Bryan Stinespring will rebuild Maroons football for the first time since 1942.
Roanoke College has Monday that Bryan Stinespring will be the new head coach for the Maroons football program, which the school is rebuilding after a hiatus of more than 80 years. Stinespring, previously the associate head football coach and offensive assistant at Virginia Military Institute, brings more than 30 years of Virginia coaching experience to the role, including 26 years under legendary coach Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech.
“We are very fortunate to get a person with Coach Stinespring’s background and experience,” said Athletics Director Curtis Campbell. “He is a Virginia native and has established relationships with high school and college coaches throughout the state. Coach Stinespring has name recognition in southwest Virginia, and that will be very important with getting our first recruiting class and establishing our program. We have a great group of coaches on staff, and he will be a welcomed addition.”
During a news conference on campus at Cregger Center, Stinespring said he is eager to bring his experience to bear for the Maroons.
“It is an honor and a privilege to stand before you as the head football coach of Roanoke College,” he said. “Roanoke has been a second home for me for a long time. So, when I look out and see the familiarity of faces here, it means a lot to me. I want to thank President Shushok, Curtis, this administration and this college for giving me this opportunity.”
Roanoke College hasn’t had a football team since 1942, when it was forced to disband the program because of the constraints of World War II. This summer, Roanoke College announced it had raised $1.3 million to support the return of football and add co-curricular varsity cheerleading and marching band programs.
“Bringing back Maroon football, along with marching band and competitive cheer, will open new doors at Roanoke College, attracting a wider range of students and fostering community spirit and fun in the Roanoke Valley, a region with a deep passion for football,” said Roanoke College President Frank Shushok Jr. “Coach Stinespring’s proven track record as a recruiter and coach, combined with his deep relationships in the region and across the commonwealth, make him an ideal leader to build a successful football program at Roanoke College. During the interview process, it became clear that in addition to his athletics credentials, Coach Stinespring has the heart of an educator, viewing football as a leadership laboratory – a perfect fit for our Division III ethos.”
A native of Clifton Forge, Virginia, Stinespring earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at James Madison University and a master’s in education administration from Virginia Tech. Beginning as a graduate assistant at Tech, he was hired into his first full-time coaching role under Frank Beamer in 1992, when he became director of sports programs. He went on to spend 26 years on Beamer’s coaching staff. He also has coached at the University of Delaware, Old Dominion University and University of Maryland, and he just wrapped up a stint at Virginia Military Institute.
In Stinespring’s time at Virginia Tech, the program won seven conference championships and advanced to 23 consecutive bowl games. The Hokies earned invitations to eight BCS bowl games, including the national championship game in the 1999 season. Stinespring was primarily the team’s tight ends coach for his final 10 seasons (2006-15) in Blacksburg. Stinespring spent three years as the recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach after an 11-year role as offensive coordinator from 2002-12.
Prior to his elevation to offensive coordinator, Stinespring was assistant head coach for one season (2001). He managed the offensive line for eight years (1998-2005) and coached tight ends for five seasons (1993-97).
After leaving Tech, Stinespring returned to his alma mater, JMU. He worked his first season at JMU as the tight ends coach and then transitioned to offensive line coach in 2017. He additionally served as the team’s run game coordinator. In year two with the Dukes, Stinespring helped lead the team to another strong offensive campaign, resulting in a second consecutive national championship appearance and back-to-back records of 14-1.
Stinespring’s first coaching experience was at the high school level. He coached for three years at Lexington High School (1986-88) followed by one year at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke before heading to Tech as a graduate assistant. Stinespring was a walk-on player for the JMU Dukes in the early 1980s.
At VMI, Stinespring served under head coach Danny Rocco . “Bryan is an outstanding football coach and an even better person,” Rocco said. “He has great history and an outstanding reputation in the state of Virginia. Coach Stinespring has a great respect for the high school coaches and programs, with a special appreciation for those coaches and programs in Southwest Virginia. He brings energy and enthusiasm to his work, as well as providing a wide range of position versatility as a football coach.”
Stinespring coached a pair of JMU players to All-America status in left tackle Aaron Stinnie and right tackle Jahee Jackson. Stinnie, who was voted Touchdown Club of Richmond Division I Offensive Lineman of the Year, was named to five different All-America
teams, earning First Team status on four of them. Jackson, who was a Second Team All-CAA pick, earned a spot on the HERO Sports Sophomore All-America Team.
Stinespring and his wife, Shelley, have a son, Daniel, a daughter, Ella, and twin daughters, Carolina and Olivia.
The search for a football coach was one of the first projects tackled by Campbell when he joined Roanoke as athletics director this summer. The nationwide search resulted in more than 100 candidates for the position.
The search committee included Vice President of Enrollment Management James Pennix ’88, Associate Athletics Director John Farmer, Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Senior Women’s Administrator Carla Flaherty, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Clay Nunley, Vice President and Dean of the College Kathy Wolfe, John S. Shannon Professor of Economics Alice Kassens and Assistant to the President Ryan Otto.