Mike Brizendine will step into the leading role this season at Virginia Tech, poised to try and restore the program’s momentum from a couple years ago.
Brizendine, the team’s promising assistant coach, has been named to the head position after prior coach Oliver Weiss resigned earlier this month. Brizendine will have his work cut out for him in one of the premier conferences in men’s college soccer. For starters, he’s replacing a man who enjoyed some of the best seasons the Hokies ever had and helped to put the men’s team on the map.
Weiss compiled a record of 73-52-17 during his tenure that included several highlights: in 2007-08, Virginia Tech finished the season third overall in the final NSCAA poll, which was the highest finishing mark the team has ever enjoyed. Equally as important, the Hokies established an identity under the leadership of Weiss. The team became known for its attacking style and exciting play.
Last season was a small step back for Virginia Tech as it failed to make the NCAA tournament after finishing 5-13-1 overall.
The onus is now on Brizendine to lead a resurgence and all indications are that he’s a good fit for the program. He was named the NSCAA Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2007, and has been a key part of the program’s recent success. He does have head coaching experience at Bridgewater College, were he guided the team to two record-breaking seasons in 2002 and 2003.
Key players James Gilson and Emmanuel Akogyeram will return and hopefully give the team a needed offensive jolt. In way of new faces the Hokies will welcome talented prospects Joe Vidmar (Baltimore Bays), Greg Cochrane (FC Delco) and Patrick Huang (Birmingham United Soccer), to name a few.
While Brizendine will certainly be on the hot seat, he won’t be alone. Across the way, ACC foe Clemson has also made a coaching change after longtime coach Trevor Adair resigned last week in a move that was largely expected The move was not a surprise following Adair’s arrest in April when he was charge
The announcement comes during what has been a tough offseason for the Tigers, with not only Adair but the passing of legendary player Nnamdi Nwokocha in May.
Assistant coach Phil Hindson will serve as the interim coach for the Clemson program through the 2009 season.