BLACKSBURG – Placing even more of an emphasis on recruiting, Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer added to his support staff, announcing on Friday the hiring of Chuck Cantor to be the program’s first director of player personnel for football.
Cantor brings more than 10 years of experience at the collegiate level to Blacksburg, with most of that coming at the Division I level. He comes to Tech after spending more than a year at Temple University, where he served as the coordinator of external operations/on-campus recruiting coordinator. While there, he helped coordinate all prospect visits, helped oversee communication processes, kept up with prospect academic eligibility and coordinated the advance identification of potential student-athletes for the Owls. In 2013-14, he helped Temple secure one of its best recruiting classes in recent history, including prospects from nine different states.
“I’m just excited for the opportunity to work for Coach Beamer,” Cantor said. “This is one of the premier college football programs in America. Blacksburg is an exciting place. I’ve been here two previous times, and it’s always been a place that intrigued me. We’ve got an ability to get some of the finest players in America in here.”
At Tech, he will take on similar duties to the ones he performed at Temple, overseeing all aspects of the recruiting process – from official and unofficial visits to academic eligibility of prospects to social media and camps.
“Our philosophy hasn’t changed,” Beamer said. “Our first priority is the state of Virginia, and then we’ll recruit within a six-hour radius after that. If there’s a special situation outside of that, then we’ll certainly look at it.
“But we are going to change how we go about the recruiting process. With the way people are communicating any more, there are so many more things that can happen, and I think you need a person who can keep everyone in line and up to date on what needs to take place.”
“Recruiting is so important at this level,” Cantor said. “It’s paramount, and it’s a full-time job just handling the recruiting process. That’s the need I’ve filled at all those places that I’ve been. When I went to Florida State, I really learned the importance of recruiting. The players weren’t just showing up there. We had to go and beat the in-state powers for those guys.
“I love recruiting. It’s the lifeblood of the program and the most important part of it, and I look forward to getting started here.”
A native of New Hyde Park, New York, Cantor’s desire to get into college athletics started at a young age. He coached Pee Wee guys while in middle school and high school and decided he wanted to get into coaching at the collegiate level. He didn’t know where or how to get started in college football, but he had good grades and decided to attend Florida State.
“I knew no one south of New Jersey,” he said. “That’s how the journey began. I got in through the equipment room as a volunteer manager and worked my way up from there.”
Cantor started his career as a volunteer student manager at Florida State in 2002, working for then-head coach Bobby Bowden. He became a full-time student manager in 2003, and he coached the Bobby Bowden Football Camp from 2003-06. In 2004, he worked as a student assistant with the tight ends and then added the quarterbacks to his duties the following year.
He earned two undergraduate degrees at Florida State in 2006 – one in social science education and one in sport management – and he was on the Dean’s List every semester while at Florida State. After graduating, he worked at his alma mater as a graduate assistant in recruiting for a year before leaving to take a full-time position at Rutgers as a recruiting assistant in 2007.
He has worked for some big-time coaches in his career. In addition to working with Bowden, he also has worked with Greg Schiano at Rutgers (Schiano later left for an NFL job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and from 2008-2011, he worked with current Georgia head coach Mark Richt as an assistant athletic recruiting coordinator.
While at Georgia, Cantor spearheaded the day-to-day recruiting coordination and was an integral part of the recruiting efforts that landed Georgia’s “Dream Team” recruiting class of 2011 considered by many to be the top recruiting class in the country. He also played a big role in coordinating parts of the Mark Richt Football Camp.
Cantor got his master’s degree in sport management from Florida State after completing a final online course in 2011. His time in Athens, Georgia, coincided with that of Stacy Searels, Tech’s offensive line coach. Cantor also knew Tech running backs coach Shane Beamer from NCAA coaching conventions, and his ties with both guys helped him land the Tech position. Frank Beamer also talked to Richt about Cantor before hiring him.
In 2011, Cantor left Georgia to become an offensive graduate assistant at Middle Tennessee State University. After a year there, he left to become the wide receivers coach at LIU-C.W. Post University in Brookville, N.Y., working with legendary coach Bryan Collins, who is 115-60 at LIU and the school’s all-time winningest coach. Cantor ultimately left after a year to take the position at Temple.
“Chuck comes highly recommended,” Beamer said. “He’s worked for several coaches in the business that I really respect, and I think he’s going to be a tremendous asset for us.
“The heart of any program is the recruiting part. That determines how everything else goes, and to have a person whose total responsibility is for us to be the best recruiting staff possible, I think that’s a step in the right direction right now.”
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