Over the last two weeks, Justin Fuente and the Virginia Tech Hokies have been interviewing multiple candidates to replace Torrian Gray as a defensive assistant for the Hokies after Gray’s departure for Florida. Today, the Hokies have reportedly found the guy to replace Gray and continue on Virginia Tech’s DBU legacy.
Source tells the Charleston Gazette-Mail WVU cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell is leaving to join staff at Virginia Tech.
— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) February 18, 2016
West Virginia CBs coach Brian Mitchell has been hired as the replacement for Torrian Gray with an announcement likely coming in the next couple days. Mitchell was the DBs coach at BYU for 12 years before taking over as the cornerbacks coach at Texas Tech from 2006 to 2009 followed by a three-year stint as East Carolina’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach before joining West Virginia in 2013.
Many saw Mitchell as West Virginia’s best defensive assistant with the Mountaineers seeing a lot of improvement in their secondary including a pass defense that ranked 28th in the nation in passing efficiency defense despite playing in the high-octane Big 12. West Virginia also ranked in the top 12 in third and fourth down defense in the nation last season which is definitely promising to see.
At West Virginia, Mitchell developed some solid defensive backs headlined by Daryl Worley who was an All-Big 12 First Team defensive back this past season. Mitchell hasn’t had many great opportunities in terms of recruiting defensive backs, but has still been able to develop nine NFL defensive backs.
Mitchell will now have the chance to recruit defensive backs for what is the top in-state school in a good recruiting state unlike the lack of talent in West Virginia and Utah(BYU) along with East Carolina and Texas Tech not being the premier in-state school. Mitchell also has recruited some in New Jersey which is a state that the Hokies have been hoping to poach more talent from along with having some Mid-Atlantic recruiting experience.
Brian Mitchell has the potential to be a very good recruiter, but what is certain is that he is a solid defensive backs coach along with giving the Hokies another former defensive coordinator and veteran defensive coach to go with Bud Foster, Galen Scott, and Charley Wiles. Mitchell seems to be a very good hire for the Hokies, and definitely has the talent to be a quality replacement for Gray to continue on Virginia Tech’s DBU legacy.