BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech director of athletics Whit Babcock announced on Thursday that John Dooley is joining the staff as special assistant to the director of athletics. Dooley, who served as CEO of the Virginia Tech Foundation from 2012-21 and possesses an extensive background in fundraising and development, will work with Babcock and the Hokie Club as well as Tech coaches and staff as a resource to support the $400 million Reach for Excellence campaign launched in April 2021.
“John will serve as a valuable asset for us as we seek to reach the lofty objectives set forth in the Reach for Excellence campaign,” Babcock said. “John’s long history of fostering relationships with alumni, donors and other key constituents to broaden the impact of Virginia Tech makes him uniquely qualified to serve in this newly-created role. For nearly 40 years, John has been very personally invested in Virginia Tech’s spirit of Ut Prosim, and we look forward to his contributions in this latest role at Tech. John has positively impacted generations of Hokies and this is one more opportunity for him to make a lasting impact on the greater Virginia Tech community.”
As part of with his work on the Reach for Excellence campaign, Dooley will be charged with assisting Babcock and Tech Athletics with the planned renovations to Cassell Coliseum and helping reach the associated fundraising target of $75 million for that project. In addition to serving as the arena for Virginia Tech men’s and women’s basketball, Cassell also hosts home matches for Tech’s volleyball and wrestling programs.
Dooley will also collaborate with men’s basketball head coach Mike Young and his staff to develop and engage with top-level boosters of that program. In addition, Dooley will also play a role in Tech’s community outreach efforts as the Hokies seek to enlist as many individuals as possible to participate in the Reach for Excellence campaign.
“I appreciate Whit and President Sands extending me the opportunity to assist with the Reach for Excellence campaign,” Dooley said. “My passion for Virginia Tech, its mission and its people has never wavered over the years. I enthusiastically endorse the vision of excellence outlined in the Reach for Excellence campaign and I’m confident reaching these goals will contribute to future success of Tech Athletics. I can’t wait to engage with my many friends and colleagues across Hokie Nation as we all join together to support this great cause.”
Dooley’s long association with Virginia Tech began in 1982 and has included many diverse roles and important initiatives over the years. As the CEO of the Virginia Tech Foundation, he was involved in a wide range of projects that continue to make an impact on the economy of the Commonwealth, as well as numerous endeavors that have raised the profile of Virginia Tech regionally, nationally and globally.
Tech vice president for advancement, Charlie Phlegar, boasts a long personal and professional relationship with Dooley. Phlegar knows first-hand the positive influence that Dooley can have on the Reach for Excellence campaign.
“John’s enthusiasm for Virginia Tech, its people and its fundamental mission have never faded over his many years of service to our university and our region,” Phlegar said. “When we said back in April that we needed everyone to get on board with the Reach for Excellence campaign, John took that invitation very literally. He’s always been an individual who has embraced opportunities to further the greater Virginia Tech cause. It’s not surprising that John has accepted this new role and we’re all confident about how many other Hokies will enthusiastically participate in Reach for Excellence because of his involvement.”
While Tech men’s basketball coach Mike Young has only been on the job in Blacksburg for two seasons, he’s already developed a strong bond with his friend and neighbor, John Dooley. The 2020-21 ACC Coach of the Year knows the advantage that a packed Cassell Coliseum can provide his team. He also realizes the contributions that Dooley can make to the Reach for Excellence campaign.
“It didn’t take long for John and me to strike up a conversation about the past, present and future of Cassell Coliseum,” Young commented. “I know John shares our collective vision of the evolution of Cassell and how we can make it a reality. John’s ability to share that vision with our fellow Hokies will be invaluable as we roll up our sleeves and get to work on Reach for Excellence. Specifically, I’m looking forward to working with John and getting him even more involved with our basketball team and our most avid fans.”