More coaching changes for Virginia Tech football
Two days after bringing his son, Shane, home to join the Virginia Tech football coaching staff next season, Coach Frank Beamer announced another familiar face will be coming back to Blacksburg.
Former Hokies great Cornell Brown will take over for assistant Jim Cavanaugh as outside linebackers coach and help out with defensive linemen next season. Cavanaugh, meanwhile, has been promoted to director of recruiting and high school relations, a non-coaching administrative position.
“I think we are fortunate to bring back a great player that meant so much to Virginia Tech," Beamer said in a statement. "Cornell had great success here and now wants to help us have more success. He has been here as a [graduate assistant] … he’s been around our defense. He also has a lot of good experience from working in the CFL. I think his experiences will be a great asset to our program.”
Brown played defensive end for the Hokies from 1993 to 1996. He earned all-American status as both a junior and a senior and was inducted into the Virginia Tech sports hall of fame in 2007. He also played seven years in the NFL, and was a member of the Baltimore Ravens' 2000 Super Bowl team.
Brown began his coaching career in 2005 in NFL Europe, and the league's schedule allowed him to be a graduate assistant during Virginia Tech's 2006 and 2007 seasons. The past three years, he's served as the defensive line coach for the CFL's Calgary Stampeders.
“I’ve had a lot of great days and great experiences at Virginia Tech, but this is the biggest day and biggest accomplishment to date for me,” Brown said. “It’s extremely exciting to be able to say I’m a part of this program as a coach and will be able to help carry on the legacy that Coach Beamer and this staff have built. It is just a great honor and privilege to say I’m coming home to help build on a great tradition.”
Added Beamer: “I’ve always said that Cornell was the recruit who got us going because he was an instate recruit that could go anywhere in the country,” Frank Beamer said in a statement. “He chose Virginia Tech at a time when our record wasn’t very successful, and I really felt that a lot of recruits said, ‘He chose Virginia Tech, I need to look at it’.
Cavanaugh, who also served as Virginia Tech's recruiting coordinator the past nine seasons, has been recruiting the state of Virginia for 41 years in various roles. His biggest claim to fame during 15 years in Blacksburg is luring Michael Vick to campus, but he's also served as the primary recruiter in landing recruits such as Macho Harris and Bryan Randall.
This move, combined with Shane Beamer taking over for former running backs coach Billy Hite, will result in an infusion of youth, which should ultimately help Virginia Tech's coaching staff on the recruiting trail. The younger Beamer is just 33 years old and Brown is only 35.
But it seems Frank Beamer's creativity in divvying out new titles, or "promotions," has also allowed the Hokies to keep the experienced minds of Cavanaugh and Hite around while the new coaches gets their bearings.
“Coach Beamer has asked me to come off the field and the road to become director of recruiting and high school relations," Cavanaugh said. "Having coached for 41 years, I do believe I have experience in these areas. ... I look forward to overseeing the entire recruiting process at Virginia Tech, and to mentoring our new coaches. Together we can continue our success both on and off the field.”
| February 16, 2011; 6:04 PM ET
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