Yesterday morning, an old friend texted me and asks “what do you know about Brent Pry?”
Nothing, I said. Should I?
Well, you may want to check him out, was his response. So I did, and the more I learned about the man who is now Virginia Tech’s new head football coach, the more I liked him.
As I’m sure Whit Babcock had his check list of things he wanted in a head coach, I had my own. And it amazed me the deeper I dug, the more things Pry checked off the list. Sure, he wasn’t this shiny bauble who was the media darling of College Football. But everything else about him was outstanding.
Whit, old boy, I thought. You’ve done your homework. This could be good.
At the top of anyone’s list would be technical proficiency on at least one side of the ball, and Pry definitely has it on the defensive side. He’s spent the last 26 years as a college coach on the defensive side, with the last 10 as an Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator at Penn State.
I’ve found the best defensive coaches are also the ones who really understand offense first, and Pry checks that box too. His Dad was an offensive coordinator at East Stroudsburg, part of a 40-year coaching career where he coached with his son and future Penn State coach James Franklin, who was a QB. Having your Dad being your coach has its pluses and minuses, but one plus is the daily interaction over meals.
In my house growing up, my Dad and I over the dinner table may have talked about who won the game. When your Dad is a coach, you talk about not only who won, but why. What worked and what didn’t. Things to look out for next time. Many of the better coaches in high school, college and the NFL came about their analytical skills because they grew up with a coach in the house.