VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY)- The new head football coach at Virginia Tech addressed an energetic crowd of Hokies at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on Tuesday night, as part of Tech’s “Tailgate Tour” around the commonwealth.

Brent Pry has been busy on the recruiting trail, doing his best to see that talent from Hampton Roads and elsewhere in Virginia stays home. “It didn’t take rocket science to figure out that we need a strong presence out here (Hampton Roads),” said Pry.

“We need to invest in this area, invest in these coaches, and we’re doing that.”

The event, sponsored by the Tidewater Hokie Club, was emceed by Tech’s long-time radio analyst Mike Burnop, and also included Tech Athletics Director Whit Babcock.

“(Brent Pry) is like a Coach (Frank) Beamer and coach (Bud) Foster clone,” said Burnop, likening the Hokies’ new head man to Tech’s legendary head coach of 29 years, and his longtime defensive coordinator.

Pry spent much of the night sharing stories about his upbringing through the coaching ranks, and making his pitch to the 757. “We need the letterman, we need the fan base, we need the Hokies in this community to support and be aggressive in getting guys to visit Virginia Tech,” he said.

Burnop acknowledged coach Pry is enjoying the “honeymoon” phase of his tenure, as he’s yet to coach the first game. Nevertheless, the Pry understands the pressure is on to put back-to-back losing seasons in the rear-view mirror.

“Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle year one, and hopefully we can do that,” said Babcock. “But the recruiting and putting a good foundation in will get us back to where we need to be for the long haul.”

It’s only fitting, as Pry attempts to build that foundation with the help of Hampton Roads, his first year as a head coach will officially get under way in the 757, when Tech visits Old Dominion to open the season on Sept. 2.