It may have happened late in the coaching cycle, but Virginia Tech does indeed have some staff turnover after QBs coach/passing game coordinator Brad Glenn left Blacksburg to become the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati.
Offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen was happy for Brad Glenn to get his first chance to be a Power 5 offensive coordinator while also knowing that it leaves an important opening to fill on the offensive staff.
"Number one I’m happy for Brad and his family. That’s a heck of a move for him to be a Power 5 coordinator in the Big-12 so I totally get it. Unfortunately, it’s part of the profession. Guys are hired and fired constantly so that’s part of it so I’m super happy for him. As far as how it’ll impact us, we’ve got to make a staff hire on offense. Brad did a great job with the quarterbacks, developing a culture in that room. They had a close relationship. I think we’ll be able to bridge that gap and then see where we want to move forward as a staff," Bowen said.
While there's no doubt that Bowen is sad to see Glenn go even if he understands the why, Bowen also knows that his focus has to shift to finding a replacement for Glenn with spring practice and the end of the current recruiting dead period looming. So what is Bowen looking for in the Hokies' next QBs coach?
"I think you're always looking for guys in the room regardless if it’s quarterback or any other position, you’re looking for guys that can be idea guys and sounding boards which Brad certainly was," Bowen said. "From a quarterbacks coach standpoint, we’re really looking for somebody that can really own the technique of that position. Is our drop timing right? Are we going through the mesh with the running backs correctly? You’re really looking at it from a technical aspect because the system is going to be evolved around that player and he’s going to have to be able to operate the techniques within the system. Very similar to any other coach you’d have in an assistant role.”
Another aspect of this search is the fact that Glenn's departure opens up the passing game coordinator role on this staff. While it has been a collaborative effort regardless of who is and isn't on staff, adding that title and role could be appealing to some potential candidates.
However, filling that titled role specifically isn't as big of a concern for Tyler Bowen for a couple of reasons.
"That’ll be up to (head) coach (Brent) Pry. I think in any staff, regardless of the titles, we’re all collaborating. I’ve never been a part of that you’re not collaborative in what you’re trying to do and put together a plan. We all own that when we go onto the field and ultimately, I own it all. That’ll be a question for coach Pry with how we move forward. It’ll depend on who the candidates are and which way we move forward with the job," Bowen said.
Now some have wondered if Tech's next QBs coach may be someone with ties and connections to the current staff in some form or fashion which would make sense. However, Pry and Bowen haven't been afraid to go outside their network of coaches that they worked alongside previously with Bowen focused on getting the best coach and fit for the job whether he's worked with him previously or not.
"It’s just like any other job. You’re looking for a fit. A fit for what your culture is. We spend a ton of time together. That’s the number one thing you’re looking for. But obviously, someone that can bring the lament of expertise that can help us. I think the best thing we can do, that Coach Pry can do or myself is surround ourselves with as many smart people as we can and I think that’ll be paramount in looking for him," Bowen said.
So how fast will the Hokies be looking to fill this opening? Well with the aforementioned conclusion of the recruiting dead period and the start of spring practice just days to weeks away, Tech is looking to move quickly with Bowen and the Hokies already appearing to have a list of coaches in mind.
"We want to move as quickly as we can, and we try to develop lists and keep guys in mind. I think that’s a constant process. We go to these coaches' conventions and you stay in touch with the guys over the years. You’re seeing something that maybe someone at the FCS or Group of 5 level or another Power 5 school that’s doing really well offensively or doing really well with quarterbacks and you’re trying to develop contacts so I’m hoping we can move pretty quickly with the position," Bowen said.
The search is on for a new QBs coach with Tyler Bowen having a clear plan and sense of urgency in helping lead Tech's search to find a replacement for Brad Glenn.