A new era: what it means

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It’s becoming popular to say “this is a new era in Virginia Tech athletics” … but what does that entail?

Friday’s announcement that Buzz Williams is coming to Virginia Tech represents Tech’s biggest “splash” hire in, well, ever. The closest thing to it is probably the hiring of Bill Dooley out of North Carolina in 1977 to become VT’s head football coach. Dooley had coached UNC to six bowl games in eight years, was coming off a combined 17-6-1 record in 1976 and 1977, and had won the ACC and the Liberty Bowl in 1977.

By hiring Buzz, Tech did a darn good job diverting some of the attention away from the actual games this past weekend, as many in the college basketball world reacted to Buzz’s departure like so:

Then CBS invited Buzz into the studio with Sir Charles and Clark Kellogg, and Buzz, with his VT lapel pin, maroon tie, and orange pocket square, proceeded to represent the Virginia Tech basketball program as if he’d been the head coach here for five years.

Buzz Williams, on set with Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith
Buzz Williams, on set with Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

It was a PR slam dunk, and it got the Buzz Williams tenure at VT off to a great start.

I’ll admit that it felt odd, seeing Virginia Tech’s new coach in such a prominent position in one of the biggest athletic weekends in the country. With all eyes in the college basketball world on the tournament, Virginia Tech was front and center. Finishing last in the ACC for three straight years (even as the conference grew to fifteen members) didn’t