Go Tech Go: The Inside Story Behind the Rise of VT Football, Part 15

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Bruce Smith, photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics photography.
Bruce Smith, photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics photography.

1984: Bruce on the Loose

As the 1984 season approached, enthusiasm pervaded the Virginia Tech campus. The Hokies were coming off their first nine-win football season since 1905. Yes, they had lost star players Mike Johnson and Tony Paige, but they welcomed back All-America candidate Bruce Smith, plus defensive stalwarts Jesse Penn and Ashley Lee. To capitalize on this momentum – and to counter the perceived “negative press” flowing out of Roanoke via columnist Bill Brill, Athletics Director Bill Dooley created a new sports publication devoted to Virginia Tech sports called The Hokie Huddler. And 1984 was the year the University unveiled a new “VT” logo for its athletics teams.

Out was the large “V” with a smaller “T” centered in the notch, a design that debuted in 1957, but did not appear on Virginia Tech’s football helmets until 1966. The new logo was a composite of designs by Lisa Eichler of Chesapeake and Chris Craft of Roanoke (not to be confused with Chris Kraft,