Nov 30, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster (left) talks to his players against the Virginia Cavaliers in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. The Hokies won 16-6. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
We have reached the end of the series of our roundtable discussions this week by taking a look at the potential future replacements for Frank Beamer. It is uncertain whether Beamer will be the head coach of the Hokies next season and that could vary depending on the way the Hokies finish out the season with missing a bowl game likely to cost Beamer.
However, we are uncertain of the date Beamer will no longer be the head coach but no matter the situation, Beamer probably only has a few years left.
With all that said, let’s take a look at what our staff thinks about their potential Beamer replacements.
So Hokie fans, let’s look into our trusty crystal ball and see the future of our beloved team. Let’s pretend Whit Babcock did fire Frank Beamer, or the more likely case; try and encourage him to take the path of Mack Brown and retire. Who would lead the Hokies going forward?
The most likely answer is Bud Foster but for this argument’s sake, let’s assume Babcock passed over him. The fact of the matter is coaching royalty is not coming through the door in Blacksburg. Babcock is obviously a great salesman, see the hire of Buzz Williams, but even he couldn’t persuade the top tier SEC coaches to leave their high paid, nationally coveted places of employment.
Truth be told, the Hokies would probably end up with someone from the second tier of coaches or even a coordinator from a well know school.
Sep 20, 2014; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers head coach Mike Riley laughs during an interview after the game against the San Diego State Aztecs at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Werner, the offensive coordinator at Ole Miss, would be a great choice. Werner is a great offensive mind and has a history of turning poor offenses into powerhouses. Also, Werner has ties to Virginia, coaching at James Madison for 4 seasons.
Andy Ludwig from Wisconsin would also be a stellar choice based on the personnel we have in Blacksburg right now. With all our running back talent, Ludwig could step in and help build the Hokies back to a force on the ground.
Mike Riley from Oregon State would be a definite coup for Babcock. Riley is a proven winner on and off the field. Perhaps Babcock could entice Riley to switch coasts and conferences, and inject some excitement into the Hokie fan base.
All this is strictly opinion and I have no clue who would come to Blacksburg in the event of Beamer leaving but I will leave you with this thought. What if the next head coach for the Hokies was another Beamer, think about that one Hokie fans.
So let’s assume Beamer has retired and Bud Foster is out of the running for head coach of the Hokies. Maybe he wants to stay a defensive coordinator or maybe he gets a job somewhere else. In that particular scenario, I hope the Hokies think outside the box in hiring their next coach and I think it should be Herm Edwards.
It would take some doing on the part of Whit Babcock to coax him away from his his cushy job at ESPN but I’ve always thought he would make a terrific college coach. Herm has NFL experience as head coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, and was a former player for the Philadelphia Eagles.
His charismatic personality would be a boon on the recruiting trail and his enthusiasm would energize a fan base that has become complacent in recent years. Edwards is also known as a highly principled man in football circles and would be able to continue to guide VT as one of the cleanest programs in the country.
Edwards would be a worthy successor to the legendary Beamer, and motivate the players to play hard and become leaders of men on and off the field. Assuming Foster didn’t want the job, he would be my choice.
This list will only be realistic if the end of Beamer is no later than the 2016 season so if Beamer becomes the next Bill Snyder, this list becomes useless. However, Beamer seems to only have a few seasons left so this can be realistic.
Bud Foster deserves to be considered for the job and his fiery personality will either work well or not work at all as a head coach. Foster isn’t a great recruiter but seems to be someone that could handle running a whole program and make sure that his staff as a whole was very productive on the recruiting trail. Foster is definitely one of the top 3 potentail replacements for Beamer that also seem realistic.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris will be a head coach very soon and Morris has proven himself as a storng recruiter that can recruit all over the country and is also a quality offensive mind. On top of that, Morris was a winner as a high school head coach in Texas which is decently impressive given how big those programs are.
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Morris also coached Michael Brewer in high school which could help his development even more. If Beamer is fired after this season, Morris should be the second to get an interview after Foster but Morris might actually be the best fit. If Morris were to be the next head coach, I would expect that he would be able to keep Bud Foster while also keeping many of the productive coaches. The only certain changes would likely be at offensive coordinator with RBs coach being a major possibility.
Another name to watch is Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain. McElwain was the offensive coordinator for two national championships at Alabama and knows how to develop quarterbacks. McElwain has also done a great job building Colorado State from a four-win team in his first season in 2012 to eight wins last season and eight wins so far this season with a good chance at one of the big six bowls.
Foster should be one of the top candidates but Chad Morris and Jim McElwain are two guys that definitely should also be contacted by Whit Babcock especially if the change happens after this season. If Babcock hires one of these three guys as the next head coach, the Hokies should be in good shape but it will be up to Babcock to make the best possible hire.