Virginia Tech Wrestling State Of The Program Notes

Virginia Tech and Tony Robie held their ‘State of the Program’ Zoom call on Wednesday night. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech wrestling hosted its ‘State of the Program’ on Tuesday night to recap the 2022-23 season and preview the future of the team. Head coach Tony Robie and Director of Athletics Whit Babcock both addressed the team’s approach to recruiting and NIL, and revealed a few of Tech’s opponents on the 2024 schedule.

Here are a few takeaways:


Recent success on the recruiting trail has allowed Virginia Tech to pursue higher-level recruits and bring in larger classes. 

A week ago, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2024, Angelo Ferrari, included VT in his top three. In an interview with FloWrestling, Ferrari noted that one of the intriguing things about Tech is the young talent already in Blacksburg.

The Hokies had a pair of freshmen in Eddie Ventresca (125) and Caleb Henson (149) earn All-American honors two months ago at the NCAA tournament. Fellow freshman Tom Crook (141) went into Tulsa as a No. 15 seed in his first collegiate season. Hot on their trail is a top-five recruiting class in 2023, boasting six nationally-ranked wrestlers.

Robie mentioned on the call that one of the biggest topics of conversation during recruiting visits is focused on guys accomplishing their individual goals — specifically winning at the NCAA tournament.

Tech’s been able to make those goals a reality in the past, and it’s made it easier to sell the program to talented high schoolers.

In addition to three top-100 recruits already committed to the Hokies in the class of 2024, Robie said they’ve got a shot at two more really high-caliber guys.


Name, image and likeness has affected every NCAA sport, wrestling included. The topic was discussed heavily during the call Wednesday night between Robie and Babcock, and both spoke about the positive impact that NIL has had on wrestling, specifically from a scholarship standpoint.

The program receives 9.9 scholarships every year to divide amongst the team as it sees fit. Naturally, that leaves many wrestlers with the burden of paying the majority of their tuition. 

Robie and Babcock stressed that NIL makes the scholarship distribution much more flexible because of all that it entails.

The money generated from NIL efforts has essentially acted as a supplement for scholarship money. With the extra money from NIL to help wrestlers pay for their tuition, Tech has been able to bring in larger recruiting classes and free up scholarship money. Donations to the Southeast Regional Training Center (SERTC) have been effective as well.

Robie emphasized that the team’s main prerogative regarding NIL is to use it as a vehicle to retain guys and make sure they stay in Blacksburg.


Additionally, Robie confirmed a few of the Hokies’ opponents for the 2024 season. 

Virginia Tech will host Ohio State in November next year, looking to avenge back-to-back losses against the Buckeyes over the past two seasons. Tech lost 18-15 in Columbus in November after falling 17-13 in Cassell Coliseum in 2021.

According to Robie, Tech will have a total of eight home duals next season. The only other home match that was specifically mentioned, though, was Appalachian State. Tech handled the Mountaineers in Boone, N.C. last year.

The Hokies will face Cornell, Missouri and Rutgers on the road next year. VT notched a win over the Tigers in Blacksburg last season but lost to the Big Red at the Moss Arts Center. The meeting with the Scarlet Knights will be the first since 2011.

Virginia Tech will also have select wrestlers compete in the Cliff Keen Invitational (Las Vegas) and Keystone Classic (Philadelphia) for the second-straight year in 2024.

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  1. Look forward to seeing the team at Rutgers where I often go with my RU friends. First time I’ll get to wear Hokie colors.

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