By Matt Jones, sports editor
Following the news of the addition of offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, Frank Beamer has made another change to his coaching staff.
Jeff Grimes is the new offensive line coach for the Hokies, inheriting a group of linemen that saw a massive drop-off in rushing production in 2012.
Grimes, 44, replaces Curt Newsome as offensive line coach. After the Hokies struggled to protect the quarterback in 2012, Newsome’s job security came into question.
Newsome will head back to James Madison, where he served in various capacities from 1999 through 2005.
Grimes, who turned down an offer from Texas two years ago to coach their offensive line, is highly regarded throughout the country. His offensive line at Auburn in 2010 helped set school records for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and passing touchdowns en route to a national championship. While the Tigers did have Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, Grimes’ line was a major part of the success.
Grimes has held offensive line coaching positions at Colorado, BYU and Arizona State, serving as the run game coordinator with the Buffaloes and Sun Devils.
The Hokies will return offensive guards David Wang, Brent Benedict and Matt Arkema. At offensive tackle, the Hokies lose both Nick Becton and Vinston Painter to graduation. Mark Shuman and Laurence Gibson will be expected to step in and compete for those spots. At center, Andrew Miller will return from a fractured ankle. Caleb Farris started five games in Miller’s absence.
Grimes is saddled with the task of prepping the Hokies offensive line for a September 31 tilt with Alabama. For Tech to have any chance, the line will need to be much improved over last season.
Photo courtesy Al.com