Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock Extended Through 2029

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Whit Babcock
Virginia Tech director of athletics Whit Babcock received a contract extension through 2029. (Virginia Tech Photography)

Virginia Tech announced a five-year contract extension for Director of Athletics Whit Babcock on Monday, which will keep Babcock in Blacksburg through 2029.

Hired in January of 2014, Babcock has transformed Virginia Tech athletics over the last seven years. The Hokies finished No. 32 in the 2020-21 Learfield Directors’ Cup, the second-highest finish in athletic department history to 2017-18’s No. 28. On the academic side, 16 of Tech’s 22 varsity sports posted team GPAs of 3.0 or better in 2020-21.

Babcock has been integral in launching the $400 million Reach for Excellence campaign and improving Tech’s facilities, including the creation of the new Student-Athlete Performance Center (a $20.4 million project). Tech football’s strength and conditioning center was improved in the past year, and the new Creativity and Innovation District Residence Hall along Kent St. (an $85 million project) is set to open this fall. English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park saw an $18 million renovation in 2018, as well.

Virginia Tech also added control rooms, engineering and office space, along with other infrastructure, in the South End Zone in Lane Stadium for the launch of the ACC Network in August 2019. 

“Whit Babcock and his roster of talented coaches have done an outstanding job, creating memorable moments for our students, alumni, and fans, and making the student-athlete experience their top priority,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said. “Whit and his leadership team have the right long-term vision and have demonstrated their ability to manage the rapidly changing landscape in collegiate athletics. I look forward to continuing our collective efforts on behalf of Virginia Tech.”

That’s without mentioning Babcock’s head coaching hires and retentions, almost all of which have panned out.

Buzz Williams was hired as the men’s basketball coach in 2014 and led the Hokies to three straight NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 appearance. For the first time in school history, the men’s and women’s program made the NCAA Tournament in 2021, under the direction of Mike Young (hired in 2019) and Kenny Brooks (hired in 2016).

Softball coach Pete D’Amour, who was hired in 2019, led the Hokies to the Super Regionals of the Women’s College World Series in 2021 in his third season. The swim and dive program has thrived under Sergio Lopez Miro (2018 hire) as well, with the men and women both finishing in the top 15 this season.

On top of that, Babcock promoted wrestling coach Tony Robie in 2017, who coached Mekhi Lewis to a National Championship in 2019. Men’s soccer coach Mike Brizendine, who was retained by Babcock, has led the Hokies to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, a program-best. Daniel Pereira became the first-ever No. 1 pick for the program in January when Austin FC selected him first in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft.

Babcock also retained Chugger Adair (women’s soccer), Dave Cianelli (track and field), Jim Thompson (men’s tennis) and Carol Robertson (women’s golf). Adair led his program to the NCAAs in 2018 and 2019, while Cianelli oversaw the men’s indoor team crowned ACC Champions. Thompson and Robertson each took their programs to the NCAA Championships in 2021, which was a first for the women’s golf program.

Babcock announced extensions to six head coaches in early July, including baseball’s John Szefc and Terry Ann Zawacki-Holdren with women’s tennis. He also hired volleyball coach Marci Byers in January of 2020 and lacrosse coach Kristen Skiera in June.

Full release from Virginia Tech: Link

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13 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Whit Babcock has been outstanding in his decisions as Athletic Director at VT. Whit’s vision of Virginia Tech’s athletic programs is certainly an excellent quality he possesses. A great asset for VT sports!

  2. Seems Whit is doing the best he can ( number 32 in Learfield Cup) with the department’s revenue. He’s from the region, so it’s a no brainer for him to stay. Football needs to be more competitive……

  3. Congrats to Whit, but a real congrats to the university for understanding his talent and value. My biggest worry with VT sports was someone poaching Whit.

  4. We’re very fortunate to have Whit & this was a smart move by the University .. others are trying to poach him, for sure. I think Fu will prove to be a great hire in time .. in Frank’s SIXTH season @ VT his record was 2-8-1 .. if social media had been in place then with all the vitriol that we must content with today, Frank would have been gone .. think about it

  5. Funny, not one mention about the football program…………..conveniently avoided for obviously reasons.

    Still a good move overall, but hopefully football program is on its way up.

    1. Totally agree. Arguably the most important commitment we’ve received so far. A five-star commitment in my opinion.

      You would also have to say that an administrative announcement from UVA would sound pretty much the same…. “Everything going real good in our Athletic Dept. …..except in football.”

      Don’t put me on the Negative Nancy side of Justin Fuente at this point, however. He has had his issues keeping things from falling off the edge ($$). He could make the argument (not doing that here) we haven’t been able to judge him on a level playing field.

      His complaints are now losing traction, with all the money spent in Improvement of football facilities. The ball is in his court. The real test is to see what Babcock, and his 5 stars, does after this season. All I ask is for realistic expectations from his critics. If he fails this season, with realistic expectations, save me a front seat on the ‘Dump Fuente’ bandwagon.

      1. Some of your comments about football and the coach were not needed as a response to this article about some other topic.

        1. If you will simply just review the Response chain, you will see that my Reply was to ToledoHokie, and not to David Cunningham.
          If you have an issue with the football topic of my reply it needs to be addressed to ToledoHokie. Just like Toledo, I couldn’t help but notice the absence of our MAJOR sport in the list of all the successes under Babcock and the obvious reasons it’s not included.

          As far as addressing the topic of the article, I stand by my comment that Whit Babcock is the most important commitment (5-star) we have received so far!!!

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