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ACC Football: Hokies hope new coaches can pump new life into offense
BY NATHAN WARTERS
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Virginia Tech’s offensive coaching staff will have a new look next season.
The Hokies officially announced a coaching overhaul Friday, confirming new hires that had been rumored for more than a week.
Virginia Tech hired Scot Loeffler to be its new offensive coordinator to replace Bryan Stinespring, who has been reassigned to recruiting coordinator after 11 years as the Hokies’ offensive coordinator.
The Hokies also announced that they’ve hired Jeff Grimes as offensive line coach and Aaron Moorehead as wide receivers coach. It’s the biggest coaching turnover at Virginia Tech since 2006.
All three new coaches have championship experience. Loeffler won a national championship as an assistant at Michigan in 1997, and Grimes won a BCS title as an assistant at Auburn in 2010.
Moorehead played wide receiver for the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts in 2006.
Grimes replaces Curt Newsome and Moorehead replaces Kevin Sherman, who was formally announced as Purdue’s new wide receivers coach Friday. Loeffler will also serve as quarterbacks coach to replace Mike O’Cain.
The three new coaches are the most for the Hokies since they hired O’Cain, Sherman, Newsome and defensive backs coach Torrian Gray in 2006. The new coaches will be formally introduced Jan. 25, their first day on the job.
Loeffler, 38, and Grimes, 44, both come to Virginia Tech from Auburn University. Loeffler was with the Tigers for one underwhelming season, during which Auburn ranked 115th in the country in total yards per game (305) and 112th in points per game (18.67). Grimes was an offensive line coach for four years at Auburn and won a national championship there in 2010.
Loeffler spent the 2011 season at Temple before making his way to Auburn. The Owls averaged 30.62 points and 383.31 yards and went 9–4 with Loeffler in charge of the offense.
Before Temple, Loeffler made his reputation as a quarterbacks coach. He tutored future NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady, Brian Griese and Chad Henne at Michigan and Tim Tebow at Florida. A former Michigan quarterback, Loeffler won a national championship as an assistant with the Griese-led Wolverines in 1997.
Grimes has been a full-time assistant for 15 years. He made stops at Boise State, Arizona State, BYU and Colorado before joining Gene Chizik’s staff at Auburn in 2009.
Moorehead, 32, joins Tech’s staff after three years as an offensive assistant at Stanford. He played wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts from 2003–07 and played in the Colts’ win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
The Hokies made widespread changes after their worst offensive season in recent memory. In 2012, Tech averaged the fewest total yards per game (376.77) and scored the fewest points per game (25.08) since the 2008 season.
The punchless offense was one of the biggest reasons the Hokies finished only 7–6 after winning at least 10 games for eight straight seasons.
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442