Virginia Tech announced the hiring of Tracy Claeys as linebackers coach and former Hokie defensive lineman Darryl Tapp as a general defensive assistant in a press release on Friday afternoon.
“We’ve wanted to find a way to bring Darryl Tapp back into our program for some time,” Justin Fuente said. “If there is one former player who I’ve consistently heard Bud Foster use as an example of what it means to play defense at Virginia Tech, it’s Darryl Tapp. I know Coach Hamilton feels the same way about Darryl. He’s spent the past two seasons at Vanderbilt and Central Michigan preparing to take the next step in his coaching career. With his ties to the 757 region and his NFL experience, Darryl will be another great addition to our staff.”
Tapp played in the NFL for 12 seasons, finishing his career with 29 sacks. He had stints with the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has spent the last two years on the coaching staffs at Central Michigan and Vanderbilt.
“It’s great to be coming home to Virginia Tech,” Tapp said. “I always dreamed of playing at Virginia Tech and being drafted in the NFL. Both of those dreams became realities. Then as my playing days were coming to end, I knew I wanted to eventually get into coaching. In the back of my head, I thought how cool it would be if I ever got a chance to coach at Virginia Tech and share all the lessons I’ve learned over the years. I’m grateful to Coach Fuente for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started with he and Coach Hamilton.”
Tapp will in effect serve as Virginia Tech’s 10th assistant coach, and is expected to help out with the defensive line, though a full-time defensive line coach will also be added soon.
Claeys will coach Virginia Tech’s linebackers. He served as Jerry Kill’s defensive coordinator at Minnesota, and took over as the head coach there when Kill retired for health reasons.
“I’m excited to welcome Tracy to Blacksburg,” Fuente said. “Tracy is an outstanding football coach who will serve as another great resource for me, Justin Hamilton and our entire coaching staff. Coach Claeys’ track record as a defensive coach, a recruiter and his longtime association with Jerry Kill were among on the many reasons we wanted him to join us at Virginia Tech. We’re enthusiastic about adding Tracy’s expertise and leadership to our team.”
“I appreciate Coach Fuente offering me the opportunity to coach at Virginia Tech, a place where there has been such a great history of winning football,” Claeys said. “I’m eager to do everything I can to help Coach Fuente, Coach Hamilton and this staff build on the tradition of tough, hard-nosed football that coaches across the nation associate with Virginia Tech. I’m also excited to continue working with Jerry Kill, who is one of the finest football men I’ve ever been associated with in this game.”
With Tapp and Claeys hired, the Virginia Tech coaching staff now looks like this…
QB/OC: Brad Cornelsen
RB: Adam Lechtenberg
WR: Jafar Williams
TE/ST: James Shibest
OL: Vance Vice
LB: Tracy Claeys
S/DC: Justin Hamilton
10th Asst: Darryl Tapp
Click here for a link to the full press release.