BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech trainer Justin Fuente left it up to Bud Foster to form the defensive staff for his last game at the Belk Bowl.
At the end of the regular season, Hokies defender Brian Mitchell and defender Charley Wiles let go.
Fuente has since taken on Darryl Tapp and Tracy Claeys on the baton – Tapp has been classified as a general defense assistant and Claeys will coach the linebackers next season – but nobody will be coaching in the bowl game.
Foster was pleased that both were on campus this week to watch the training and take part in team meetings.
For pre-Belk Bowl training (and the game itself), Pierson Prioleau trains the defensive back, Zach Sparber trains the defensive line, and Jack Tyler works as a defense assistant.
Prioleau will be in the press box for the game, filling the role Mitchell played on the game day.
The former Hokies defender is just finishing his first year as director of player development for the defense, the role Justin Hamilton had before being promoted to security coach. Prioleau had been at Radford High School since 2011 before returning to his alma mater.
Tyler, a former tech linebacker, is a defense quality control staff, while Sparber is a defense assistant.
Fuente hopes to announce permanent positions for the defensive backs and defensive line vacancies sometime in January.
Mike Niziolek is Virginia Tech’s football beat writer for the Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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