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Radford High School football assistant Pierson Prioleau coaches special teams Tuesday.

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech announced Pierson Prioleau as the team’s new director of player development for the defense on Wednesday.

The opening was created earlier this year when Tech promoted Justin Hamilton from the role to coach the team’s safeties.

Prioleau, a Virginia Tech alum, was a three-year starter for the school and a team captain for former coach Frank Beamer as a senior in 1998. The South Carolina native was fourth round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft and went on to have a 12-year career in the league.

The defensive back played for the New Orleans Saints when the team beat Indianapolis 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.

“Pierson will serve as a valuable resource for our players and coaches with his experience as a former student-athlete at Virginia Tech, along with his NFL experience following his playing career,” Fuente said, in a statement. “Pierson possesses valuable relationships with coaches across our region in addition to lifelong bonds with his former teammates that make him an ideal candidate to serve as an ambassador for our program.”

Prioleou has been a fixture in the New River Valley since retiring from the NFL in 2011 serving as defensive coordinator at Radford High School. He’s also worked as a health and physical education instructor at Belle Heth Elementary School in Radford in 2015.

The former Tech defender credits Redford coach Matthew Saunders for jump starting his coaching career.

“I thank him every day for inviting me to come out and live my dream of being a coach,” Prioleau said, last year.

Prioleau has coached his son P.J. for the last two seasons. The junior is a two-way starter (running back and defensive back) for the program. It was part of the reason staying in the area was important to the former Tech standout.

“There were definitely opportunities for me to move my family away and coach at a different level,” Pierson said, last year. “But right now it’s more important for my family to have a small-community support system and grow up similar to the way that I did.”

“This is home for me. We always knew this is where I would come back to.”

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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