The Fisher Law Firm Friday Q&A: Positions To Watch Against NC State

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Virginia Tech Fisher Law Firm Friday Q&A

1) What are your thoughts on the Hokie Club and Whit Babcock’s current fundraising strategies? Did the current pandemic suddenly turn on the light bulb that they were not doing enough to pad the coffers? Or does this reflect moves already being made?

Chris Coleman: I’ve been impressed with the Hokie Club ever since Brad Wurthman took over.  The outreach and communication has gone in a complete 180 ever since he was in charge.  Considering what COVID-19 is doing to finances across the country, I don’t think we can judge him on exactly how much money the Hokie Club is or isn’t bringing in right now, but I think that group is in much better hands now than it was before.

Selling cutouts in Lane Stadium, selling virtual seats, etc….that stuff isn’t going to move the needle very much in the grand scheme of things, but at this point every extra dollar helps.  I’m glad to see they are thinking outside the box to a certain extent.

Recently Whit Babcock has hired three new recruiting staff members for the football program…

Assistant Director of Player Personnel: Corey Fuller
Assistant Director of Player Personnel: Jeron Gouevia-Winslow
Director of On-Campus Recruiting: Alex White

(As an aside, I find it ironic that Virginia Tech hired a Director of On-Campus Recruiting during a time when nobody is allowed to recruit on campus.)

Like everywhere else, Virginia Tech basically has a hiring freeze for all non-essential personnel right now.  Those three hires tell me that Whit Babcock considers football staffing to be essential.  He’s adding expenses while expecting a major downturn in revenue, which says that most likely he got private funding from a big donor to create the new positions.  I feel like he’s good at things like that…the corporate side of things. 

We mentioned back in the spring that the athletic department was about to announce a major plan for athletic funding and building projects.  That’s something that Will Stewart had been wanting for a long time, and something that all other athletic departments have been doing.  The announcement was going come during the week of the Spring Game.  Then COVID-19 hit, the Spring Game got cancelled, and the nation shut down.  That plan is on hold, and we aren’t exactly sure what it’s going to look like when it finally gets rolled out.

With Wurthman taking over the Hokie Club, and the athletic department set to embark on a capital campaign, I think things were just about to head in the right direction.  But then…COVID.  I have no idea what the athletic department will look like or how it will be structured once we make it through this current fiscal year, so I’m not exactly sure what to expect from the Hokie Club.  All I can say is that I think things were about to start moving in the right direction, and I’m pleased with what Wurthman has done so far. 

Virginia Tech

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