Hokies Went Ham

Virginia Tech announced Justin Hamilton as its new defensive coordinator. Outlining the pros and cons of the hire.

[Virginia Tech Athletics]

Barry Odom, Justin Fuente's Memphis DC and the recently fired Missouri head coach, made too much sense. Torrian Gray, with his DBU lineage as both Hokie and coach, was the go-to former player in Tech social media circles to oversee the defense. Either would've been regarded as an excellent choice. Instead of those two, or a candidate with experience commensurate to the role, Fuente opted to go with Justin Hamilton, the in-house up-and-comer as the Hokies' next defensive coordinator.

The decision has the potential to fail spectacularly. It's certainly fair to scrutinize Hamilton's coaching qualifications. He has been a Power Five assistant for only a single season, and his defensive coordinator experience is limited to a 2011-12 UVA-Wise stint. Moreover, the Hokies' safeties, Hamilton's position group, underperformed relative to the progression of other defensive units. Finally, he hasn't exactly burned up the recruiting trail, yet. Given his resume, it's a stretch hire for a G5 school, let alone one that replaced a defensive legend.

There's also plenty of promise.

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