Former Virginia Tech defensive standout and NFL product Torrian Gray, who is in his ninth season as the Hokies’ defensive secondary coach and second season as the passing game coordinator, has made a big impact on Tech’s defense.
|2000-02||Maine (defensive backs)|
|2002-04||Connecticut (defensive backs)|
|2004-05||Chicago Bears (assistant defensive backs)|
|2006-12||Virginia Tech (defensive secondary)|
|2013||Virginia Tech (defensive secondary/passing game coordinator)|
|1993||Independence (Virginia Tech vs. Indiana)|
|1994||Gator (Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee)|
|1995||Sugar (Virginia Tech vs. Texas)|
|1996||Orange (Virginia Tech vs. Nebraska)|
|2001||Division I-AA Playoffs (Maine, quarterfinals)|
|2006||Chick-fil-A (Virginia Tech vs. Georgia)|
|2007||Orange (Virginia Tech vs. Kansas)|
|2008||Orange (Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati)|
|2009||Chick-fil-A (Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee)|
|2010||Orange (Virginia Tech vs. Stanford)|
|2011||Sugar (Virginia Tech vs. Michigan)|
|2012||Russell Athletic (Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers)|
|2013||Sun (vs. UCLA)|
The 2013 season may have been Gray’s finest as he relied on a pair of true freshman for most of the season as his seniors were sidelined with injuries. The duo of Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson combined for 11 interceptions and finished first and second, respectively, in the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Despite missing almost all of the final five games, Kyle Fuller was named a second-team All-American and helped lead a group that finished fifth nationally in pass efficiency defense, sixth in interceptions and eighth in passing defense.
In 2011, all four members of his secondary made the All-ACC squad. That secondary helped Tech finish 14th in the country in pass efficiency defense and tied for 18th nationally in passes intercepted. Kyle Fuller led the team with 14.5 tackles for loss and the secondary combined for 10 of Tech’s 16 picks. In 2012, the secondary helped pace a defense that finished 14th in pass efficiency defense once again and 24th in passing defense.
In 2010, the defense – led by first-team All-American Jayron Hosley – finished tied for second in the country in passes intercepted. Hosley led the nation with nine picks and combined with Rashad Carmichael for 13 total interceptions, the most in the nation for a cornerback combo. Carmichael went on to be drafted by the Houston Texans in 2011 and Hosley was taken by the New York Giants in the third round of the 2012 Draft.
His 2009 group finished 11th in the country in pass defense and eighth in pass efficiency defense and was led by eventual NFL Pro Bowler Kam Chancellor. In 2008, led by All-American Victor Harris, Gray’s secondary was ranked among the nation’s leaders in pass defense (129.1 ypg) and interceptions (20).
In 2007, Gray oversaw a pass efficiency defense ranked fifth in the country, led by three All-ACC performers in Harris, Brandon Flowers and D.J. Parker. Flowers thrived under Gray, earning All-America honors for the second time, including first-team honors en route to becoming a second-round pick in the NFL Draft. In 2006, Gray led a secondary that ranked as the nation’s No. 1 pass defense and the No. 2 team in pass efficiency defense.
Prior to coming to Blacksburg, Gray spent the previous two seasons as assistant defensive backs coach with the NFL’s Chicago Bears. During the 2005 season, the Bears ranked fifth in the NFL in passing defense and finished tied for second in interceptions (24) as defensive backs Nathan Vasher and Mike Brown were both elected to the Pro Bowl.
Gray began his coaching career at the University of Maine, serving as defensive backs coach for two seasons (2000-01). Gray spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as defensive backs coach at the University of Connecticut.
During his playing career at Virginia Tech (1992-96), Gray helped the Hokies to four consecutive bowls for the first time in school history. He played on 97 percent of the Hokies’ defensive plays over his last three seasons, starting at rover in 1994 and ’95, and handling the starting free safety duties in 1996.
Gray was named All-BIG EAST all three seasons and helped Tech to conference championships his last two years. He shared the team lead in interceptions in both 1993 and 1994 and was named the Hokies’ Outstanding Defensive Back in 1996. Gray earned a bachelor’s degree in consumer studies from Tech.
He was drafted in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft (49th overall) by the Minnesota Vikings. He started five games as a rookie, including two playoff contests. He contributed as a starter in the nickel package and as a special teams player before retiring in the spring of 2000 due to a knee injury. The Vikings advanced to the playoffs in each of his three seasons.
A native of Lakeland, Fla., Gray has a daughter, Tori.