Top Ten People of the Decade, #6-#10

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Here’s the final installment of our “Top Ten” series recapping the
last decade in Virginia Tech athletics. The final topic is the top ten people
involved in Virginia Tech athletics from 2000-2009, and it’s an impressive list.
We’ll count down the movers and shakers, out front and behind the scenes, and
we’ll talk about people who captured our imagination over the last ten years,
both good … and bad.

How does someone qualify as a “top ten person”? That’s a tricky
concept. A list such as Time Magazine’s Annual 100
Most Influential People
(don’t click it yet — come back to it later) is
pretty clear cut. It’s the 100 most … well … influential people. The
only twist is that Time divides the people up into categories: leaders, heroes,
artists, etc.

But what do we at TSL mean by the Top Ten People of the Last Decade? It’s
admittedly a mish-mash. Some are on the list because they were influential,
others were charismatic, some were heroes, some were villains, and some were
even both. Some captured our imagination, some were talked about endlessly, and
some were just always there. (You’ll see what we mean.)

Some shaped the course of Virginia Tech athletics over the last decade, while
others just entertained us.

For the most part, we stayed away from the athletes when compiling this list,
because we have already included top football and basketball players in separate
lists. Some of our best athletes in the last decade — Spyridon Jullien, Joe
Saunders, Drew Weaver, Patrick Nyarko, Queen Harrison, and the like — were
great athletes, yes, but they weren’t necessarily captivating to the general
Hokie public at large, and once they were off the field or the court, they
weren’t necessarily influential in any way. So we didn’t include some of VT’s
more decorated athletes in our list.

Having said that, there are four athletes on our list, and you’ll see that in
addition to being good (or great) at their given sport, their influence went
beyond their chosen field of play. Sometimes negative, sometimes positive.

Without further ado (I do like to