Reports from 247 Sports emerged yesterday evening that Virginia Tech basketball’s top assistant Steve Roccaforte is leaving Blacksburg to join East Carolina’s staff.
— Matej Sis (@MatejS247) July 23, 2018
Joe Dooley has now added two top-notch assistants to an impressive-looking staff. Former VT associate head coach Steve Roccaforte is heading to ECU, sources say.
— Stephen Igoe (@StephenIgoe) July 23, 2018
Roccaforte joined the Hokies’ staff in 2014 from South Florida and became the Hokies’ top assistant after Isaac Chew left for an assistant job at Texas A&M. Roccaforte had become a valuable veteran assistant for Buzz Williams and is a tough loss especially given the timing of his departure.
This news is definitely surprising especially giving the timing of this being in late July with most coaches on the road recruiting. Given that this is a significant recruiting season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another support staffer like Devin Johnson be promoted into an assistant coach role on an interim basis to give the coaches a full staff for recruiting purposes until a new assistant is hired.
The biggest challenge with replacing Steve Roccaforte is the timing of his departure coming in the middle of July right as coaches are on the road recruiting and scouting players at major tournaments with most assistants being settled in at their current jobs. That’s why you can expect Buzz Williams to take a similar approach with having Johnson or someone else on staff in the interim as a third assistant to recruit and scout on the road to what Justin Fuente did having Justin Hamilton be an interim tenth assistant for recruiting purposes.
Looking ahead, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jamie McNeilly and Christian Webster both given promotions while VT either promotes someone like Devin Johnson to being one of the three main assistants or hiring a young assistant similar to the Webster hire after Chew’s departure.
Virginia Tech confirmed to us and other outlets that Steve Roccaforte is leaving Virginia Tech with all signs pointing towards him joining the staff at East Carolina. With Roccaforte’s departure, the Hokies will likely promote an off-the-court assistant into an interim on-court position for recruiting purposes as they search for a full-time replacement.