BLACKSBURG — The long wait is over.
Virginia Tech announced Tyler Bowen as its new offensive coordinator on Monday more than a month after the Hokies interest in the assistant was initially reported. He will also be the team’s tight ends coach.
Bowen spent the 2021 season as the Jacksonville Jaguars tight ends coach. The Jaguars season ended on Sunday with a 26-11 win over the Indianapolis Colts to finish 3-14.
The move reunites Bowen with new Tech coach Brent Pry. The two were on Penn State’s staff together from 2018-20. Bowen spent two seasons as the teams tight ends coach and offensive recruiting coordinator.
He was promoted to co-offensive coordinator in 2020, but has limited play-calling experience.
Bowen, a Maryland alum, called plays in the 2019 Cotton Bowl after offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne left for Old Dominion. Penn State beat Memphis 53-29 and had 529 yards of total offense. He also called plays during a one-year stint as Fordham’s offensive coordinator in 2016.
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The long wait in hiring an offensive coordinator hurt Tech with some recruits before early signing day — running back Ramon Brown flipped to Maryland and quarterback Alex Orji switched to Michigan — but Pry didn’t let that impact his timeline.
“It’s about this football team and it’s about this football team over the next three, four, five years,” Pry said, in December. “So that was actually an easy decision as I thought more about it, to make sure the staff hires are what I need them to be and what we want them to be.”
The Hokies previously announced Brad Glenn as the team’s quarterbacks coach and Stu Holt as the team’s running backs coach. The only vacancy left on the coaching staff is for a receivers coach.
The Georgia native inherits a Virginia Tech offense that ranked No. 96 out of 130 FBS teams in total offense (361.4 yards per game) and No. 97 in total scoring (23.7 points). The primary issue came in the passing game with the Hokies ranking No. 112 in the country (176.4 yards).
It was the first time in a decade they averaged less than 200 passing yards per game.
Tech will only have four returning starters on offense after losing five players to the NFL (running back Raheem Blackshear, wide receiver Tre Turner, center Brock Hoffman, left guard Lectius Smith and left tackle Luke Tenuta) and two transferring (quarterback Braxton Burmeister and receiver Tayvion Robinson).
The Hokies offensive rebuild picked up steam over the last week with verbal commitments from a pair of quarterback transfers (South Carolina’s Jason Brown and Marshall’s Grant Wells) as well as Temple receiver Jadan Blue.