Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer has yet to officially announce any openings on his offensive coaching staff, but the Hokies hosted two candidates on campus Monday.
Former Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and former Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes were in Blacksburg to meet with Beamer about the possibility of taking the same positions at Virginia Tech, according to two athletic department officials with direct knowledge of the situation.
One person said, however, that neither Loeffler nor Grimes had been hired by the Hokies as of Monday afternoon. Virginia Tech’s search for new offensive coaches has been ongoing since the program’s worst season in 20 years ended last month in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
But it appears the pursuit could be nearing its end. An athletic department official confirmed that Monday represented Loeffler’s second interview with Beamer in the past week after the Daily Press reported Friday that Loeffler was a candidate.
One factor could be quarterback Logan Thomas’s impending decision about whether to declare for the NFL draft. The redshirt junior must do so by Tuesday, and two people in the football program said Beamer has been keeping Thomas abreast of developments throughout the interview process. Neither would confirm whether Thomas met with Loeffler on Monday.
Loeffler, 38, lost his job at Auburn after one season when former Coach Gene Chizik was fired following a 3-9 regular season in 2012. The Tigers finished 112th in the nation in scoring offense and 115th in total offense.
Before Auburn, though, Loeffler had a successful one-year stint as the offensive coordinator at Temple, helping the Owls to a 9-4 record with an offense that finished seventh in the nation in rushing yards and 39th overall in scoring.
If Virginia Tech were to hire Loeffler, he would likely also become the program’s quarterbacks coach. It’s a role he thrived in during previous stops at Michigan and Florida, coaching future NFL signal callers like Chad Henne, John Navarre and Tim Tebow.
Loeffler is also close friends with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The two played together at Michigan and Loeffler later worked with him as a graduate assistant under former Coach Lloyd Carr.
Grimes, 44, also lost his job when Chizik was fired earlier this offseason. Like Auburn, Grimes’s units struggled the past two seasons. But the Texas El-Paso graduate is also just two years removed from leading a unit that helped the Tigers set school records in rushing yards and points for a second-consecutive season. When Auburn won the BCS national championship in 2010, two of his linemen – tackle Lee Ziemba and center Ryan Pugh – earned all-American honors.
Grimes was also an offensive line coach at Colorado, BYU and Arizona State, serving as the run game coordinator with the Buffaloes and Sun Devils.
Though Beamer has yet to announce any changes to his current assistant coaching staff, Purdue is expected to announce that Hokies wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman has accepted a similar position there. The school’s athletic department website already lists an email address for Sherman.
Meanwhile, offensive line coach Curt Newsome has already lined up a job at James Madison, his former employer, in case Beamer does not bring him back, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Current quarterbacks coach and play caller Mike O’Cain has also been mentioned as a candidate for the head coach opening at Charleston Southern.
Beamer is expected to keep offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring on staff next year, but it’s unclear at this point what his exact role would be.