hamilton is that guy and comes equipped with Beamer and Foster mentoring.
    This is our guy.
    Thumbs up Justin Fuente.

    1. Excellent decision. Well deserved promotion from within the organization demonstrates loyalty and will further strengthen the program’s culture.

  2. I like the hire of JH. My concern about Odom from when he was first mentioned was that he would be short term if hired. He would come to Tech looking for a HC job from the beginning. JH is not going to be looking to go anywhere, this is his dream job until he has been around long enough to be considered for HC openings. I saw in an earlier post that Wiles was leaving too. Did I miss something?

  3. I live in Ohio State Buckeye country in Cbus. Let’s remind the naysayers about a guy named Ryan Day – whom Urban Meyer personally endorsed and handed the whistle to after the Bucks won the Rose Bowl last year. Yes, Day has NFL coaching experience and he’s known as an offensive guru but he was chosen to lead one of the dominant programs in the history of college football with no HC experience. WHy? As Urban and so many others said, he just gets the game, he’s very very smart and maybe most of all, he’s RELATABLE to the players. They love him and they’ll run through a wall for him and with him. I work in the media here in town and Day is just as crisp and personable in front of a camera too. (Unlike Urban who’s a supreme jerk but that’s a whole ‘nother issue) My point is – people have said the same thing about J-Ham — that players love him, he’s very relatable, he’s sharp as hell and he actually *played* in the NFL. This is NOT a Beamer promoting Stiney redux btw. Also, as connected as Chris and his staff are to this program, there are 1000+ things going on in Va Tech football that we don’t know about and J-Fu wouldn’t risk his own future as HC if he didn’t believe J-Ham could do the job. Bud wouldn’t risk his rep either. I’m not saying Hamilton will be the next coming — but jeez – let’s pause, let this settle in and see what happens. I like the move. A lot actually! Go Hokies!!!

    1. wow! i’m sold.

      (but i already was before your solid post.)

      your argument(s) makes sense. i hope other Hokies on these boards will give Coach Hamilton a fair chance, and beyond that, give him our 100% support from this point forward, through the transition, while recruiting, during spring practice, more recruiting, into fall camp, and through thick and thin next season and beyond!

      Let’s Go! Hokies!

    2. I’m VERY optimistic about JH, but to say it’s even remotely comparable to Ryan Day at OSU is a crazy stretch. For one, there’s the experience difference you yourself mentioned. Beyond that, OSU is a well-oiled machine that 1) would be pretty close to where they are right now no matter who had taken over this year, and 2) can easily take some “chances.” If Day had instantly bombed at 6-6, they’d have just fired him, hired the best candidate on the market – and been back to 12-0 in the blink of an eye with the talent they get. With how things have been a little up and down lately for VT, I think some folks are just surprised that we didn’t go after a more proven coach is all. I believe there are good days ahead!

    3. Ryan Day was handed the keys to well maintained Ferrari. Coach Hamilton was just handed the keys to a ’02 Ford Taurus with a rebuilt engine that may or may not need a transmission any day now.

      Day and Hamilton’s situation is HARDLY apples to apples.

      Personally, I’m cautiously optimistic. JHam is the devil we know, that’s a plus, but he also just went from being the coach of about seven players to the THE MAN in charge of the defense right behind Bud Foster. That’s a huge we’ll see.

      1. First of all, calling Va Tech an ’02 Ford Taurus is not funny and damned insulting. So hopefully, you sober up, leave your basement and come up for fresh air.
        Secondly, you guys are missing the point about Ryan Day. He was handed the keys to THE program nationally on a gut call and it worked out. OSU could have hired Jesus Christ. They chose Day. He and J-Ham have that ‘it’ factor. Urban talks about it and everybody talks about it with Hamilton. Plus, Fuente wouldn’t put his rep/possible tenure on the line if he didn’t believe. Fuente is no fool. These are two ‘comers’ in the business and everyone knows it. Could Hamilton crash and burn? Of course. It’s high risk, high reward most likely but I’d much rather go this route than have Odom for 1 year, 2 MAX and then he bolts. Take a look around the NFL these days folks — have you seen the ‘chances’ NFL teams are taking on coaches??? Some are hitting and plenty are missing but it’s ALLLLLLLL about that relatable factor and getting these guys to run through a wall for you.

        1. First of all, my analogy was not meant to insult. I’m just looking at the current state of the program through reality glasses. Finishing with 4 losses with this schedule was very used car like. This team lost 45-10 to THAT Duke team, and had to keep their starters on the field for the COMEBACK win against Furman. Luckily for the Hokies, the Coastal division is basically a parking lot full of ’88 and ’95 Taurus’s. Assuming that I live in a poorly ventilated basement and am currently drunk will not cahnge the fact that this teamhas been mediocre at best.

          Ohio State could’ve hired me and I probably could’ve guided them to at least 9 wins with that roster. It really is Jimmys and Joes, dude.

          I’m not against the J-Ham hire. I was just saying that bringing up Day’s success at OSU is not evidence this is going to be a slam dunk. Fuente is going to talk this up because this is his job, but to an objective observer this hire looks like a penny pincher hire after who you really wanted walked away from the table. I wish J-Ham the best, and I am rooting for him to continue the tradition of defense and DBU in Blacksburg.

  4. Could help with continuity. Bud promotes him. The age factor should work well with the young recruits and their parents. I also remember Justin as being a solid team player and have never heard a bad comment about him. And, besides, my wife thinks that he is cute.

    Good luck Justin and our best wishes to you! Keep that “LPD Spirit” alive and well!

    1. “Young recruits”…

      Are all of the recruits roughly the same age when they’re finishing up high school?

  5. I’m going to be positive about this. Justin Hamilton is 37 years old. He’s young, but he’s not too young. Being a DC requires talent and though you can hone your talent with experience, it has to be there to begin with. We know he can coach because the safeties were WAY better this year than last. That wasn’t an accident.

    The other two I can understand. Running back recruiting and coaching has not been great for a long time. Mitchell is not an exception corner back’s coach. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamilton helped with the corners this year.

  6. As a Tech fan, I am excited for JH and biased because of what he as done for Tech. This was Fu’s call and he had absolutely no incentive to hire a former player with no DC experience. So my conclusion is that JH is a bad ass whose bad assness necessitated Fu to hire him.

    1. Exactly. Fu’s future is on the line with this hire and He just handed his sports car to guy who on paper might appear short of experience. If we remember how long it took to unveil Hooker and Patterson to us …… this is a coach who believes STRONGLY in predictable outcomes. If Fu is rolling his dice on JH then this truly must be an Endgame hire for Fuente that he is confident is good for Tech….win or lose.

  7. Not disappointed at all. Can’t figure out if the same people wanted TG are the same complaining about this hire. It could turn out well (or not). I am interested to hear what happened to Burden since I thought he recruited well (although it seems RB play got better after JK came on board.

    1. I wanted TG but I am not complaining about this hire. Justin and Torrian have many similar qualifications. I have faith in those in leadership who made this decision, and I have faith in J Ham. I know others wanted a splashy hire. Might have been nice to get Odom but he would’ve been a mercenary good for 1-3 years. We’ll be fine. Go Hokies!

  8. Perplexed by Coach Mitchell being let go. Look how he developed the CBs over the last year. Burden not so much. 757 ties never proved exceptional just average. Without Bud to mentor him this makes no sense. with Bud in the background. With Wiles going too it will be a new staff. Good thing they have had time to get handshake agreements on the replacements.

  9. I think that we, as fans, need to acknowledge that we maybe, just maybe, may not know as much as the coaches and AD. Gotta trust the people that really know to make smart decisions. There was significant downside to the splashy Odom hire that has been discussed quite a bit. I’m OK with this decision as I still have more trust in the decision makers than I have in those of us on this board…

  10. Bottom line it’s going to be recruiting across all new coaches Got to have players (my personal opinion is that we haven’t been great with allocation of scholarships but guess you can only take those that want to come but our position misses have been well documented).

  11. I think some of these opinions are just way off the mark. Does anyone remember when Bud was hired in his position? Well he made mistakes and his many years at Tech he still makes mistakes. I mean football as one guy said is x and o’s. And look at this JH is no kid and he did play the game and I am sure he has knowledge of what to do and not to do.

    For gosh sakes let him work this job! It is amazing that all the NEGATIVE NANCIES above writing opinions that blow my mind! The same ones who are down on JH were down on coach Young he got hired…and they were criticizing the hire before he even stepped on the floor. But he has done quite well IMHO for what he has done and it will get better. You guys think SEC schools, passs gas the Wrong way and they fire you! People we are not SEC school thank the lord!

    Let them do what they think is right! Give the guy a chance and get off this NEGATIVITY ABOUT EVERY HIRE! Remember Frank. Didn’t start winning until 92 . And basketball has been worse..( don’t talk to me about the snake in Texas). But the hires have been rather successful in pretty much all the sports.

    I am sure negativity will come out with responses here to my note. ..but if you don’t like what’s going on go back to Alaska or go somewhere else.

  12. Sure everyone is concentrating on whether JH is the answer for DC, but what about the effect that losing Burden as our pipeline to the 757 recruiting? What am I missing here?

    1. Absolutely the best question of the day. Have to wonder why they weren’t retained? We know who should have been shown the door ahead of these two.

    2. What pipeline. I think that’s the point. We’ve lost most of the elite 757 guys since Zohn was hired to help us not lose the 757 guys. We got Devon Hunter and Tayvion Robinson. Who else!??

  13. I have had more personal interaction with Justin Hamilton and his Mom and Grandmother going back to his playing days at Tech than most people on our board. At that time, we were encouraged to write personal notes to players at the end of the season. I chose Justin because I was so impressed with his total commitment to Tech, the football team and the coaches and players. He had come in as an RB, became a terror on special teams and went on to be a pretty exceptional defensive player for Bud Foster because of his dedication and total willingness to do whatever would help the team. More that anything else, his dedication and his attitude were wildly impressive and I told him as an Old Marine, he was the kind of man I would be happy to stand with and face any challenge or any enemy with. Nothing about this young man, his work ethic or his attitude have changed. He is a great hire and Bud’s endorsement says it all! Coach Fuente has made a great choice and one that ensures the continued principals of the Lunch Pail Mentality and the doctrines and accomplishments of Fosterism!! I for one am excited because I know the courage and commitment of this young man and trust me, he is ready, always has been and always will be!!!!

  14. I like the hire. He’s a BF understudy and has proven himself to the staff and players. Also, I don’t believe that VT has ever had an African American HC or Coordinator in it’s football history. It’s high time that we got off that list and I’m sure that would be used against us on the recruiting trail with some recruits. Let’s support JH and Let’s GO!

  15. I am sure Bud will continue to mentor JH in such a way that his presence will still be felt. The negativity present on this board is ridiculous. Give the guy a chance.

    Most guys on this board got it right ! Needed a senior DC with successful resume, including recruiting !
    Now the success or failure of the Justin hire is close to 3 to 4 years off. At VT, things just never get beyond a never ending FOOTBALL SOAP OPERA !!!

    1. Look at Clemson after Chad Morris left and Dabo promotes 2 young assistants to dual OC. It has worked out pretty good for them. Only time will tell how it works for us.

      1. Great point!
        Promoting assistants keeps the morale of the program up and should always be encouraged. Lets get behind JH and stay positive.

    2. Who is Hugh ?

      What a terrible post. Have you ever met JHamilton?? You’d change your mind if you had

      1. I met him earlier this year @ a NOVA Hokie Club function…approachable, down to earth, a deserved, legacy promotion. He knows the culture, the system and will be a great salesman for the program.

    3. Jukebox—My gosh…give JH a chance! Do you know more than Bud Foster? If Foster endorses Justin Hamilton then that is good enough for me. Your negativity is sickening!

    4. How about Dabo himself…he was just an assistant on the Clemson staff when he was promoted to HC. You know most of their fan base said WTF and wanted a big name with more experience. Not saying Hamilton will be Dabo…but Tech fans need to get real. We are not the landing spot for big time recruits and coaches right now. We need to keep winning and rebuilding.

      1. Facts…..especially about Dabo. The Clemson fanbase hated that Hire…….at first. Then the fans saw that motivating infectious charasmatic side to Dabo and how he connected with players and people alike.

        Soon it was a wap. He became the golden one.

  17. I love the hire. The secondary was a huge strength, Justin loves Virginia Tech, and he’s gonna be able to recruit. Well done, Coach Fuente!

  18. As a 20yr-old who regularly follows college football, I often find myself asking whether I would want to play for a particular coach or at a particular program, when trying to determine how well I anticipate a particular coach or program will be able to recruit. With this hire, I was not INITIALLY impressed. Obviously, JH has a lack of experience, and, let’s face it, he’s not a very exiting hire – both of which would definitely matter to me if I was a potential prospect.

    !!However, JF is not trying to land many high-caliber defensive recruits this season. He’s trying to land those recruits for future seasons!!

    This season’s defensive recruiting is what it is. Odom’s impact on this season’s will just help land a few more middle-of-the-road defensive recruits that VT already is pursuing. So, I asked myself which I would prefer to play for next season. A 10 win season for VT with JH as the dc or a 7-8 win season with Odom as the head coach. I personally chose the latter – and I think that’s kinda what Fu was thinking when he promoted JH.

    JH gives VT the best chance of the 2 coaches to win big (aka 10 games or so) while sending quite a few current defensive players to the NFL next season. If VT does that next season under JF and JH. I would more apt to play there than if Odom comes in has a mediocre season. It’s not about current recruits, but next year’s recruits. In the eyes of a 20yr-old…

    Winning a lot next season nullifies all excitement issues about not making a “big splash” hire. Sending a bunch of guys to the NFL next year throws out all experience questions. JH gives you the best opportunity to win the most and send the most guys to the NFL next season.

    I agree with the hire! Go Hokies!

      1. We hired a little college coach named Frank Beamer who had VT in his blood. He brought along with him a no body named Bud Foster, who became a Hokie. Now we hire a talented, experienced young man, who also has VT in his blood. He understands what it takes to recruit players to Blacksburg. If he’s successful he’ll be there a long time. Beamer and Foster worked out ok. Let’s see where this goes. I think this is a great choice.

  19. To anyone negative or unsure about this hire and also unfamiliar with Hamilton’s VT playing career… should do a little research before embarrassing yourself with a comment that you’ll regret.

    The Football Gods are doing us a favor.

    1. So if you don’t think this is a good hire, you’re not allowed to espouse that opinion and if you do, it’s automatically embarrassing (unless you know that he played rb, wr and safety for us and that somehow has something to do with his qualifications for P5 DC at a school w/ top 15 aspirations). Got it 👌

      1. Ridiculous, esp. from a lawyer who should know better. Opinions to be taken seriously should be based upon facts/evidence. What’s the basis for your (apparent) objection to this hire?

  20. My only concern with this hire is JH’s lack of experience in the role. Don’t give me pfft-Wise. If we could have brought in someone with new ideas who knew to draw on Bud’s perspectives, that would have been ideal IMHO. This could work out great, but I start out as a skeptic.

    1. He was right over Bud’s shoulder all year. And being a coordinator at Wise then learning from Bud should allow him to mature and be already has down the mechanics of game planning etc

    2. Let me see if I understand your logic: If we could hire someone great, that would be great.

      EVERY hire has risk. Some is known, some is unknown. I like the hire. Why shouldn’t we start trusting the success to our own program alumni?

  21. Beamerball and the LPD culture, has taking a life of its own and become the 12th and 13th man for our Program. This is a BIG PICTURE hire.

    Its obvious to me now that the program views the above as pillars in our program along with building program relationships & hiring home grown coaching as THE utmost importance to Va Tech Football and AD Babcock, Pres Sands, Frank, Foster, and other BOV Members of the Inner Family Circle wish to brand, sustain, and solidy that our past culture and this DNA is uninterrupted for years to come.

    I think this hire is also about Resecurring our state borders and Reclaiming & Keeping Virginia State talent in state.

    Like Frank was to the Fuente transition, Bud’s involvement is a BIG part of the Justin Hamilton plan. The only other hire that could have successfully checked all the boxes above is perhaps getting Torrian Gray back but apparently Coach Fu chose not to travel that road at this time. Coach Fu has shown me now that he adored and appreciated Bud’s Defense and the strength and identity he built. If continuity was what Coach Fu most wanted then this was the most logical decision at this time for him.

  22. I have to admit seeing the responses above and with all the “expectation” of making a significant hire to replace Bud, it really seems disappointing. I AM glad that he is a Hokie but if you look at his experience which is what counts for the position, zero DC and coach at where, VMI? This does not exactly strike me or others as being experience that will translate well in the P5, ACC, etc. It may be just another average hire and as a result we suffer through three to four years and then it is too late. We had an opportunity and time to look and all we can do is hire from our own staff? I certainly WANT the best but if we cannot or are unwilling to pay for the best then the guys like Odom are not going to be drawn to VT which is unfortunate.

    1. He was a DC at Virginia Wise D-2
      co /DC at VMI D-AA
      Football is all about X and Os. JH has that
      Being mentored by Bud
      Next hire is probably Preston P as CB. Coach

    2. It is very possible that Odom didn’t want to come to VT. He might end a HC at another program. To much we don’t know, but fan base automatically assumes the worst and reacts negatively.

      Maybe it’s possible that CJF actually knows more than us.**

    3. The guy has been tutored by Bud Foster who endorses him. Who believes Bud would effectively entrust his legacy to someone he didn’t think would continue it and thereby put his reputation on the line? What I’m seeing on this blog is a lot of people who want a “sexy” hire. What Hamilton’s hire ensures is continuity of the LPD philosophy which is the singular identity of Tech football.

    4. Who had expectations of big hire? Recruits? How would you know? Fuente? How would you know? Only certain fans wanted a ‘splash hire’. We don’t know. I’m fine with a little skepticism about experience, but the dumping on our alumnus from many ‘fans’ bothers me.

  23. Give Hamilton space to grow into the job. No one makes in game adjustments like Bud, so comparing the two or expecting Bud like performance right away is unfair. I think he is a solid hire and will make us proud. The players know what to expect, no guesswork and he knows the players. That alone is worth a lot.

  24. This hire has risk and potential. It was mentioned below that this a James Johnson part 2 hire. I tend more towards this being more of a Mike Young part 2 hire. The assistant coaches to be hired will provide greater insight to how JH’s tenure may progress. I believe he has the knowledge, skills and ability for this role. The only real concern is experience and recruiting (see assistant coach hires comment above). IMO Bud will have a role consistent with Coach Kill’s. I’m cautiously optimistic so far. Like CMY, let’s see how this hire unfolds over the next year before rendering judgement on the wisdom of it.

  25. He better recruit well. This could go well, could be a disaster. Odom must not have been interested

  26. I think when we couldn’t get the home run hire (Odom), we went with the safe pick that promotes continuity and Bud’s legacy. None of the other candidates must have been worth the risk. It should reduce player attrition. Promoting Jack Tyler and Pierson Prioleau would be great as well. Bud staying around as a mentor is a good thing as well.

    1. Hamilton is a ‘home run’ hire. This position search as been going on all season and Odom hasn’t even been out of work for a couple weeks. Not sure why everyone thinks he was even being considered.

      1. Odom had connection with whit and Fu in background. Plus, his defensive team track record was there to see and ponder.

        1. Odom is a former HC @ a P5 program. He would have been a short-timer. Jerry Claiborne, Frank Beamer’s HC/mentor spent 1 year @ Colorado before he was hired @ Maryland where he leveraged his connections to VA HS football developed through 10 years as VT HC into advantage in College Park @ our expense.

          1. JC was 73-31-2 between 1972 and 1980 (9 years) @ UMD. Three (3) Tech coaches were 50-59-2 over the 10 years between 1971 and 1980. Steve Atkins (Spotsylvania County) was UMD’s best RB between 1975 and 1978 – if not all time: 2971 yds . on 625 carries for a 4.8 yds/carry average. Absent JC, Atkins doesn’t sign w/UMD. Hamilton knows the landscape of VA.

    2. I think you are correct in thinking Odom might have been the first intention. I Hope Hamilton works out better!!

  27. I have no problem with this hire. Always heard positive things about JH. And VT has a long tradition of good defensive coaches. When was the last time we had a bad or average DC? The early Beamer years? The Sharpe years?

  28. Very interested to see how JH does as DC. Knowing that I know next to nothing, I’m keeping my powder dry just like with CMY hire.

    On the one hand, we have a energetic, personable hokie hire that has Buds endorsement. I suspect, but obviously don’t know, JH is likely to be here a while. At least as long as CJF is here. Stability in a time of fluidity? We also know we don’t have $$ to drop on some of the bigger, established names. Or so I read…

    Stepping back, we all watched as the D evolved into a near typical LPD over this season. Need to fix a few things. Way fewer things than last year. Justin and his staff arent starting from the basement – good foundation.

    Risks? Sure.

    I for one, now that its done, am looking forward to the future. Win that Bowl game, Hokies!

    PS: it does not suck that Bud is still around….just saying

  29. The defensive staff could have Jack Tyler and Pierson Prioleau as well giving a strong link to VT past. Not really worried about any of those guys from a coaching ability standpoint and the real crux of the matter for them as well as any other new hire is going to be how they recruit.

  30. While I am happy for Justin Hamilton and hope he does a great job for many years, I wonder if this hire is a reflection on not being able to hire other targets with more experience.

    1. No offense, but who cares? As we’ve heard, Bud will be around as an “advisor” probably helping JHam in any way needed

      1. I always doubted a new DC from outside the program would agree to Bud as an advisor. I believe if the “Bud as an advisor” concept was presented as even a possibility to a potential new DC from outside the program, it was probably a deal breaker. While JH will welcome Bud’s input and advice, a new guy would not.

    2. I get the feeling that there was only one other target, and that was Odom. It’s been rumored for a long time that the new DC had been identified and would run the same system, but then Odom getting fired put a wrench in the gears. So JHam may have been the plan all along.

      1. Yup… Odom would have been a great fit, just like JHam is a great fit – just slightly different reasons.

        Odom being the more experienced would get the edge if available, but turns out he’s not available so we get DC Hamilton a couple years earlier.

  31. I like that he’s been with the program, I don’t like the lack of DC experience. But if Bud says he’s ready, he’s ready

  32. this is a disappointing decision. JH has not shown yet to be a quality recruiter, does not have any experience as a DC, has only been a full-time coach for a couple of years. Yes he’s a great Hokie but recruits will not be impressed. This is not a decision that says CJF is looking to seriously upgrade the program.

    1. To the contrary, I think he’ll be a boon to recruiting. He’s been there, done that and knows the ins and outs of (assuming we keep it) of Fosters system.

      1. name one top drawer recruit he has had in the last two years? Answer: none; someone on the football board had it right, this is James Johnson, part II.

      1. For crying out loud, would you please stop correcting him with the facts when the guy’s on a rant!!!

        1. made me giggle in the midst of the rancor! keeping it positive by adding humor to tone down the negativity.

          Go Hokies!

    2. I’m sure there were football savants such as yourself making similar comments when Coach Beamer promoted Foster.

      We’ll see if your comment ages any better than theirs.

  33. Wonder what the scoop with Burden was? He was our top recruiter wasn’t he? Congrats to Hamilton. BIG shoes to fill and wish him the best of luck!!

    1. He is a WR coach not a RB coach….that’s the scoop, our RB’s were terrible under him and Mcclease said in an interview he goes to Jerry Kill every time he comes off the field and not his position coach and unsurprisingly he has improved.

      1. Do you have a link to this interview? I’ve seen and heard the issues many have with Burden, but never heard that McClease goes to Jerry Kill instead of his position coach. Especially since that’s outside of his allowed responsibilies on gameday. I don’t buy it.

        1. anyone can talk to the players on the sidelines during games. the distinction for the 10 assistant coaches is how much involvement they have in practice and that they’re allowed to recruit on the road.

          P5 FBS teams have a lot more than 11 coaches in the sense that I guarantee that every player refers to Assistant to the Head Coach Kill as Coach Kill, just like they refer to Offensive Quality Control Analyst Beau Davidson and Coach Davidson, and so on.

    2. I honestly never saw what positive Burden brought. We have not had the results in the 757 for a few years, and our rb’?s have not been at the expected level as well. Need an upgrade here badly.

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