The Revamped Offensive Coaching Staff For Virginia Tech

Elijah Brooks, Virginia Tech
Elijah Brooks will serve as the new Virginia Tech running backs coach. (Baltimore Sports and Life)

With spring practice beginning on Thursday, Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry announced the much-anticipated coaching staff additions on Monday afternoon. It was also announced that returning coaches Tyler Bowen and Stu Holt would be changing positions.

Elijah Brooks will coach the running backs with Holt moving to tight ends coach. Ron Crook will serve as the new offensive line coach. By default, that means Tyler Bowen will serve as the new quarterbacks coach at Virginia Tech, which I’m sure raises a few eyebrows.

Holt moving to tight ends makes sense. He’s spent a lot of his time coaching that position at some of his past schools. I won’t waste any time covering that; instead, I’ll focus on the two new hires,  along with Tyler Bowen and his new role.

Virginia Tech Hires Elijah Brooks As Running Backs Coach

The hiring of Elijah Brooks as Virginia Tech’s new running backs coach makes total sense. He coached at Maryland the last four years. Before that, he was the head coach at DeMatha, where he replaced legendary head coach Bill McGregor (who in turn came out of retirement to replace Brooks when he was hired by Maryland).

Brooks played for McGregor at Maryland, and he also played hoops for another legend in Morgan Wooten. After a year at Kent State, he transferred to William & Mary where he played under yet another coaching legend in the region: Jimmye Laycock. Brooks has gained a lot of experience coaching under some elite coaches. McGregor recorded over 300 wins, Wooten over 1,200 and Laycock with 249. That’s a lot of expertise that Brooks has been able to soak in during his coaching career.

Brooks has put several backs in the NFL, and in 2022, redshirt freshman Roman Hemby rushed for 989 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He also caught 33 passes and has the look of someone who will go on to a very good career. The on-field production has been there for Brooks’ players at Maryland.

Brooks has heavy ties in Maryland and Washington, D.C. as a former DeMatha player and head coach. In his four years at Maryland, he was listed as a primary recruiter with 13 players who signed with the Terps. He recruited running backs from in-state but also traveled as far as Michigan to sign a player at his position. Five of his signees were four-star players…

S Nick Cross, DeMatha, Maryland
LB Jaishawn Barham, St. Frances Academy, Maryland
RB Ramon Brown, Manchester, Virginia (former VT commit)
DL Tommy Akingbesote, Charles Herbert Flowers, Maryland
RB Peny Bone, Martin Luther King, Michigan

He also showed the ability to evaluate and recruit unheralded prospects. For example, Hemby was a Freshman All-American in 2022, but he was only a low 3-star recruit, the No. 127 running back in the country and the No. 40 prospect in Maryland, per 247.

The Brooks hire makes sense, especially from Brent Pry’s perspective, who is looking to make regional recruiting an emphasis at Virginia Tech. The Maryland/D.C. area is well within Tech’s six-hour radius, and though Tyler Bowen already has experience in that area, Brooks can certainly make a big difference in his home state. Overall, I think he’s got the right coaching pedigree, and he certainly comes with the recruiting ties. To me, he’s sort of a D.C./Maryland version