BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Fontel Mines — a Virginia native who not only played for the University of Virginia Cavaliers and the Chicago Bears, but has also coached at multiple Virginia universities — is set to join Virginia Tech’s football staff as the offensive recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach.
Virginia Tech Athletics released the following statement on Wednesday, Jan. 12 about Mines becoming a football coach for the Hokies:
Virginia Tech Football head coach Brent Pry announced Wednesday that Fontel Mines has joined his staff as offensive recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach. The Richmond native owns previous coaching experience at the University of Richmond, James Madison and ODU and has recruited the Commonwealth of Virginia extensively throughout his career. He played collegiately at the University of Virginia before signing with the Chicago Bears.
Mines joins the Hokies after spending the 2021 season coaching tight ends at Old Dominion. He mentored TE Zack Kuntz, who posted 73 receptions, the second-highest total by a FBS tight end last season and the best single-season tally by a tight end in ODU history. Kuntz finished the year with 692 receiving yards – also the best seasonal mark ever by an ODU tight end – and five TDs as the Monarchs earned a berth in the 2021 Myrtle Beach Bowl.Statement released on Jan. 12, 2022 by Virginia Tech Athletics
He spent the previous two seasons as the tight ends/inside receivers coach at East Carolina (2019-20), in addition to serving as recruiting coordinator for the Pirates. Mines coached East Carolina WR Tyler Snead, helping Snead earn all-conference honors in 2020. In 2019, Snead broke the ECU freshman record for receptions (66) and touchdowns (five) in a season, while his 19 catches at SMU (11/9/19) were the most in an FBS game that season. In his two seasons under Mines’ tutelage Snead hauled in 199 catches for 1,283 yards with 10 TDs. He also returned 43 kickoffs for 890 yards with two TDs.
As the recruiting coordinator for the Pirates, Mines helped compile the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the American Athletic Conference in 2020. Mines ranked No. 6 among all AAC coaches in 247Sports coach recruiting rankings in 2020 and 2021.
Mines coached inside receivers/tight ends at James Madison (2017-18) and added recruiting coordinator duties to his responsibilities prior to the 2018 campaign. He coached the 2017 Colonial Athletic Association Special Teams Player of the Year WR John Miller, who collected 35 passes for 393 yards with one TD as the Dukes advanced to the FCS Championship Game. JMU advanced to the second round of the FCS Playoffs in 2018, giving the Dukes a 23-5 record during Mines’ tenure with the squad.
He began his Division I coaching tenure with a five-year stint at Richmond (2012-16), helping the Spiders to three consecutive appearances in the FCS Playoffs. Mines coached wide receivers (2012-13, 2015-16) and tight ends (2014) at Richmond, including a trio of players who earned opportunities in the NFL. WR Brian Brown was a three-time All-CAA performer and finished his career as the school’s all-time leading receiver with 247 catches for 4,203 yards with 23 TDs. WR Ben Edwards earned all-conference honors in both 2012 and 2013 under Mines’ tutelage, hauling in 154 catches for 1,558 yards with eight TDs over that two-year span. WR Reggie Diggs was also a two-time All-CAA performer at Richmond and produced 106 catches for 1,385 yards with six TDs while working with Mines.
Mines began his college coaching tenure at NCAA Division II Chowan University in Murfreesboro, N.C. He coached the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year WR Robert Holland, who ranks second in NCAA Division II history with 325 career receptions. Mines inaugurated his coaching career at his alma mater, Hermitage High School, where he was an all-state selection as a senior playing wide receiver and safety.
A four-year letterwinner as a wide receiver at the University of Virginia, Mines caught 68 passes in his career for 737 yards with five touchdowns. He was part of squads that claimed victories in the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl and the 2005 Music City Bowl. He spent three seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and also served a Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship during training camp with the Washington Football Team in 2014.
Mines and his wife, Joyner, have a son, Lexan.
Virginia Tech Athletics also included Mines’ coaching history in Wednesday’s announcement:
|2022||Virginia Tech||Offensive Recruiting Coordinator / Wide Receivers|
|2021||Old Dominion||Tight Ends|
|2019-20||East Carolina||Tight Ends / Inside Receivers / Recruiting Coordinator|
|2018||James Madison||Inside Receivers / Tight Ends / Recruiting Coordinator|
|2017||James Madison||Inside Receivers / Tight Ends|
|2011||Chowan||Wide Receivers / Tight Ends|
|2010||Hermitage High School||Assistant Coach|
The university says Mines has also coached in the following 15 bowl games and playoff games:
|2021||Myrtle Beach||Old Dominion|
|2018||FCS First & Second Round||James Madison|
|2017||FCS Second Round, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, National Championship||James Madison|
|2016||FCS First & Second Round, Quarterfinals||Richmond|
|2015||FCS Second Round, Quarterfinals, Semifinals||Richmond|
|2014||FCS First & Second Round||Richmond|
According to athletics officials, Mines also has some prominent NFL pupils:
|WR||Brian Brown||FA-2018 – Detroit|
|WR||Reggie Diggs||FA-2016 – Washington|
|WR||Ben Edwards||FA-2015 – N.Y. Giants|