Mike O'Cain, not Bryan Stinespring, to call plays for Virginia Tech football next year
UPDATED 2:39 P.M.
Quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain will call plays for the Virginia Tech football team instead of offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring this season, Coach Frank Beamer announced Tuesday. Stinespring, who will keep the title of offensive coordinator, will pick up additional recruiting responsibilities and coach the team's tight ends and offensive tackles.
Beamer said on his official paid subscription site, Beamerball.com, that the decision to have O'Cain call plays was in large part because of his comfort working with sophomore Logan Thomas, who is expected to be the starting quarterback this fall.
"We want to get that quarterback in a rhythm, get him in a groove and we think that as close as Mike is with Logan, it could be a smart move," Beamer said in the announcement. "Also, with the addition of more recruiting responsibilities for Coach Stinespring, with him out of pocket and on the road a little more, it’s just another reason why we think this is a smart move."
Stinespring has been the Hokies' offensive coordinator since December 2001, and has faced criticism from fans throughout his tenure for being too vanilla and not utilizing his personnel correctly. But this past season, Virginia Tech set school records for points (474) and total yards (5,632).
"This was a mutual decision," Stinespring said Tuesday. "Besides play-calling, I'm gonna pretty much be doing the same stuff I always did."
Stinespring said he will create the team's game plan and six next to O'Cain in the coaches' booth, just as they have the past few years.
Before coming to Virginia Tech in 2006, O'Cain was the head coach at North Carolina State (1993-1999) as well as the offensive coordinator at both North Carolina (2000) and Clemson (2004). O'Cain was the offensive coordinator at Murray State under Beamer between 1981 and 1984.
These latest moves continue a whirlwind few weeks for the football program, which hadn't seen any coaching changes since 2006. Coming off January's Orange Bowl loss to Stanford, though, Beamer has almost completely re-shuffled his staff.
Just last week, running backs coach Billy Hite and recruiting coordinator/outside linebackers coach Jim Cavanaugh were moved to administrative positions in favor of Beamer's son, Shane, and former Hokies great Cornell Brown.
"I’ve challenged each member of my staff to take it to the next level, and that’s our approach moving forward," Frank Beamer said. "My job is to do what’s best for Virginia Tech football. And, in the end, I honestly believe that this university and this football program are the better for it."
Beamer also made several other announcements through his site Tuesday in addition to Stinespring and O'Cain's new assignments, reinforcing just how drastic all these changes could turn out to be for the Hokies.
1) Offensive line coach Curt Newsome will handle only the interior offensive linemen -- guards and centers -- next season.
2) In addition to his duties as running backs coach, Shane Beamer has also been named associate head coach -- a title Hite used to hold.
3) Secondary coach Torrian Gray will take over coaching the team's rovers, or strong safeties, which Cavanaugh used to be in charge of.
4) Cornell Brown will coach the team's whip linebackers, and help out with defensive linemen and when the rovers are playing close to the line of scrimmage.
5) Recruiting territories have been altered with all the changes as well. Stinespring will return to the Virginia Beach area, where he used to recruit extensively, as well as help out in Pennsylvania. Newsome will take over the Hampton and Newport News areas. Brown will handle central and southside Virginia in addition to western Pennsylvania and Hargrave Military Academy. Shane Beamer, meanwhile, will recruit the Richmond area, northern Georgia and Fork Union Military Academy.
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster will continue to recruit Northern Virginia and parts of South Carolina. O'Cain will be in charge of Southwest Virginia and central North Carolina. Wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman will continue recruiting the Washington metro area. Gray's responsibilities in Northern Virginia and Atlanta will remain the same. Defensive line coach Charley Wiles will also continue to recruit Southwest Virginia and south Florida.
| February 22, 2011; 12:51 PM ET
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