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February 13, 2013

Intelligence and toughness are two of many things new offensive coordinator wants to see out of Tech's offense

By: Bill Roth

Scot Loeffler has both NFL and college experience and
plans on the Hokies having a balanced, pro-style offense
in the years to come.

Those are two words you hear frequently coming from Scot Loeffler, Virginia Tech’s new offensive coordinator. He wants his players to play smart and be tough. He wants a quarterback who’s smart and rugged, and he wants an offense that plays that way each and every snap.

If Loeffler learned anything during his playing days and early in his coaching career at the University of Michigan in the 1990’s, he learned the recipe to win at the highest level. You win by playing physical, cerebral football … like former coach Lloyd Carr’s teams did in Ann Arbor.

A quarterback for the Wolverines from 1993-96, Loeffler earned his bachelor’s degree in 1996. Then, as a student and graduate assistant coach under Carr, he worked on staff during the Wolverines’ 1997 undefeated national championship season. He spent six seasons as the Wolverines’ quarterbacks coach before moving to the NFL for a season. Stops at Florida, Temple and Auburn preceded his move to Blacksburg.

Loeffler came to Blacksburg to help install an identity to an offense that’s been wildly inconsistent in recent years. At times, it’s been explosive, and at other times, inept.

After searching the country and vetting out numerous candidates, coach Frank Beamer hand-picked Loeffler, who brings 15 years of coaching experience on the collegiate and NFL levels to Tech. Loeffler, who served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn in 2012 and in the same role at Temple in 2011, has coached six college quarterbacks who went on to play in the NFL: Tom Brady, Tim Tebow, Brian Griese, Chad Henne, Drew Henson and John Navarre.

When an opportunity came open in Blacksburg Loeffler eagerly jumped on it.

“Coach Carr, who is my mentor still, told me to ‘run, not walk’ for the chance to work for Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech,” Loeffler said.

Even with other college and pro options on the table, Loeffler did eagerly pursue and quickly accept Beamer’s offer.

“Coach Beamer has been here for 27 years, and I’m 38,” Loeffler said. “In my era, Virginia Tech, in my mind, has always been a storybook program. They win. They win by doing things the right way. They’re going to graduate their football players. They’re going to follow the rules and win with integrity.

“Any time you’re at a place that does it the right way, wins on a consistent basis, graduates their kids, and makes sure their kids have a very successful career after football, you run to that place. That’s what Virginia Tech is, and why I’m so thankful to be here.”

Beamer, as many know, is close with Carr. They have similar personalities and goals. Their respect for the game itself, for their staffs, and for their respective fan bases is legendary. Beamer discussed the Hokies’ offensive situation with Carr, and Loeffler’s name quickly came up. Despite a tough 2012 at Auburn, where the Tigers went 3-9, Loeffler is a proven commodity – NFL experience, SEC recruiter, been around demanding fan bases at Michigan, Florida and Auburn and worked for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. Plus, he’ll bring that intelligence and toughness Beamer wanted.

While he visited face to face with other candidates, Beamer knew rather quickly that Loeffler was his man. There was a connection.

“Coach Beamer is very similar to Coach Carr, who I consider a friend and a mentor,” Loeffler said. “He (Carr) was my coach. Every time I hear Coach Beamer talk, it reminds me very much of Lloyd. These places (Michigan and Virginia Tech) have stood for the same values. Win. Do it the right way. Graduate their players. Care about their kids.”

So what will Tech’s 2013 offense look like? What are Loeffler’s ideals?

“No. 1 is I want an offense that will protect the football,” Loeffler said. “It’s amazing the little things – the teams that turn over the football are generally the teams that lose the game. We want to protect the football, and we want to run the football. If you protect it and run it effectively in any league, you got a chance to win the football game.”

But don’t expect Loeffler and the Hokies to be a totally grind-it-out offense. He wants to be able to do both.

“We want to be balanced,” he said. “As much as I like running it, I understand you have to throw the football, especially against today’s defenses. We are going to be very multiple. I’d like us to be a big ‘formation movement’ team and be multiple, and have multiple personnel groupings.”

In easy-to-understand words, what should Tech fans expect?

“We will be a pro-style offense that is multiple, with the ability to run the ball from the quarterback position,” he said. “You have to be able to do that in college football today.”

It’s with the quarterbacks where Loeffler has excelled over the years, tutoring some of the best, such as Tebow, Navarre, Henson, Brady and others.

“My biggest strength is probably the quarterback position,” Loeffler said. “I’ve been very blessed to have great teachers. Lloyd (Carr) was an ex-quarterback. Cam Cameron coached me in college. All the contacts I’ve made throughout my career. That’s what I love to do. Take a guy out of high school, develop him and watch him grow into a great college player and then obviously an NFL player.”

Loeffler is inheriting a guy who will rewrite most – if not all – Tech quarterback records during his career. Logan Thomas is back for one more year in Blacksburg, and that means it’s one year with Loeffler.

“I’m excited about Logan,” Loeffler said. “He wants to be great. He loves Virginia Tech, and these are going to be eight great months with Logan.”

He likes Thomas’ brain, and he likes Logan’s competitiveness.

“Exactly, intelligence and toughness, that’s Logan,” Loeffler said. “You never lose with intelligence and toughness. Moving forward, if we can find another guy who is super smart and who’s tough and has some talent, we’ve got a chance. Leadership is right up there, too. That’s what we’re looking for.”

He’s 38 years old, working with college football’s winningest active coach, at a program that reminds him much of his alma mater in Michigan. Loeffler isn’t just excited because he’s here – he’s excited because of the potential of Tech’s program.


Born: 11/1/74, Barberton, Ohio
Hometown: Barberton, Ohio
Wife: former Amie Roland
Children: Luke, Alexis

High School: Barberton High School
College: Michigan (1998)
Michigan (1993-96)

1996-97 Michigan (student assistant)
1998-99 Michigan (graduate assistant)
2000-01 Central Michigan (quarterbacks)
2002-07 Michigan (quarterbacks)
2008 Detroit Lions (quarterbacks)
2009-10 Florida (quarterbacks)
2011 Temple (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2012 Auburn (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2013 Virginia Tech (off. coordinator/quarterbacks)