(hokiesports.com press release)
BLACKSBURG – Head coach Justin Fuente announced Monday that offensive line coach Vance Vice will be joining his Virginia Tech coaching staff. Vance spent the past four seasons working in that same role on Fuente’s staff at Memphis.
“Coach Vice and our offensive line helped us establish our identity at Memphis,” Fuente said. “He’ll help us do the same thing at Virginia Tech. Vance’s skill in teaching our techniques and concepts will be important as we build the foundation of our offense here. He’s a talented coach and we’re fortunate to have him join Hokie Nation.”
Thanks in large part to Vice’s blocking unit, Memphis has set a school record for total points scored in back-to-back seasons and has the offense among the best in the nation in several categories and tops in the American Athletic Conference. In 2014, the team scored a then-school record 471 points (36.2 ppg), which led the conference. This past season, they’ve already shattered that mark with one game remaining, scoring 512 points (42.7 ppg) to rank seventh in the nation.
Under Vice’s tutelage, Memphis has allowed a conference-low 31.0 sacks over the past two seasons. The Tigers also led the AAC in rushing in 2014, averaging 190.5 yards per game. In 2014, Memphis enjoyed the third-biggest turnaround in FBS Football and tied for the ninth-best turnaround all-time as Vice was a member of Fuente’s staff that led the Tigers to the school’s first 10-win season since 1938. The Tigers went 10-3, won the AAC title and finished the season with a 55-48, double-overtime win over BYU in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl.
In 2014, Vice mentored offensive lineman Al Bond, who was named to the American Athletic Conference First Team and was one of three Memphis players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in 2015. In Vice’s initial season coaching the offensive line in 2012, Memphis raised its offensive yardage total in conference games 26 percent over the previous season. The Tigers averaged 327.1 yards per league game. Memphis raised its rushing offense total by 63 percent in C-USA games. Memphis ranked next-to-last nationally in rushing offense in 2011 before almost doubling its rushing average, improving its ground-game total to 151.75 yards per game in 2012.
Vice mentored offensive tackle Jordan Devey who received the DeAngelo Williams Most Valuable Player Award at season’s end. Devey, who played every snap of his two-year career, went on to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Devey was an All-Conference USA Second Team selection while Taylor Fallin was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team in 2012.
Vice and head coach Justin Fuente have had a long history together. Vice coached the offensive line at Murray State in 1999 when Fuente was a senior quarterback for the Racers. The two also worked together on the offensive staff at Illinois State from 2001-04.
Prior to joining the Memphis coaching staff, Vice spent the previous three seasons as the offensive line coach at Louisiana-Monroe (2009-11). Under Vice’s guidance, the Warhawks offensive line experienced unprecedented success since moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 1994.
In two of the three seasons at Louisiana-Monroe, Vice’s offensive lines paved the way for over 20 rushing touchdowns and nearly 4,700 yards of total offense. The 392.3 total yards per game recorded in 2009 was the program’s highest offensive output since joining the FBS.
Behind the Vice-led offensive line, the 2009 Warhawks rushed for a school Sun Belt (SBC)-era record 21 touchdowns. Louisiana-Monroe also set the school’s single-game, SBC-era record with five rushing touchdowns against Texas Southern. The Warhawks tallied the fifth-highest yards-per-game average (392.3) in school history and the program’s highest since moving to FBS.
In 2009, Louisiana-Monroe finished the season ranked 28th in the NCAA in sacks allowed, yielding just 16. The Warhawks rushing attack averaged 183.9 yards per game in 2009, ranking third in the SBC and 31st nationally. Running back Frank Goodin finished the season with 1,126 yards and 13 touchdowns, the fourth and second-best marks, respectively, in Louisiana-Monroe history.
Vice, a 20-plus year coaching veteran, joined the Louisiana-Monroe staff after four seasons at Utah State (2005-08) in a similar role. He guided a pair of Utah State players that moved on to NFL careers. Guard Shawn Murphy was a 2008 NFL Draft fourth-round pick by the Miami Dolphins. Donald Penn was a 2005 free agent signee by the Minnesota Vikings and currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During Vice’s four seasons with the Aggies, four offensive linemen earned All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) honors, and Ryan Tonnemacher was a two-time Rimington Trophy Watch List nominee, awarded annually to the nation’s top center. Under Vice’s guidance, Murphy was invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game. He was the first Utah State player selected to the Shrine Game since 2002 and the first Aggies offensive lineman chosen to the all-star game since center Tim Ruiz in 1986.
Prior to thah State, Vice spent five seasons coaching the offensive line at Illinois State (2000-04). He was promoted to assistant head coach his final two seasons with the Redbirds. At Illinois State, three linemen earned All-America honors and eight garnered All-Gateway Conference accolades. In 2003, the Redbirds established a school record with 248.1 yards per game rushing and allowed just five sacks on 367 pass attempts.
Vice started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Georgia from 1990-91, before working at Hart County (Ga.) High School from 1992-95. He returned to the collegiate level from 1996-98, coaching tight ends at Clemson. Vice then spent one year (1999) at Murray State as the offensive line coach, where his line protected Racers quarterback Justin Fuente.
Vice was a defensive lineman and tight end at Oklahoma State, where he participated on Cowboys teams that featured future NFL stars Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders. He played in three bowl games with the Cowboys.
The three-time All-Big Eight academic selection graduated from Oklahoma State in 1990 with a degree in secondary education. He earned a master’s degree in education administration from Georgia in 1993 and an education specialist degree from Clemson in 1999.
He and his wife, Kerry, have two daughters, Savannah and Sydni, and a son, Brock.