Monday, November 29, 2021

Virginia Tech’s Jesse Price: ‘Humble’ to coach alma mater

Jesse Price of Virginia Tech never expected to be Virginia Tech’s head football coach at his alma mater.

Then came the opportunity when athletic director Whit Babcock was told by Justin Fuente that he would rather move on with his future at Virginia Tech unclear. Bobcock then called Price.

“It’s bittersweet,” Price said during a 30-minute news conference on Thursday. “On the one hand you have so much respect for Coach Fuente and the work he was doing, then you become so humbled by Whit Babcock’s confidence in me.”

After Fuente decided not to end the season, Babcock tabbed Price to lead the team through the last two regular season games.

The Hokies (5-5, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) play in Miami (5-5, 3-3) on Saturday and close the regular season in Virginia the following week.

“I just want to do my best for these kids. These kids deserve to be winners,” Price said. “Seniors deserve to win. There’s so much to play for.”

The Hokies still have an outside chance of winning the Coastal Division if they win their last two games and get some help from other teams.

“Our story has not been written. The book is not over. What’s this going to say?” Price said. “We’re going to finish writing it in the next two weeks.”

Price, a senior captain when the Hokies beat Texas in the 1995 Sugar Bowl, told the team that he would not be head coach beyond this year, but said that finishing strong was a priority. Price also reminded the players how important schools and events are to them, taking them to an on-campus memorial for the 32 people killed by a gunman on Thursday, April 16, 2007.

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Price said, “It was something that I felt we needed to do to keep our why and understand how important this place is, and what it meant to me and our efforts to end this thing.” What does the team mean? Visit made public.

Price, a co-defensive line coach earlier Tuesday, said he was not sure how he would behave on the sidelines. Price considered it a good thing to be excited as a positions coach, but he now hopes to be like the College Football Hall of Famer Frank Beamer he is now in charge.

“I think we’ll find out on Saturday because I’ve never been a head coach at any level. I’m hoping and praying that, like Coach Beamer, only when I’m nervous, the kids worry. I should do it,” Price said. “I am going to do my best to keep my cool because I think that is what a leader should do.”

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