Mike OCain

  • Mike
  • O'Cain

  • Quarterbacks Coach

Mike O’Cain is in his seventh season as the quarterbacks coach at Virginia Tech. A veteran of the Atlantic Coast Conference, O’Cain was formerly the head coach at NC State and offensive coordinator at both North Carolina and Clemson.  This season, he will again handle the gameday playcalling duties for the Tech offense like he did in 2011.

Born: 7/20/54, Orangeburg, S.C.
Hometown: Orangeburg, S.C.
Wife: former Nancy Farnum
Children: Jenny, Lizzi

High School: Orangeburg-Wilkinson (1972)
College: Clemson (1977)

Playing Experience
Clemson (1972-1976)

Coaching Experience
1977Clemson (graduate assistant)
1978-80The Citadel (quarterbacks/running backs)
1981Murray State (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
1982-84Murray State (asst. head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach)
1985East Carolina (asst. head coach/quarterbacks)
1986-89NC State (quarterbacks/running backs)
1990-92NC State (quarterbacks)
1993-99NC State (head coach)
2000North Carolina (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2001-03Clemson (quarterbacks)
2004Clemson (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2006-Virginia Tech (quarterbacks)

Bowl/Playoff Experience
   1977Gator (Clemson vs. Pittsburgh)
   1986Peach (NC State vs. Virginia Tech)
   1988Peach (NC State vs. Iowa)
   1989Copper (NC State vs. Arizona)
   1990All American (NC State vs. Southern Mississippi)
   1992Peach (NC State vs. East Carolina)
   1992Gator (NC State vs. Florida)
   1994Hall of Fame (NC State vs. Michigan)
   1995Peach (NC State vs. Mississippi State)
   1998Micron PC (NC State vs. Miami)
   2001Humanitarian (Clemson vs. Louisiana Tech)
   2002Tangerine (Clemson vs. Texas Tech)
   2004Peach (Clemson vs. Tennessee)
   2006Chick-fil-A (Virginia Tech vs. Georgia)
   2007Orange (Virginia Tech vs. Kansas)
   2008Orange (Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati)
   2009Chick-fil-A (Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee)
   2010Orange (Virginia Tech vs. Stanford)
   2011Sugar (Virginia Tech vs. Michigan)

A year after losing one of the greatest quarterbacks to suit up for the Hokies, O’Cain started over with Logan Thomas. Thomas went on to break the school’s single-season record for total offense and became just the second 3,000-yard passer in school history. 

The 33-year coaching veteran spent four seasons developing Tyrod Taylor into a dynamic playmaker who led Tech to three ACC titles in four years and was named the league’s player of the year as a senior.

O’Cain returned to the sidelines in 2006 after a one-year hiatus in which he served as the color commentator for the Hokie Playback broadcasts of home Virginia Tech football games. Prior to that, he coached at Clemson in 2004, serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2003, he was a big reason Charlie Whitehurst established 33 school records, including the passing yardage and completion records for a season. Whitehurst is now in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers while Taylor was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2011.

In his first year at Tech, he brought along Sean Glennon, who passed for over 2,000 yards in his first year as a starter, while the 2007 combo of Glennon and Taylor combined for 2,723 passing yards and 24 total touchdowns.

O’Cain began his coaching career at Clemson in 1977 as a graduate assistant. He coached the offensive backfield at The Citadel for the 1978-80 seasons before moving to Murray State, where he was an assistant under Tech head coach Frank Beamer from 1981-84. 

After one year as the assistant head coach at East Carolina, O’Cain joined Dick Sheridan as quarterbacks coach at NC State. O’Cain served as a top assistant under Sheridan from 1986-92 and was a part of a staff that coached the Wolfpack in six bowl games. In 1993, Sheridan decided to retire just five weeks prior to the start of August practice and O’Cain was promoted to head coach. Despite a short period of time for preparation, O’Cain took NC State to a 7-4 regular-season record and an invitation to the Hall of Fame Bowl. 

The next year, O’Cain guided the Wolfpack to a second-place ACC finish with an 8-3 record. He completed the season with a victory over Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl to become just the second coach in NC State history to take a team to a bowl in his first two seasons with the program.

In 1998, O’Cain guided the ‘Pack to a win over No. 1 Florida State, then won at Texas in 1999. For the Seminoles, that was one of just two losses in ACC play during the team’s first nine years in the league. He coached the Wolfpack to their third bowl trip in his tenure. 

After the 1999 season, O’Cain joined the North Carolina football staff as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He helped the Tar Heels to a winning season in 2000, and then moved to Clemson in December to replace Rich Rodriguez as quarterbacks coach. He spent four years at Clemson, taking part in three bowl games. 

A native of Orangeburg, S.C., O’Cain was a three-year letterwinner at Clemson, where he was the most valuable player and a captain of Clemson’s 1976 team, working as both the punter and quarterback. He is still ranked in Clemson’s history for passing efficiency. He received his bachelor’s degree in recreation parks administration from Clemson in 1977. 

O’Cain and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters, Jenny (27) and Lizzi (25).