BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente confirmed Wednesday that Tech co-defensive line coach Darryl Tapp has accepted a position as an assistant defensive line coach in the National Football League.
Tech will defer any announcement of the franchise Tapp is joining until that team finalizes its staff and makes his hiring official.
“I view it as a compliment to our entire program when NFL franchises want to sign players, coaches or staff members from Virginia Tech,” Fuente said. “Obviously we’re disappointed to lose him, but I know NFL teams see the same kind of talent, potential and passion in Darryl Tapp as a coach that we’ve witnessed the past year at Virginia Tech. After the 2020 season, Darryl and I had discussed expanding his role in our recruiting efforts and we were both excited about that possibility.
“I know how much Darryl cares about the future of our program at Virginia Tech, but I also knew the day might come when an NFL team tried to hire him away,” the head Hokie said. “I speak for our players, coaches and fans when I thank Darryl for his many contributions to Virginia Tech. While I don’t think either of us anticipated that an NFL coaching opportunity would come this quickly for him, we certainly wish he and his family the very best as he pursues his dream of coaching at the next level. I know he will continue to be a great ambassador for the Hokies and will make us all proud to say he’s a Tech alum.”
“I can’t thank Coach Fuente enough for offering me a chance to coach at my alma mater,” Tapp said. “I’ve enjoyed being back in Blacksburg and I’ve learned so much from this staff this past year. My love for Virginia Tech will never waver. I’ll forever be grateful for all the opportunities that this school and this football program have opened up for me and my family.
“This program is in great hands with Coach Fuente and the staff he’s assembled,” Tapp said. “I know how much our players appreciate how these coaches pour their heart and soul into their jobs on a daily basis. They’re so invested in helping these young men grow and develop in all aspects of their lives, and without question, I’m going to miss these players and this staff very much, particularly my guys on the defensive line.
“When I came back to Virginia Tech, I told Coach Fuente that I hoped to be here a long time,” Tapp said. “Even while I was still playing in the NFL, I had always envisioned that someday I might be able to pay it forward as a coach for the Hokies. That’s truly been a blessing.
“Coach Fuente and I also discussed from the outset that the only thing that could potentially lure me away from Tech was the chance to coach the best of the best,” the future NFL coach said. “I was fortunate enough to play at the game’s highest level for 12 seasons, and I’ve always dreamed of coaching in the NFL. I certainly never imagined that day would come so soon, but I feel like I owe it to myself and my family to seize an opportunity that may never come around again.
“To my core, I’m always going to be a Virginia Tech Hokie, I’m always going to bleed Maroon and Orange,” Tapp said. “You can rest assured I’ll continue to be invested in Virginia Tech football for the rest of my life. I’m excited about the direction of the football program at Virginia Tech, and I’m really going to miss having a hands-on role at a place I love so much. I’d just ask that you join me in putting your support behind our coaches and players. I’ll be cheering for all of them from afar. Be blessed and Go Hokies!”
A 2005 All-America selection for the Hokies and a member of the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, Tapp played in 165 regular season NFL games (39 starts) and participated in six playoff contests.
Before being named Tech’s co-defensive line coach in December 2019, Tapp served as a special teams quality control coach at Vanderbilt for the 2019 season. He began his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach at Central Michigan and also interned with the New Orleans Saints following his NFL playing career.