BLACKSBURG – Dr. Mike Gentry, Associate Athletics Director For Athletic Performance, announced Friday that he will retire following Virginia Tech’s upcoming bowl game. He will continue to serve the Hokies in an advisory capacity through June 30, 2016.
A key member of Frank Beamer’s football staff for 29 seasons, Gentry currently oversees the strength and conditioning of all 22 varsity sports programs at Virginia Tech, in addition to supervising Tech’s sports nutrition and sport psychology programs. Gentry was inducted into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010. American Football Monthly also named him its Samson Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in March 2005.
“I am so thankful for the opportunities and positive relationships that I’ve had during my 29-year career at Virginia Tech,” Gentry said. “The chance to work with such a list of great coaches, administrators and staff members has truly been a blessing. I particularly want to thank Coach Beamer, the Athletic Performance Staff and all the student-athletes that I’ve had the privilege to coach. Hokie Nation has always been so supportive. A sincere thank you to all. I look forward to the bowl game and I know that the future of Virginia Tech athletics is bright. Go Hokies!”
Director of Athletics Whit Babcock expressed his gratitude for Gentry’s dedicated and exemplary service to Tech by announcing that Tech Athletics will create an endowed scholarship in Gentry’s name. Babcock indicated that Tech Athletics will contribute $25,000 to endow the scholarship, but any fans wishing to express their appreciation of Gentry’s service to Tech by adding a personal contribution can do so by contacting the Hokie Club at (540) 231-6618 or at HokieClub@vt.edu.
“Mike Gentry truly has embodied the spirit of ‘Ut Prosim’ during a career at Virginia Tech that has spanned four different decades,” Babcock said. “Early mornings, late nights and 23 consecutive bowl games have all been part of Mike’s legacy of service working with all of our sports, but particularly with Coach Beamer and our football student-athletes. We appreciate the lasting contributions that Mike has made to Virginia Tech and the impact he has made on so many Hokies during his career.”
Coach Beamer echoed those sentiments.
“Mike Gentry’s strength and conditioning program was the foundation upon which we built so much success at Virginia Tech,” Beamer said. “Mike poured his heart and soul into our student-athletes for 29 years. He pushed them as athletes and helped make them better people in the process. He sure inspired me, and I know how much he inspired our team. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better in Mike’s capacity. He was always a consummate professional, and a steady friend I could lean on, especially during those early years. I’ll be eternally grateful to Mike and his staff for their contributions to Virginia Tech.”
Perhaps Gentry’s most important contribution to the Hokies’ football program was his favorite Tech student-athlete, his son, Bo, who played center for Coach Beamer from 2008-2011.
In May 2003, Gentry was honored by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches as one of 36 coaches in the country to receive the association’s highest honor when he was named a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach. Prior to his arrival at Virginia Tech, Gentry served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at North Carolina and worked as the head strength and conditioning coach at East Carolina.
Gentry earned his undergraduate degree from Western Carolina (1979) before receiving his master’s from North Carolina (1981). In 1999, he earned his doctorate from Virginia Tech (curriculum and instruction with emphasis in motor behavior).