Virginia Tech Announces Contract Extensions for Six Head Coaches

Mike Young Virginia Tech
Mike Young was one of six Virginia Tech coaches to receive a contract extension. (Johnnie Izquierdo, ACC Pool)

Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced contract extensions for six Hokies head coaches on Friday morning.

CoachSportDate Extended Through
Terry Ann Zawacki-HoldrenWomen's TennisJune 30, 2023
Dave CianelliTrack and Field, Cross CountryJune 30, 2024
Jim ThompsonMen's TennisJune 30, 2026
Mike YoungMen's BasketballMarch 15, 2027
John SzefcBaseballJune 30, 2027
Carol RobertsonWomen's GolfJune 30, 2027

Mike Young

Mike Young’s contract extension, which was reported on June 28 by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, will keep the Radford native in the New River Valley through 2027. His original contract from April of 2019 was for five years, $11.5 million. Before taking a 10% pay cut in 2020-21 due to COVID-19, he was originally set to make $2 million. The three-year extension means Young, 58, will be 64 when his contract ends in 2027.

Young had a stellar second year in Blacksburg and was named ACC Coach of the Year as a result. He led the Hokies to a 15-7 (9-4 ACC) record in 2020-21, including a 4-0 record against AP Top 25 opponents. Tech posted a third-place finish in the ACC and ventured to the NCAA Tournament as a ten seed. A breakdown of the $270,000 in bonuses Young received in 2020-21:

$90,000: ACC Coach of the Year
$90,000: NCAA Round of 68 App.
$45,000: Top 4 Finish in ACC
$45,000: Team Collective GPA of 3.0 or Higher

Things won’t get any easier for Young in year three thanks to a dangerous non-conference schedule that Chris Coleman examined on Thursday, July 8. However, the former Wofford man has already defied expectations in his first two seasons in Blacksburg. It’s safe to expect the same in the future.

John Szefc

Through four years at the helm of the Virginia Tech baseball program, John Szefc has an 85-90 record (34-65 ACC). In 2021, the Hokies finished 27-25 despite a 19-9 start and being ranked as high as No. 12 at one point during the 2021 season. Will Stewart detailed Szefc’s contract when he was hired in June of 2017.

Originally a contract for $3.45 million over six years through 2023, Szefc will now be in Blacksburg through 2027. Tech recently renovated English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park for $20 million in 2018. The stadium now holds just over 1,000 fans plus grass seating down the third base line. The Hokies also financed upgrades to the James C. Weaver Baseball Center in that same project. The state-of-the-art facility that includes batting cages, a locker room, a lounge and a team meeting area.

With the renovations, the Hokies now have the chance to compete on a national level, particularly in recruiting. Though Szefc & Co. were up and down in his fourth season, the future looks bright, especially with talents like Gavin Cross, who is playing with the USA Collegiate National Team this summer.

Dave Cianelli

In Dave Cianelli’s 21 years at Virginia Tech, the track and field and cross country programs have combined to win 16 team ACC championships. A 14-time ACC Coach of the Year, Cianelli has coached 207 ACC Champions, 96 All-Americans, 17 NCAA Champions and eight Olympians in his tenure in Blacksburg. The head of arguably the best athletic program in Blacksburg, Cianelli will be a mainstay at Virginia Tech through 2024 with the contract extension.

This year, Tech won the 2021 ACC Indoor Championship by the largest margin in modern conference history, while seven Hokies also earned All-American honors this spring at the NCAA Championships. Two alumni that Cianelli coached at Tech – Irena Gillarová (Czech Republic, Javelin) and Marcel Lomnický (Slovakia, Hammer Throw) – and one current signee – Barbora Malíková (Czech Republic, 400m) will compete at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Carol Robertson

This season was one for the ages for Carol Robertson and Virginia Tech women’s golf. The Hokies reached historic heights in 2021, making the program’s first NCAA Championship appearance. Tech has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in three straight seasons under Robertson, who is the first and only coach in the program’s history. The Hokies reached a program-best No. 14 in the country this year and earned the No. 4 seed in the Stanford Regional.

Under Robertson’s tutelage, two Hokies – Amanda Hollandsworth and Emily Mahar – have qualified and competed at the U.S. Women’s Open. Two current Tech golfers have been successful so far this month, too, with Alyssa Montgomery winning the Tennessee Women’s Amateur Championship and Becca DiNunzio winning the 96th VSGA Women’s Amateur Championship six days apart.

Jim Thompson

The longest-tenured coach at Virginia Tech, Jim Thompson has taken the men’s tennis program to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances since his start in 1998, including 12 in the last 14 seasons. The Hokies spent the majority of the 2021 season ranked before falling to No. 25 Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament in early May. Tech knocked off four of the 14 ranked foes it faced this season and saw the doubles team of Jordan Chrysostom and Ryan Fishback advance to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Doubles Championship.

Thompson has coached 25 All-ACC honorees, including Mitch Harper, who was named Second Team All-ACC in 2021. He’s recruited well, too, bringing in talents like Fishback, who was once the No. 1 recruit in the country, and Frank Thompson, a top-20 recruit in the U.S. and the No. 1 player in Virginia.

Terry Ann Zawacki-Holdren

At the helm of the Hokies’ women’s tennis program since 2004, Zawacki-Holdren has coached Tech to two NCAA Tournament appearances. Though the team has finished below .500 the past two full seasons, Zawacki-Holdren is trying to get the Hokies back to 2015-esque success. Tech received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament that year and won its first match on the stage since 1998. Despite finishing 7-17 in 2021, VT was competitive and knocked off Clemson in the ACC Tournament. Zawacki-Holdren has coached seven All-ACC honorees and eight nationally-ranked singles players in her 18 years in Blacksburg.

8 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. No disrespect to the coaches who got raises but Robie (Wrestling) needs to be getting a raise and recognition. He’s done it all year after year at a very high level. Give this man a raise!


      1. He signed an extension in 2018 and another in 2020. The latest extends his contract through 2025.

  2. Writing quirk: if we expect CMY to defy expectations, he would in fact be meeting them and not defying them.

  3. Cianelli has the “best athletic program at VT” but is only extended to 24 while others are to 27? Maybe so that he can renegotiate earlier if needed?

  4. Congratulations to all the coaches on their contract extensions – a sign of the strength of the VT athletics department. I would especially like to give a rousing golf clap to Carol Robertson who has done a spectacular job with the women’s golf program. To start from nothing and have a NCAA finals team in the short time she has been at VT is incredible. Not only is she a great coach, but a super person who is a tremendous representative of Hokie spirit. Whatever VT is paying her, it is a great deal – Go Hokies.

    1. Not a golfer so not knowledgeable in that arena but I don’t have any trouble following your logic. Obviously Coach Robertson has done a “spectacular job” as you said!

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