Catching up on news from yesterday: Justin Fuente was named ACC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, and former Hokie football tight end Steve Johnson contributed $1 million to the football program.
Justin Fuente Named AP ACC Coach of the Year
Fuente’s honor from the Associated Press is in addition to previously being named ACC Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA, the journalists who cover the ACC programs).
The Associated Press also handed out the following ACC honors to Virginia Tech players:
Woody Baron was named First Team All-ACC. With 17.5 tackles for loss (TFLs) in 2016, Baron leads the Hokies, leads all Power 5 defensive tackles this season, ranks #23 in the nation among all players, and has the most TFLs for a defensive tackle since J.C. Price had 23 in 1995.
Jerod Evans was named ACC Newcomer of the Year. Evans currently holds the Virginia Tech record for most passing yards in a season (3,303, breaking a 44-year-old record of 3,243 yards in 1972), most touchdown passes in a season (27, breaking the record of 24 set by Tyrod Taylor in 2010), and touchdown passes in a game (5 vs. Boston College, tied with Bryan Randall vs. Syracuse in 2002).
- Isaiah Ford and Tremaine Edmunds named All-ACC Second Team by the Associated Press
- Sam Rogers named by Pro Football Focus as a Second Team All-American at the fullback position.
Steve Johnson Makes $1 Million Gift to Virginia Tech Football
The Virginia Tech Athletics Department announced Wednesday that former football student-athlete Steve Johnson (1983-87) made a gift of $1,000,025 toward the construction costs of the Virginia Tech Indoor Practice Facility. Johnson also made a second leadership gift commitment to launch Phase 2 of the Merryman Center renovations, most specifically, the total renovation of McConnell Auditorium and team meeting rooms.
Johnson’s gift completes a pledge he made in 2013. The final $25 of the pledge will be used to cover the cost of the football that he tossed into the stands after scoring a go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown in the Hokies’ 25-24 win over NC State in the 1986 Peach Bowl.
Athletics department officials plan on renovating and expanding McConnell Auditorium (see renderings here and here) adding new seating, lighting, graphics on the walls and a sound system. Additional plans call for the renovation of the Hokies’ nine position meeting rooms, adding similar features, while also renovating a portion of the bottom floor of the Merryman Center. The bottom floor serves as the home to the Hokies’ strength, conditioning and rehabilitation areas, along with offices for the athletic performance staffs (strength and conditioning, sport psychologist and sports nutrition).
Johnson currently serves as president and owner of Bristol, Virginia-based Johnson Commercial Development, one of the largest commercial developers in the Southeast. Johnson Commercial Development recently completed one of the largest commercial projects in the country, The Pinnacle, a one million-square-foot upscale retail development in Bristol, Tennessee.