Daily Press columnist David Teel tweeted Thursday afternoon that, barring a late change, Hamilton will not be the Hokies’ new offensive coordinator.
A few hours later, Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch tweeted that former Oklahoma and Kansas offensive coordinator and San Diego State head coach Chuck Long could be on Virginia Tech’s radar, news that, to be kind, did not thrill the Hokies fan base.
The 49-year-old Long, who in his most recent college coaching stint spent two years leading a struggling offense for Turner Gill at Kansas, chose not to coach at the college level last season, instead helping with his son Zach‘s high school team in Norman, Okla.
His last two college jobs have not gone well. From 2006-08 he was the head coach at San Diego State, where he was fired after going 9-27. In two years at Kansas in 2010-11, Long’s offenses ranked 113th and 106th nationally. The Jayhawks struggled to a 5-19 record under Gill, who was fired along with his staff.
But before that, Long had a successful run at Oklahoma for Bob Stoops, first as a quarterbacks coach in 2000-01, then as a co-offensive coordinator with Kevin Wilson from 2002-05. Under Long’s tutelage, quarterback Josh Heupel was a Heisman finalist in 2000 and Jason White won the award in 2003.
Oklahoma won the national title in the 2000-01 season, Long’s first with the program. In White’s Heisman year in 2003, Long’s second as coordinator, the Sooners averaged 42.9 points per game and again made the BCS title game, where they lost to LSU. In 2004, Long was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant. During his six years with Oklahoma, the Sooners went 67-11 and appeared in four BCS games.
Still, he’s probably best known for his playing career at Iowa, where as a quarterback he led the Hawkeyes to the 1985 Big Ten title and finished 45 points behind Auburn’s Bo Jackson for the Heisman Trophy, the second-closest finish in the award’s history. He had an unmemorable NFL career with the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams but was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer reportedly spoke with several possible offensive coordinator candidates at the AFCA convention in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this week.
While it’s tough to put a timetable on any coaching moves — particularly at a program that so far has not even acknowledged that there is an opening — it seems logical that Beamer, with Logan Thomas‘ NFL decision up in the air, would have something in place before the Jan. 15 deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.