Former Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver has passed away at the age of 70. Weaver, who retired at the end of 2013 due to health complications (Parkinson’s disease and multiple back surgeries), was living in Blacksburg.
Weaver served as Tech’s athletic director from Sep. 24, 1997 through Dec. 31, 2013. When he joined Virginia Tech, the Hokies were members of the Big East in football and the Atlantic 10 in all other sports. Under Weaver’s watch, Virginia Tech transitioned through the Big East for all sports (2000-2004) and into the ACC on July 1, 2004.
Virginia Tech had an athletic budget of approximately $17 million in fiscal year 1997, and by the time Weaver retired, the Hokie athletic budget had grown to approximately $70 million, on revenues of $73 million. Weaver was known for running a financially sound athletic department, and in the financial reports provided to TechSideline.com by Randy Jones, dating back to FY2000, Weaver ran the department in the black every year.
Weaver was also known for his devotion to growing Virginia Tech’s facilities, and under his watch, a facilities construction boom of over $200 million took place, most notably including the 2002 Lane Stadium south end zone expansion ($37 million), the 2005 west side expansion ($52 million), and the 2009 Hahn Hurst Practice Center for basketball ($21 million). The just-completed football indoor practice facility, which was initiated during Weaver’s tenure, cost $21 million.
Despite all this construction (and aided by the generosity of Virginia Tech fans), Virginia Tech’s athletics indebtedness only increased by $40 million under Weaver, from $12 million in FY1997 to $52 million in FY2014.
Weaver was a Penn State graduate who played and coached under Joe Paterno. He served as an athletic administrator at Florida, UNLV (AD 3 years), and Western Michigan (AD 1 year) before coming to Virginia Tech.