Report: Torrian Gray Leaving for Florida

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Sports Illustrated writer Thayer Evans has tweeted that Virginia Tech defensive backs coach Torrian Gray will leave for Florida.

Gray played for the Hokies from 1992-1996, then played two seasons in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted him 49th in 1997.  Gray coached DBs for Maine (2000-01), UConn (2002-03), and the Chicago Bears (2004-2005) before joining the Hokies prior to the 2006 season. He has been coaching at Virginia Tech since 2006.

Gray made $275,600 coaching for the Hokies in 2015, but he was slated to make less than that, $260,000 in 2016, per this Andy Bitter article about Virginia Tech coaching salaries. His departure means that three coaches have now been retained from Frank Beamer’s staff: defensive coordinator Bud Foster, defensive line coach Charley Wiles, and running backs coach (previously WR coach) Zohn Burden.

EDIT: Other writers later confirmed the report.



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59 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. According to Holman Wiggins, VTs phones are blowing up with candidates. We’ll be fine. TG was a good coach, but he isn’t irreplaceable.

  2. So you cut one of your top coaches and top recruiters salaries–a Virginia Tech star player and highly respected coach and person. Let’s see,one of the SEC’s top teams thought a little more highly of him. Maybe this is why we are having to sell “single game tickets”

  3. Coworker just told me the news, and it has ruined my day. I love Coach Gray and will wish him the best.

    We don’t know all the details, but in my opinion there’s a strong smell emanating from this trashcan. If our leadership truly wanted to keep TG, they should not have insulted him with a pay cut. And if they wanted to keep him, they failed.

    In my opinion, this is the first crack in the façade of harmony, sweetness, and light at Merryman that ADWB and CJF have promoted over the last three months.

      1. Don’t be a jackass. Respect his opinion whether you agree with it or not. We don’t all live in your world.

  4. Met and worked with Torrian during the 95 Sugar Bowl Era. We were Orientation Officers for VTs Freshmen Prolouge Program. T-Gray is a humble, quality guy that bleeds O&M like the rest of us. I’ve said it before, but most of the people I’ve heard talk in depth about their T-Gray experience express a willingness to walk through a wall for and with him. I was no different. I am confident deciding to leave his Alma Mater before achieving a National Championship was excruciating for T-Gray.

    But this is normal life change. CFB is a business and sometimes everyone involved has to either get burn, feel the burn, or deliver the burn in order grow and achieve pursuit goals in life or to gain appreciation for another’s journey or body of work. Coach Gray is going to be a DC and Head Coach someday. I am sure watching Coach Foster not get a sniff challenges T to keep sharpening his blade and building his experience. SEC is the best way to earn and win that respect. Some of us who were around when the Coach Beamer turn-around began are actually older than Fuente, Torrian included; Taking a pay grade from your Alma and younger than you Head Coach doesn’t digest well regardless of the field perfomance the last few years. He earned more respect and trust then that. Sometimes you must move on But I am willing to wager Torrian will throw his hat into the VT ring if and when the right opening creates itself and by then he will be a successful SEC coach when it happens.

  5. Pierson Prealeau (sp?) is right over in Radford. 10+ years in the league, SB champ.

    VT has options.

    As far as TG goes, I wish him well in whatever he does. He has been a good ambassador for VT for a long time as a player and a coach. The man probably has aspirations of being a DC or more, and he wasn’t going to advance along that career path staying at VT. I do find it a bit unsettling that the same fans who proclaim VT as dbu now are dissing on TG because he is leaving.

    Fuente should be judged on the replacement, not TG leaving, and that remains to be seen.

    1. Is he a coach..CAN he coach? Can he recruit? I don’t know, because I don’t know what he does now…

      Cornell should teach us once and for all that there are MANY more requirements for a good college coach than being liked as a VT grad, and playing in the NFL.

      If we are pretty sure he is already a superstar coach in the making, just snatch him up! If not, let’s not assume every ex-Hokie football player is a good fit for the Hokies staff…

      I don’t mean that as a dig at you…i hear it EVERY time a potential position arrises…So, I’m asking..Is PP even a coach? I couldn’t find that info anywhere….

      1. Let’s be frank, most posters know very little about the football side of things. It’s perfectly fine for a fan to be that way and advocate things like “Ralph Friedgen” for OC. It only becomes scary if our football program starts to mirror our fans’ limited knowledge.

      2. Agreed ‘Rit! Just because someone played football at Tech, doesn’t make them qualified to be a coach of a top 20 program! Small-minded thinking has been pervasive for far too long! The Frank/Weaver way of hiring is long gone now.

        1. Yeah…we have to think BIG re coaching choices..We need a home run recruiter. I don’t know that PP is NOT that guy, but being a Hokie doesn’t automatically make it so..

          BTW..thanks Will. i didn’t know WHAt PP had been doing since the NFL…

      3. I basically just threw his name out because every other db VT has had for the last 20 years had already been mentioned. I’m not too good on the sarcasm front apparently.

        Not sure what Pierson does for a living, but he has helped out Radford’s high school team for the last couple of years as the DC. I believe he has a couple of kids right at the middle school age himself. I’d say if he wanted to be in coaching beyond that, he would be already.

        I was being glib about him being a serious candidate.

  6. Transitions are a time to look for a new job. If the new coach offers you a position, you take it, but you may still check out your options. For whatever reason he found an option he preferred. Perhaps he was considering leaving all along if the right school became available. Perhaps he just went where the money was higher. Perhaps he didn’t like the new staff. Perhaps he just wanted a change. We will never know.

  7. I would love see us get Anthony Midget. Graduated with honors from Virginia Tech. Played in the NFL. Coached high school football in Florida. Born in Florida and his water connections will be an excellent thankful recruiting. Very articulate. Coached safeties at Penn State. And currently the coach at Houston for the DB’s. Would be an awesome hire equal or long term a better coach.

    1. HERE is an ex-Hokie football player who just might make a good choice..THanks for providing his coaching background..It is imminently more germane to the conversation than the fact he was a Hokie!

      1. Agreed. Just being a former VT great isn’t a qualification. Being a former VT great who has also shown some success as a coach is and/or can be. I’d like us to take a serious look at Midget given that resume.

  8. Only Torrian and his family truly know all the details behind this decision. Let him go. We will be fine. Please give CJF some room and some time. In the meantime, get you behind to Blacksburg and pull for Our winter teams.

  9. Feeling the hate. I’m out (in terms of ignoring the comments).

    The O & M glasses have been out in force for months now. Everything old school is perfect. Everything new is out. Frank should coach forever.

    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is that clear cut. All of it is shades of gray with pluses and minuses and nuance everywhere. While I agree that Torian has been an outstanding coach, he’s far from perfect. Check put our passing D stats and explosive plays surrendered numbers (horrible, worst stat on the team) recently. Torian, the Great certainly had a part in this. Excuse this to injuries and youth if you want but EVERYBODY faces these problems.

    I guess that this is Fuentes’ fault. Let’s bring Frank out of retirement. (Please don’t mistake my sarcasm) Don’t know about you but I’m sick of having to win three of our final four to get bowl eligible. Just about our entire system needed to be shaken by the scruff of the neck.

  10. Am I the only one who doesn’t give a crap Tgray left? He didn’t really pull any great players recruiting yeah he coached guys up but so can a bunch of other DB coaches and him and Bud constantly clashed on Man vs Zone D… Whatever we can find another one

    1. I wish him success at Florida, but I am not concerned. Hire somebody else. There are so many Chicken Littles on this board thinking they represent True Hokies, but they are making the board nothing but crap. People, get a life. We do not own Gray or anybody else. Let him go in peace, quit the blame game on new coach, and think strategically. VT is going to be OK.

  11. Wish TG nothing but success. He was an excellent coach for the Hokies & his DB’s bailed the Hokies out many times over the years.

    The timing leaves a bad taste in my mouth regardless of whether it was a result of the lowered salary, new opportunity, or timing of UF move leaves the Program looking desperate to hold onto potential players and deceive the incoming recruits.

    It’s not the image I expect to see for a coach making 3.5M/yr.

  12. this is very poor in action and timing in itself and
    not good for the FB program.

    TG’s crew has been the D safety net that has kept
    Bud’s D as good as it has been over the last few years
    when either the LB’s or DL’s have alternated having
    off years. his enthusiasm, teaching, ability to relate
    to this generation of young football players, work with
    Bud’s system, and recruit are amazing and pre-eminent.
    hence DBU was.

    plain and simple, i’m now expecting a huge
    2016 D drop-off. … and with a new O scheme being
    learned/deployed, the “insurance” that our D offered
    is now diminished.

    i guess i should have expected this was a possibility
    when salaries were announced and his was reduced.
    but with TG’s non-verbalization of any dissatisfaction
    at that time i presumed this had been talked through
    by all parties and it was agreeable – probably with
    a guarantee that at next season adjustment to his
    compensation would be made.
    obviously i presumed incorrectly on several counts.

    bad, sad strategy by the AD and new coach(es).

    that said: does this, in coordination with the news
    that recruiting efforts by previous staff were lacking,
    offer us a reason WHY some particular efforts were slack?

    1. Timing? He waited until the recruitment period for this year was over. What ever his reasons, we should not judge and wish him well.

  13. Here is one scenario that no one is mentioning…

    Is it possible that Torrian decided to leave when Frank retired? He was willing to stick around until signing day to help keep the recruiting class intact.

    I mean, why would a disgruntled and underpaid employee wait until after all the LOIs were signed to allow this news to leak?

    I wonder if he hadn’t decided it was time to go elsewhere and Fuente used that as an opportunity to shuffle some salaries around (knowing Torrian would make this public after signing day).

    The timing just seems awfully convenient.

    1. I hope you are right!! THAT would mean JF has had some time to consider (contact?) possible replacements. I’ve long thought TG was not long for the Hokies, unless Bud became coach and HE became DC (never a likely scenario IMO).

      It’s just tough timing..i had hoped for a year or two for Fuente to settle in, but an the assistant coach carousel is a reality we had best get used to (and one we really never had to consider up until the past couple of years; moreso now)!


  14. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. You don’t cut someone’s pay if you really want them on board. There are other coaches out there so don’t sweat it!

  15. Well, at least he waited until signing day was over (unless CC can speculate that he had heard this rumor before then).

  16. We all knew when the Frank Beamer era ended….we would be on the coaching carousel just like everyone else. It is what it is.

    1. And Frank keeping dead wood on the staff was not productive either. The constant in life is change.

  17. Noooooo!!!! But do you really blame him? Cut his pay even though he’s one of the best DB coaches in the country! That’s a slap in the face, I know I would be insulted. I would have put my resume together as soon as they informed me of the pay cut.

  18. His pay was cut, what do you expect. A clear sign that his contribution was not valued as much as the Memphis cartel. I ?assume he was just riding it out until he found a good offer and landing place. Once he put the word out it wasn’t going to be long.

    Strike one against Fuentes IMO

  19. This is beyond bizarre, simply because of the timing. Gonna be interesting to see what more leaks out.

  20. the sound of jaws hitting the ground. This is the first real disaster of this coaching change. I am really surprised they cut TG’s pay as part of this “deal”. This in no way enhances recruiting and best of luck finding a decent replacement at this point in time. Maybe TG comes back as DC in a few years. Right now, not happy. At all. This has to be worth at least one loss on the schedule next year. Hey Whit…WTH.

    1. Only one who should feel shame is you, flemdawg. But there’s probably not enough good in you for that to happen.

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