BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia Tech announced the hiring of Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry as its next head coach, ending a two-week search following the departure of Justin Fuente.

Pry will be formally introduced on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 9 a.m. in Blacksburg.

Pry brings three decades of coaching experience to Blacksburg and has been the defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions since 2016. The Penn State defense has ranked in the Top 5 in the Big Ten since his arrival.

The Altoona, Pa.-native is no stranger to the Hokies, serving as a graduate assistant under former head coach Frank Beamer and defensive coordinator Bud Foster from 1995-98. He has coached in 15 bowl games throughout his career, including three with Virginia Tech.

“On behalf of Amy and our family, we are extremely grateful to President Sands and Whit for extending us this opportunity at Virginia Tech,” Pry said. “Working for Coach Beamer and Coach Foster as a graduate assistant in the 1990s, I was privileged to have been a part of this program as the Hokies established themselves as a national power, consistently proving they could beat anyone in the nation.”

Pry, a 1988 state champion and graduate of the former Lexington High School (now Rockbridge County high school), replaces Fuente, who separated from the Hokies after six seasons, going 43-31 in his time in Blacksburg.

Athletic Director Whit Babcock named defensive line coach J.C. Price as the interim head coach. Price will remain in that role for Virginia Tech’s bowl game and Pry indicated that he will stay on staff next season as the Hokies’ associated head coach/defensive coach. The two worked together in 1995 during Price’s senior season as a player, when the Hokies won 10 consecutive games and won the Sugar Bowl.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Pry, Amy, and their family to Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg community,” Babcock said. “I’m confident that Hokies everywhere will come together to embrace and support them as we enter this new chapter in the history of Virginia Tech Football.

“Coach Pry owns a winning track record on the football field, as well as a history of developing young men into leaders off the field and in the classroom,” Babcock continued. “He’s earned his way up the coaching ranks, and we believe he is the right person to lead Virginia Tech Football and to achieve the goals that we all aspire to attaining. He and his staff will aggressively recruit our region to keep in-state recruits home and attract the talent necessary to win championships in Blacksburg.”

Babcock kept tight lipped about the search for Virginia Tech’s next coach, promising he wouldn’t comment until a hire was official. Reports started circulating on Tuesday, Nov. 30 with Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel the first to break the news.

The Hokies are 6-6 after their win over the University of Virginia in the Commonwealth Clash on Saturday, Nov. 27 and are bowl eligible.

For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list