Virginia Tech Head Coach Research Updates 11/26/21
As Virginia Tech’s head coach search continues to take many twists and turns, here are some of the latest updates.
Dave Clawson accepts extension to Wake Forest
One of Virginia Tech’s main targets is ruled out as Dave Clawson has agreed to an extension to stay at Wake Forest.
Clawson was one of the best potential candidates on my board and there seemed to be at least some sort of interest between the two parties. It is not known how many there were and if Clawson was really one of the better candidates.
Clawson was one of the best names on my board and would have been a great hire in my opinion given the work he has done to create 4 different programs from Fordham to Richmond to Bowling Green to Wake Forest . While at Wake, he was arguably their best modern-day coach with 5 winning seasons in the past 6 years, something that hadn’t been done since Wake had 8 out of 9. 1944 to 1952. Plus, while Clawson isn’t known as a big recruiter, he has the kind of regional ties that would certainly have benefited him at Tech.
With Clawson off the board, Tech’s next coach looks less likely to be a Power 5 seated head coach although there is a Power 5 guy we hear is a name to watch out for (more on him shortly. ).
Billy Napier in Florida: rumors are on the rise
Another of Virginia Tech’s main targets, Louisiana head coach Billy Napier, could come close to a decision as if Virginia Tech had been heavily involved in the battle for him, there are increasing signs that he will land in Florida.
Napier is definitely a prime target for Virginia Tech, with Napier being the type of guy that fits a lot of things, from someone who can be a CEO-type head coach to a top recruiter and someone who seems well connect with fans. He also built the Louisiana program structure in a similar fashion to how Nick Saban built Alabama, which Tech definitely needs structurally compared to the “less is more” approach of the past.
There is no doubt that Tech is increasing its financial effort on the football side of things significantly, while the facilities have also taken a big step forward in recent years. This could be helpful with the fact that Tech has some advantages over Florida from a wide open Coastal ACC over a Georgia-dominated SEC East, plus a more patient fan base compared to a donor from Florida and leadership that has a quick trigger finger when the going is not perfect.
Tech’s chances of landing at Napier at this point appear to be dwindling as Florida appear to move closer to one of their primary targets. However, never say never until the ink on the contract is dry and the public announcement is made for either program.
Matt Campbell emerges as a name to watch
Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell was not a name I thought could be on the line for the Virginia Tech job, given rumors he could be a major contender in some. places like USC and LSU. However, I heard from a source that Campbell is absolutely a name to watch in Virginia Tech coaching research at this point.
Now, there’s no doubt that Campbell’s landing would be a home run rental as his tenure was one of the best in school history with Iowa State set for its fifth consecutive winning season at the during his six-year term. Meanwhile, Campbell led Iowa State to a Big 12 Championship game in the 2020 season while also winning 3 Big 12 Coach of the Year awards and upping the Iowa State roster. It came after a strong tenure in Toledo where he won 9 games three out of 4 seasons with 2 division titles.
There are major challenges, however, as USC appears to view Campbell as a prime target and beating the Trojans for a head coach goal can be more difficult than trying to make it for Florida in this. which concerns Billy Napier.
Of course, Whit Babcock showed an ability to make major hires before landing Marquette’s Buzz Williams on the men’s basketball side to Maryland’s John Szefc on the baseball side. Yes, football is another animal, but Babcock has shown that he can land big training fish that wouldn’t have looked imaginable.
Keep an eye out for Matt Campbell as Whit Babcock looks to make a big hire, although Tech may face some major competition from USC and potentially LSU.