Virginia Tech Football: Getting to Know the Hokies' New Offensive Coaches
For years, Virginia Tech fans clamored for a new offensive coordinator since Bryan Stinespring's appointment to the position in 2002. It took the team's worst record in 20 years for head coach Frank Beamer to see things the same way, overhauling an offensive coaching staff that had been largely intact since 2006.
Last week, the Virginia Tech head coach officially announced the hiring of Scot Loeffler as the team's new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Along with Loeffler, the Hokies hired Jeff Grimes to be the offensive line coach and Aaron Moorehead to coach the wide receivers.
Stinespring, who has been a member of Beamer's staff since 1990 and a close friend of the head coach, will remain on staff as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Stinespring is an excellent recruiter.
Former quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain was relieved of his duties while offensive line coach Curt Newsome took a similar position with James Madison. Former receivers coach Kevin Sherman took the same position at Purdue.
Here is a look at each of the three new offensive coaches.
Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler
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Loeffler, 38, is a former quarterback for the University of Michigan. He comes to Blacksburg having spent 2012 as the offensive coordinator of Auburn, but he was let go when head coach Gene Chizik was fired. Loeffler's offense struggled in 2012 as they converted from a spread offense to a more pro-style set.
In 2011, Loeffler was offensive coordinator at Temple. It was his first opportunity as an offensive coordinator and he led the Owls to a very good season offensively, finishing No. 7 nationally in rushing.
He has had several stints as a quarterbacks coach with several schools including his alma mater Michigan, Florida, Central Michigan and one year in the NFL with the Detroit Lions.
He has worked with Tom Brady, Brian Griese, Chad Henne and Tim Tebow, among others. He and Brady remain close friends to this day. Loeffler's best work with a quarterback came with Henne, who set several records at Michigan.
His background with quarterbacks and working with teams that featured strong running games is likely the reason Beamer targeted him.
While Loeffler isn't the most popular hire among the fanbase, he has had a successful past, 2012 notwithstanding.
Offensive Line Coach Jeff Grimes
Grimes, like Loeffler, comes to the Hokies from Auburn. He spent the past four seasons as the offensive line coach for the Tigers and was a part of the national championship squad in 2010.
Grimes, 44, has spent time at Boise State, Colorado, Brigham Young and Arizona State, among others. He has coached 12 future NFL offensive linemen in his career.
As a player at UTEP, Grimes' position coach was Andy Reid for one season. The offensive coordinator for that team was Dirk Koetter, now with the Atlanta Falcons.
Grimes was so highly thought of that in 2011, Texas head coach Mack Brown tried to hire him away from Auburn for the same position at Texas. Grimes chose to stay with the Tigers at that time.
He comes to Blacksburg having coached in both power and zone-blocking schemes.
Wide Receivers Coach Aaron Moorehead
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Moorehead, 32, comes to the Hokies from Stanford where he spent the past three years as an assistant wide receivers coach. The Cardinal went to three-straight BCS games during Moorehead's tenure.
His first year in coaching came in 2009 where he was a graduate assistant at New Mexico.
Jim Harbaugh thought so highly of Moorehead he hired him for a position on his Stanford staff despite his relative inexperience. After Harbaugh's departure to the NFL, new Stanford coach David Shaw kept Moorehead on staff.
Moorehead is a graduate of the University of Illinois and spent five years in the NFL, all with the Indianapolis Colts. He was a part of the 2006 team that won Super Bowl XLI.
Beamer likely became aware of Moorehead when he interviewed former Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton for the same position.
Moorehead's NFL experience will likely serve him well on the recruiting trail.