Hokies Staff Recalls Its Terps Roots
Much has been written over the years about the personal friendship between Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen and Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer, but our Zach Berman recently talked with two Hokies assistants for whom tomorrow's game will have special meaning. Here's his file:
Virginia Tech does not need additional motivation tomorrow night against Maryland, but the matchup carries significance for two Hokies assistant coaches. Associate head coach and running backs coach Billy Hite is a Hyattsville native who attended DeMatha. Strong safety and outside linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh coached at Maryland from 1982 through 1987 under Bobby Ross and Joe Krivak.
Hite came to Blacksburg in 1978 and remains close with Maryland defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, who played for Virginia Tech and served as a student assistant with the Hokies in 1983. Cavanaugh worked alongside Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen for all but one of his seasons with the Terrapins.
When Friedgen returned to his alma mater in 2001, Cavanaugh said he was offered a spot on Friedgen’s staff. Cavanaugh was interested, but elected to remain with Virginia Tech, where he has been since 1996.
“Quite honestly, it was a very hard decision,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s hard to choose between friends, but I felt very comfortable with Coach Beamer.”
Cavanaugh won three ACC titles with the Terrapins and vividly recalled the game against Miami in 1984 when Maryland was down 31-0 at halftime and came back to win, 42-40.
He lived in Greenbelt for five years and College Park for one year and said he frequently took the Metro into Washington to go to the Smithsonian.
Hite still has family and close friends in the Washington area, many of who root for the Terps. Regardless of the ACC implications riding on tomorrow’s game, playing Maryland still means much even though he’s been with the Hokies for 31 years.
“They’ll be watching it closely,” Hite said of his friends and family. “They’ll root for Maryland, but they’ll root for Virginia Tech, too.”
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