BLACKSBURG, Va. —Aa Virginia Tech begins preparations this week to face No. 17 UCLA in the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl, one of Coach Frank Beamer’s longtime assistants could be on the move soon.
Former Hokies offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring confirmed Wednesday that he recently interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at James Madison, his alma mater. Stinespring, who currently coaches Virginia Tech’s tight ends and serves as the program’s recruiting coordinator, has spent the last 24 years working under Beamer in Blacksburg.
Stinespring is one of several candidates James Madison is reportedly considering, including Vanderbilt defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator George Barlow, Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and former Hokies quarterbacks coach/play-caller Mike O’Cain, who was the Dukes’ offensive coordinator last year.
James Madison fired former Coach Mickey Matthews last month after 15 seasons at the helm. The Dukes went 6-6 in 2013.
“I’m very humbled by the opportunity to speak to James Madison,” Stinespring said. “But right now everything is geared towards UCLA.”
Stinespring, 50, spent 11 seasons as Beamer’s offensive coordinator starting in 2002, and though it coincided with the team’s eight-year run of winning 10 games or more, his play-calling was a point of contention for fans even when the Hokies’ offense set school records in 2010 and 2011.
He was re-assigned last offseason when Beamer overhauled his offensive coaching staff and hired offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.
But Stinespring is also a gifted recruiter, particularly in the talent-rich Tidewater area, and could be an attractive choice for James Madison, which is considering a move from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision in the coming years.
“I’ve been under the best leadership in all of college football,” Stinespring said. “I’ve been front-row center to it, been actively involved in it.”
Virginia Tech associate head coach Shane Beamer has also been rumored to be a candidate at James Madison, but he told reporters Wednesday, “I’ve been asked about that one every day for the last two weeks. Nothing to that. I know they’ll hire a great coach whatever route they go, but it won’t be me.”
Beamer did, however, interview for the head coaching position at Florida Atlantic last week, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The Owls hired Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge on Tuesday, and Beamer would neither confirm nor deny he spoke with school officials about the position.
“It’s flattering anytime your name is mentioned as a candidate for a head coaching position anywhere,” Beamer said Wednesday. “That’s certainly a goal of mine. I feel prepared to do that if that opportunity came along. I’ve had opportunities to be a head coach in the past and it wasn’t the right time. But certainly anytime your name is mentioned, it’s certainly flattering. I love being here at Virginia Tech, and this is a great place and I have a great job right now.”