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|Welcome to TSLMail #159 - Friday, January 21, 2005||
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Village Realty Wants You to Take a Vacation!
... and/or Play Golf ... and/or Own a House on the Outer Banks!
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This off season has seen some changes among some of the football coaching staffs in the ACC. A total of 10 coaches have departed the programs that they served during the 2004 season, including 3 at both NC State and Clemson. Some are leaving for better positions elsewhere, while others have been forced out.
On December 6, Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden announced the firing of offensive coordinator Mike O’Cain, defensive coordinator John Lovett and rover/whips coach Thielen Smith. After another average season, Bowden is attempting to save his job, and bringing new blood and new philosophies into the program was the direction that he chose to go.
Bowden hired Rob Spence as their new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Spence had previously spent 4 years as Toledo’s offensive coordinator, coaching his offense to some very impressive offensive numbers. He also spent time as the quarterbacks coach at Maryland from 1994-96.
At defensive coordinator, Bowden hired former Wyoming head coach Vic Koenning. Koenning served as the Cowboy head coach from 2000-02 and has been defensive coordinator at Troy ever since. This past season Troy had one of the top defenses in the nation. Bowden also hired Mississippi defensive ends coach Marion Hobby to replace Smith.
At NC State, Head Coach Chuck Amato lost three of his top assistants by their own choosing. Doc Holliday, who served as Associate Head coach and wide receivers coach in Raleigh, decided to join Urban Meyer’s staff at Florida. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone departed NC State for the offensive coordinator position at Mississippi.
However, the biggest loss for NC State will be replacing defensive coordinator Reggie Herring, who left Raleigh to take over the defensive coordinator position at the University of Arkansas. Herring’s defense was the #1 total defense in the nation in 2004. He is the former linebackers coach for the Houston Texans, and has coached under former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson. While he only stayed at NC State for one season, he will be greatly missed.
John Bunting and the North Carolina Tar Heels did not escape the off-season unscathed. Assistant Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator James Webster decided to leave Chapel Hill for the position of Head Coach at Tennessee State. He had coached at UNC for 4 years.
At Duke, Ted Roof decided to release offensive coordinator Marty Galbraith after only one season as offensive coordinator. For a replacement, Roof raided the staff of the University of Maryland to get Terps’ running backs coach Bill O’Brien. O’Brien has been an offensive coordinator in the past at Georgia Tech for two seasons, 2001 and 2002. He coached with Roof at Georgia Tech, so there is some familiarity.
Finally, Florida State lost long time assistant coach Jimmy Heggins. Heggins served at Florida State for 19 years and has been the offensive line coach since 1994. He played at Florida State during the mid-70s. Heggins resigned his position, but the ACC Area Sports Journal reported that he was forced out in their latest edition. Florida State was plagued by offensive line problems for parts of the last few seasons.
ACC Men's RPI Ratings
RPI rankings have always been a source of controversy, however it has been a long time since the Hokies have had to worry about such things. That doesn’t look like it's going to change this year either, as the Hokies are battling a talent and youth problem in the most talented conference in the nation. ACC teams are among the best in the nation in the RPI, as seen in the table below. Note that these RPI rankings were compiled through games of Sunday, Jan. 16 and are from rpirankigs.com.
Throw in Boston College, who is currently undefeated and 5th in the RPI, and this league is looking very strong for the future. It's just something the Hokies are going to have to deal with…and recruit against.
Tech’s out of conference schedule has contained some good teams as well, at least according to the RPI. Mississippi State is ranked 25, Western Michigan comes in at 30 with UT-Chattanooga ranked 89. Of course, there is also VMI, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Loyola-Maryland, who come in ranked 328, 329 and 322 respectively. That means Virginia Tech has played 3 of the 9 lowest-ranked teams in the RPI, and even managed to lose to one of them (VMI). The Hokies’ strength of schedule currently ranks at 232 nationally, but that will improve as Tech plays more ACC teams.
Currently Tech’s highest RPI victory is against Clemson, who is ranked 39. The Hokies’ second best victory came against #89 Chattanooga. As a conference, the ACC is ranked 1st nationally in the RPI with the PAC-10 coming in 2nd.
NOVA Hokie Chili Fest
The Northern Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association is gearing up for its annual Chilifest. This event is open to the public. We invite Hokies, friends and anyone looking for a great time to enjoy a night filled with chili, beer and music! Partial proceeds will benefit Chapter Scholarship Funds.
We invite you to experience the largest gathering of Hokie Alumni outside of Blacksburg. Join fellow Hokies and friends for great food, beverages, raffle prizes, and fun. This event helps support our scholarship fund that has provided more than $60,000 to local high school students in the last six years and enabled the chapter to endow a $25,000 scholarship fund in Blacksburg. Only 675 tickets will be sold. Don’t risk missing the premier Hokie social event of the winter season – get your tickets now! Tickets may be sold at the door if available. A collection of prizes, including Virginia Tech memorabilia, will be awarded to the winners of our annual Chilifest raffle.
Tickets can be purchased online through Wednesday, January 26th. For more information on how to order, plus info on chili, raffle items, music, and beer for the Chilifest, click below.
|TechSideline.com Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!|
As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at Techlocker.com, our online store providing Hokie-related apparel and gift items. If that's not enough, you should know that your subscription will help support your favorite website, TechSideline.com.
For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here.
|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Preview: VT at #12 Georgia Tech
TSL Audio: SportsRadio910 Interview With Will Stewart, 1/20/05 (MP3 Audio)
Wrestling: Kill Bill (Brill), Volume 2
The Promise of ACC Hoops
Come Back, Shock Wolfpack 72-71
Preview: Virginia Tech vs. NC State
TSL Audio: Interview With Steve Phillips, High Point (NC) Enterprise, 1/18/05 (MP3 Audio)
And We Have Basketball
Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/17/05
Recruiting Mini-War Room
TechSideline.com Recruiting Report Archive, 1/13/05 (MP3 Audio)
Steals First-Ever ACC Win for the Hokies, 59-57
Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Clemson
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