Long-time assistant coach Billy Hite, who helped develop 28 running backs who have gone on to sign with NFL teams, continues in the role he moved into prior to the 2011 season as the assistant to the head coach and senior advisor of the staff. This move came after 34 seasons on the Tech coaching staff and his 10 years as the Hokies’ associate head coach.
|1974-77||North Carolina (running backs)|
|1978-87||Virginia Tech (running backs)|
|1988-00||Virginia Tech (assistant head coach and running backs)|
|2001-10||Virginia Tech (associate head coach and running backs)|
|2011-||Virginia Tech (assistant to the head coach and senior advisor)|
While the running backs coach, Hite helped produce nine of Virginia Tech’s top 11 career rushing leaders and he was on the sidelines for more Virginia Tech football games than any other coach. He continues to be there on game days in his new role.
Hite came to Blacksburg as a member of Bill Dooley’s football staff in 1978. He served as a recruiter and head jayvee coach his first two years, then took over as the offensive backfield coach in charge of tailbacks and fullbacks in 1980. He had been coaching Tech’s running backs up until his promotion last February.
Hite remained at Tech when Frank Beamer took over in 1987 and was elevated to the position of assistant head coach by Beamer the following year. He was promoted to the new position of associate head coach in December 2000. In 1989, Hite filled in as the acting head coach when Beamer was sidelined following coronary angioplasty surgery and had to miss a home game versus Tulane. Hite didn’t let the program down as he led the Hokies to an emotional 30-13 victory.
Hite’s first tailback in 1980, Cyrus Lawrence, went on to establish Tech season and career marks for rushing yards. During the mid-1980s, Hite was credited with the development of Tech’s famed “Stallions” backfield that featured Maurice Williams and Eddie Hunter.
In 2000, tailback Lee Suggs shattered school and BIG EAST Conference scoring records on the way to leading the nation in touchdowns and scoring. Suggs, who also led the conference in rushing, was selected the Co-BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year.
During the 2001 season, with Suggs sidelined by an injury, true freshman tailback Kevin Jones came on to lead the team in rushing and set a Tech record for rushing yards by a freshman. Jones was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year.
In 2002, Suggs and Jones combined to become the most productive Tech twosome ever in terms of single-season rushing yardage, combining for over 2,000 yards. During the 2003 season, Jones earned consensus All-America honors before opting to leave early for the NFL Draft. He was a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions.
In 2010 the tailback trio of Darren Evans, Ryan Williams and David Wilson combined to rush for 1,920 yards and 21 touchdowns and after the season, Williams was taken in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by Arizona. Wilson was a first-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2012.
In 2009, Williams earned All-America honors after breaking the school’s single-season rushing record with 1,655 yards. A year before, Evans eclipsed the 1,200-yard mark and broke the school’s freshman rushing record en route to all-conference honors. Evans also rushed for a school-record 253 yards in Tech’s win over Maryland.
Hite, who was on the sidelines for 397 consecutive Tech games as a coach from 1978-2010, coached in 21 bowl games for the Hokies.
A native of Hyattsville, Md., Hite was a former star tailback at the University of North Carolina. He received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1974.
Hite began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UNC in 1974. He was a part-time assistant for the Tar Heels from 1975-77. Hite received one of his highest honors when he was inducted into the DeMatha High School Hall of Fame in 1992.
Hite is married to the former Anne Heen of Memphis, Tenn. They have two daughters, Kirsten and Bryn, and a son, Griffin, who is a redshirt sophomore on the Tech football squad.