A look at the qualifications JJ and Stiney brought to their most recent job posts…
Let me take you all back to the end of the 2001 football season — Virginia Tech was finishing up another solid football season, albeit with a lackluster offense. Before the Gator Bowl against florida state (we were still in the Big East), it was announced that Offensive Coordinator Ricky Bustle would be leaving Tech to become the head coach at u-la-la, otherwise known as louisiana-lafayette. No one shed a tear.
For the Gator Bowl, even though Bustle was still around (as memory serves me), a young up-start named Bryan Stinespring was named the play-caller, and after the season would be named the new Offensive Coordinator for VT.
While every Hokie, me included, was glad to see Bustle gone, I instantly first-guessed this decision. Why? Here was Stinespring’s resume/coaching experience to that point:
- 1986-88: Lexington HS
- 1989: Patrick Henry HS
- 1990-91: VT Grad Asst
- 1992: VT Director of Sports Programs
- 1993-97: VT TEs/Asst OL
- 1998-2000: VT OL
- 2001: VT Asst Head Coach/OL
In other words, he had ZERO college coaching experience outside of Blacksburg. And didn’t we just rejoice that we had ‘lost’ our OC? Yet Mr. Stinespring only knew the VT offense. He had no other on the job training other than the ‘hey, our fullback is our 3rd best weapon!’ offense of Ricky Bustle. No West Coast experience. No spread experience. No triple option experience. No pistol (which hadn’t even been invented) experience. But you get the point. 3 yards and a cloud of dust, or a 60-yard bomb (if you have a QB other than Grant Kneel who can throw that far) were the only plays he knew. Quite simply, he had to learn on the job. And with that comes ‘freshman’ mistakes.
Now, 11 years later, enter James Johnson. Before I get to my data, let me state something loud and clear. Coach Greenberg had his chance. Only making the NCAA Tournament once in nine seasons is inexcusable. You could rationalize firing him just over that fact. Sure we were close to .500 in ACC play, and we had come from the depths that ricky “program bomb” stokes had left us in, but this is a sport of results, and 1/9 isn’t cutting it.
That said, this selection process could not have been botched any more than it was. Not firing Seth until a month after the season was a botch as we’ve all documented. And while many of us have said JJ was the best of a bad situation, I’ll take another stance — it wasn’t. Quite simply, he wasn’t qualified. Let’s look at the other head coaches in the ACC. The last column shows the number of games each man had coached as a Head Coach BEFORE being named the Head Coach at their current ACC institution.
|School||Coach||Games as a Head Coach Pre-ACC|
Please note the average at the bottom excludes Mr. Johnson. But that shows you the other 11 ACC head coaches had an average of 343 games as a head coach BEFORE coming to the ACC. No one had less than 100 games as a head coach. That means they had 100+ (or 343 on average) game preparations, 100+ times dealing with the media, and 3+ (10 on average) full recruiting classes. I’m sorry, but this resume isn’t qualified to be an ACC head coach:
- 2012 (4/19 to 4/30): clemson – Associate Head Coach
- 2007-12: Virginia Tech – Assistant Coach and Associate Head Coach
- 2005-07: george mason (under miami’s current head coach, Jim Larranaga) – Assistant Coach (2006 Final Four)
- 2003-05: penn state – Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
- 2002-03: college of charleston – Assistant Coach
- 2000-02: elon – Assistant Coach
- 1997-2000: old dominion – Assistant Coach
- 1996-97: Hargrave Military Academy Post-Grad Assistant Coach
- 1995-96: longwood college – Assistant Coach
- 1993-95: ferrum college – Assistant Coach
While at least he had experience outside of VT, he had never put on his pants as a head man. This is a tough league, even in a down year, and you can’t learn on the job in this league. This isn’t the Colonial. And did Weaver forget what happened the last time he hired a basketball coach with no head coaching experience? That was ricky stokes, if you are wondering. Tech spent years cleaning up the mess stokes left, then Weaver fires the guy that cleaned it up and then repeats the same mistake!
So, what am I saying? Mr. Weaver — if you are going to make a horrendous mistake like firing a coach a month after the season ends, you have to put your money where your mouth is. And that means that when you had Shaka Smart or Jay Wright on campus, you had to get a deal done. And from what I’ve been told, if the $ had been right, Smart would be our head coach right now. Mr. Weaver — this is your mess, and you needed to clean it up. You didn’t, and the result is losses to a team that is 2-5 in the Southern Conference (georgia southern) and double digit losses at home to bc (who is 0-4 against the rest of the ACC) and our arch-rival uva (ranked #145 in the RPI coming into the game). Do us all a favor, including yourself due to your health concerns, and step down. We need a person at the top that can make better decisions and not potentially put us back in the stokes doldrums of hoops.