– For starters, here’s a link to my story on the 1946 Virginia Tech team that went to the 1947 Sun Bowl, the last time the Hokies — or Gobblers, as they were known then — have played in El Paso. It was the first team from the commonwealth to ever play in a bowl game, and it’d be another 20 years before the Hokies would go back to another one.
Of the 35 Tech players that played in the game, only five are still alive today. I spoke to a couple of them for the story and they were nice enough to reminisce a little bit for me. It was an interesting team, one made up of young players and veterans who had returned from World War II.
– Hokies recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Bryan Stinespring reportedly interviewed at James Madison for its head coaching vacancy on Tuesday, according to FootballScoop.com and Matthew Stoss of the Daily News-Record.
Stinespring is a 1986 graduate of James Madison, so there’s a connection. He’s also got recruiting ties around the state, which would be a plus. Considering his demotion from the offensive coordinator post at Tech last winter, this would definitely be a path of career advancement. Stinespring, 50, makes $300,000 a year at Virginia Tech, which would be roughly what James Madison might be looking to pay its next head coach.
According to Stoss, Stinespring is on the contenders list for the job with Vanderbilt defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator George Barlow (a former JMU defensive coordinator), Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo (a JMU grad) and former Hokies quarterbacks coach/play-caller Mike O’Cain, who spent last year as the Dukes’ offensive coordinator.
I also did some digging on Bryan Stinespring. Put him on the top contenders list with George Barlow, John DeFilippo and Mike O'Cain.— Matthew Stoss (@MatthewStoss) December 18, 2013
FootballScoop.com says a hire could be made by the end of the week.
– Defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins has accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game. The senior showcase will be played Jan. 18 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
He’s the sixth Hokie to accept an invitation to a postseason game. Logan Thomas, James Gayle and Kyle Fuller will play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Jack Tyler and Tariq Edwards will play in the College All Star Bowl in Greenville, S.C.
– A former Hokie seems to have found a home. Kicker Brooks Abbott will attend Florida next year as a preferred walk-on, according to GatorCountry.com.
Abbott, a former U.S. Army All-American, left Virginia Tech this summer after a year with the program. He spent the fall at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
– I’ve posted this link in the comments section of previous posts, but figured I’d put it on an actual post, too. The end is nigh for our current website. As part of the Roanoke Times’ sale to Berkshire-Hathaway, the website that was just redesigned will be redesigned once more to align our online presence with that of our sister papers (and integrate our publishing systems).
Part of that redesign is a change to the commenting system, which will no longer be anonymous, Instead, it will be a Facebook-style format. This is cause for consternation from … well, just about everybody, it seems, based on the comments on that post.
If you have feedback about how you feel about these changes, I encourage you to leave comments on that blog post, not this one (since this one will be bumped down by Virginia Tech news as the week continues). I realize many of you will not be happy with the new commenting system, but as I’ve mentioned before, this is a decision that has been made well above my pay grade.