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Three Thoughts On Virginia Tech Hiring Chris Marve, Derek Jones, Shawn Quinn

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Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry officially added three more assistants to his defensive staff starting with two on Sunday with Texas Tech AHC/Co-DC Derek Jones and Savannah State head coach Shawn Quinn joining the defensive staff with their titles not being announced just yet.

Pry then named his defensive coordinator on Wednesday in Florida State LBs coach/defensive run game coordinator Chris Marve who is considered a rising star by many.

1. Chris Marve Fits What Brent Pry Seemed To Be Looking For

When Brent Pry was asked about whether he would call the defensive plays or hand it off to someone else in his opening press conference, he gave an interesting response that should have been an indication that Pry was potentially looking at a younger, rising coach for the role when asked about whether Pry himself would call plays on defense or not.

"It's going to be hard to let go of calling those plays. I love calling the defense, but I am going to hire the right person and the right group of guys. I'm going to be very involved early, and when it feels like it's the right time, those playcalling duties will be turned over. Whether that's after spring or after year 1, we'll see what it looks like," Pry said.

That comment seemed to hint that Brent Pry was looking more at a younger rising coach that he could groom over the coming year before truly handing the reigns off with the hope that man would be ready sooner.

Marve fits that in many ways as someone who has been on the 247 Sports 30 Under 30 list in 2017 and 2018, the 35 under 35 for the American Football Coaches Association in 2017, and the ESPN 40 Under 40 in 2018. Additionally, Marve oversaw Florida State's run defense allow under 150 rushing yards per game this season which was a roughly 50 yard per game improvement from 2020.

Beyond the fact that Marve looks like a rising star in terms of his coaching, he also should have a good understanding of Brent Pry's system given that he played in Pry's defense as a senior at Vanderbilt at 2011.

There's no doubt that hiring a 32-year old as a defensive coordinator is a risk and he will need to improve on the recruiting trail. However, Marve fits the mold that Pry seemed to indirectly hint he'd be wanting as a rising star that Pry can develop before handing off the playcalling reigns to him.

2. Derek Jones Is a Home Run Hire

Brent Pry has a strong coaching network from the stops over his career, and that opened the door to land a home run hire in Derek Jones on the defensive side.

Jones has been the Texas Tech associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach since 2020 but that came after a strong tenure in Durham from 2008-2019 under David Cutcliffe as the DBs coach and also as an associate head coach.

During his time in Durham, Jones was considered the right hand for Cutcliffe who proved to be a great recruiter and excellent coach helping Duke reached unimaginable heights including an ACC Coastal title and 11-win season that had the Blue Devils playing in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve. For a while, many thought Jones might be the guy to take the reigns in Durham after Cutcliffe which is proving not to be the case now.

However, that's all for Virginia Tech's gain as Jones helped raised the level of expectations in Durham including on the recruiting trail landing loads of talent in the Carolinas and throughout the Southeast. Those places are core to the "footprint" once you get outside of Virginia for the Hokies in recruiting that Brent Pry emphasized and that Jones fits.

Jones knows how to develop talent to with a pedigree for developing talented DBs including guys like Ross Cockrell and Zech McPherson.

Football Scoop said that Jones would be given the title of CBs coach and defensive recruiting coordinator which seems more than right given his track record. Additionally, Jones is quite the brander to say the least including on social media from his consistent "It's a great time to be a Hokie" to sharing authentic photos and videos that feel like something out of an old school photo album which is on brand for the authenticity that is Virginia Tech.

3. Shawn Quinn Isn't Stopped By Excuses

From having an outdated practice field to not even having a football weight room, Shawn Quinn had plenty of reason for excuses at Savannah State as they dropped from FCS to D2. However, Quinn made the best of his circumstances and built a strong program at Savannah State that was 15-5 in his two full seasons as head coach in 2019 and 2021 (only 2 games played in 2020) with the #8 defense in the country.

During that time, he's earned loads of respect in the coaching industry and across the Southeast as well for the tremendous work he did turning a flailing Savannah State football program around even without all the fancy facilities that most schools even at lower levels have nowadays.

Now, Quinn will get his chance as an assistant to work at a place that have top of the line, new facilities. Of course, there's plenty of talk on the outside of how Tech still could use more resources in areas like staffing and while Quinn likely would seek those things as the staff will as a whole, this is a man who has proven that he won't let any excuses get in the way of finding solutions.

Quinn may not be a splashy hire, but this is a solid addition of someone who has successful head coaching experience in region and has shown that he knows how to do more with less.

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