Should Virginia Tech pursue Kellie Harper to replace Kenny Brooks?

It may not be a bad idea for Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock to pursue.

Green Bay v Tennessee
Green Bay v Tennessee / Lance King/GettyImages
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Six days ago, Kenny Brooks left Virginia Tech to take over as head coach of the Kentucky women's basketball program. One day later, Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock met with the media and said that his search for his next women's coach was beginning. It's been five days and there have been nothing but crickets out of Blacksburg.

Yes, some of that could have to do with Easter being this past weekend, however, you would think that Babcock would like to act quickly in finding his next coach with the portal being hot right now. Monday, Kellie Harper was let go from Tennessee and the question should be asked, should Babcock pursue Harper to be the Hokies next head coach?

Should Virginia Tech pursue Kellie Harper for women's basketball head coach?

First and foremost, Harper's time in Knoxville was not as bad as one may think. In five years, the former Tennessee player under Pat Summitt was 108-52 in charge of the Vols, and that included two Sweet 16 appearances, including last season when she was eliminated in the Sweet 16 by Virginia Tech, 73-64, in Seattle.

The timing of the firing seemed strange, more than a week after they were eliminated in the NCAA Tournament, but her buyout dropped from 100% of her annual compensation through April 14, 2027 to 50% of her annual compensation through its end date in 2028. Timing is everything in life.

Harper struggled to meet expectations at her alma mater as she never got past the Sweet 16, but had the Vols in the NCAA Tournament in four of her five seasons. The tournament in her first season of 2019-20 was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following in the footsteps of what Brooks built in Blacksburg will not be easy, but Harper has had success in the SEC and there is no reason why she can't have the same success at Virginia Tech. Coaches with her record normally don't get fired and this feels like an opportunity for Babcock to add a veteran coach from a power conference to replace Brooks. Plus, she spent time in the ACC at North Carolina State so she knows what to expect in the conference yearly.

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